Georgia Tech's Olympic Legacy
Twenty years ago Atlanta hosted the Centennial Olympic Games from July 19 - August 4, 1996, with the Georgia Tech campus serving as the Home of the Olympic Village – where the athletes lived – and as the venue for swimming, diving, synchronized swimming, water polo, modern pentathlon, boxing, and Paralympic volleyball.
Many of Tech’s current faculty and staff were not at Tech during the Olympics, and some of today’s undergraduates had not been born. As a result, many in the Tech community may not be aware of the herculean effort that transformed the campus for the Olympics.
This story takes a look at Tech’s role in the Olympics through the eyes of some of the key contributors. For those who were at Georgia Tech or living in Atlanta in 1996, it will be a walk down memory lane. For those who were not, we hope the story provides insight into some of the work that occurred before the Games, and how it shaped Tech’s Olympic legacy that remains today.
First-hand accounts include:
- Michael Edwards, who served as Olympic venue manager for the aquatic center;
- Annie Antón, who served as an Olympics envoy while a PhD student at Tech;
- G. Wayne Clough, who was president of Georgia Tech during the Games;
- Matt Ryan, who played handball for Team USA; and
- Sam Shelton, who developed the Olympic torch used for the '96 Games.