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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Atlanta Centennial Olympics remembered

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Golden gymnast performs at 2006 memorial celebration of Olympics held in Atlanta.
Today we celebrate The Games of the XXVI Olympiad, unofficially known as the Centennial Olympics, which took place in Atlanta from July 19 to August 4, 1996. A record 197 nations participated in events held in venues in and around Atlanta, Ga.

The only other cities hosting the Summer Olympic Games held in the U.S. include St. Louis in 1904 and Los Angeles in 1932 and 1984.

Here are some memories from the 10th year anniversary celebration held in 2006.

Billy" Payne (l) and Kurk Johnson at 2006 event.

William Porter "Billy" Payne was president and chief executive officer of the the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (ACOG).  Payne is presently chairman of the Augusta National Gold Club. Kurk Johnson, a native Kentuckian, worked as a technology consultant for the Dressage equestrian events. Johnson is presently a performance engineer at Travelport
Carl Lewis
"Olympian of the Century" and track and field great Carl Lewis won 10 gold Olympic medals and retired after the 1996 games. A dominant sprinter and long jumper, Lewis became an official supporter of Ronald McDonald House Charities in 2007. In 2009, Lewis was nominated a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

Janet Evans
A four-time Olympic gold medalist in swimming, Janet Evans is presently a motivational speaker and business woman. 

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The Hon. Shirley Franklin and guests at 2006 Olympic event

Even though Bill Campbell was mayor of Atlanta in 1996, former Mayor Shirley Franklin presided over the commemoration ceremony in 2006. Franklin currently serves as a member on the board of directors for Delta Air Lines.

©2012 Tomi Johnson. All rights reserved.

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