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1996 Atlanta Olympics Izzy

What is it? An oral history of Izzy, the mascot marketing snafu of Olympic proportions

John Ryan settled on a character that was neither human nor animal. It resembled a blue tear, with hands sprouting three fingers and a thumb, lightning eyebrows, and a big, sheepish grin.
1996 Atlanta Olympics Opening Ceremony

Winning gold and chauffeuring Ali: Memories of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics

Athletes, musicians, local leaders, and metro Atlanta residents share their memories of the games—taking home the gold, chauffeuring Muhammad Ali, collecting pins, riding MARTA, performing for Bill and Hillary Clinton, and more.
1996 Olympics

Share your 1996 Olympics memories

We invite you to share your memories and photos of the 1996 Olympics with Atlanta magazine for the 20th anniversary of the games. A select number of submitted stories and photos, as chosen by the editors, will appear in an upcoming issue of the magazine.

Training with an Olympic bobsledder

The basic idea was for me to do an off-season bobsled training routine with Meyers. I had no idea what this would entail, and was given no hints, but showed up ready for just about anything.

Olympic moves at school

Olympic gold medalist Ashton Eaton, who holds the world record in the decathlon and heptathlon, is in Atlanta this week to compete in a track and field event and to meet with school kids to introduce a free classroom program that offers five-minute brain breaks throughout the day.

Tweets of the Day: July 27, 2012—Olympics Edition

How Atlantans feel about the international sporting event and tonight's opening ceremony:

Tweets of the Day: July 27, 2012—Olympians Edition

These Georgians are going for the gold in London. It's time for the opening ceremony; here's what they're saying:

U.S. swimmers release Call Me Maybe video—spearheaded by one of our own

No matter what happens when she swims the 200 butterfly next week, Atlanta's own Kathleen Hersey has already made us proud. She's credited as director of the USA Olympic Swimming Team's official rendition of Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe."

The Olympics open to grand fanfare

The evening of July 19, 1996, was the culmination of Atlanta's civic leaders' desires to catapult the city into the international limelight and (hopefully) transform it into a relevant, vibrant hub of tourism and commerce.

Olympic hopefuls Eric Shanteau and Kathleen Hersey to swim nail-biters tonight

Tonight on NBC, native Atlantans Eric Shanteau and Kathleen Hersey will vie for Olympic spots in the 100-meter breaststroke and 100-meter butterfly, respectively. The depth of USA swimming talent is such that Olympic trials—where the top two finishers in each event qualify—are often more fiercely competitive than the Olympics themselves. Shanteau, a 2002 graduate of Parkview High School, enters tonight's finals with the fourth-fastest semifinals time, 0.07 seconds off second place, while Hersey, a 2008 Marist graduate, enters tonight's finals in third, off by 0.01 seconds.

The broadcast starts at 8 p.m. NBCOlympics.com will also stream the races.

Shanteau won hearts in 2008 when, just a week before Olympic trials, the then-24-year-old was diagnosed with testicular cancer. He opted to delay surgery until after the Beijing Olympics, where he competed in the 200 breaststroke. In 2010, his father, Rick, died from lung cancer.

Hersey, who also competed in Beijing, has her own well of inspiration from which to draw. Adopted as an infant, she cites her father, wheelchair-bound from a spinal aneurysm, as her hero. This past January, she lost her mother, Regina, to colon cancer.

No matter what happens tonight, both swimmers will race again in their stroke's 200-meter contests.

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