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  • 25 Years Ago: Billy Payne Remembers Day Atlanta Won Olympics -- ATRadio


    (ATR) Friday marks the 25th anniversary of the city of Atlanta winning the 1996 Summer Olympics. 

    Ed Hula speaks with Billy Payne at the victory parade for the bid 25 years ago.(ATR)
    On Sept. 18, 1990, then IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch announced Atlanta as the host of the 1996 Games during the IOC Session in Tokyo. Athens, Toronto, Melbourne and Belgrade were the other contenders.

    Around the Rings editor Ed Hula spoke with former ACOG president Billy Payne about the day that Atlanta won the Olympic Games.

    "It was unbelievable," Payne said.

    He added that public support for Atlanta's Olympic bid is "100 percent" the reason why the city won the 1996 Games.

    Payne also weighs in on the 2024 Olympic bid race and whether Los Angeles has what it takes to bring the Games back to the United States.

    George Hirthler, a leading Olympic bid consultant, spoke with ATR last week about a celebration planned at Centennial Olympic Park to mark the anniversary.

    The invitation-only event will gather almost 400 attendees who were involved in Atlanta securing the 1996 Olympics, Hirthler told ATR.

    Payne, the keynote speaker for the event, will introduce Andrew Young, who as mayor agreed to Payne's plan to bid for the Games. Young, former U.N. ambassador, is credited with winning international support for the bid.

    This is the first of two major celebrations that are going to take place between 2015 and 2016, Hirthler said. Next year will mark the 20th anniversary of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

    Written and produced by Nicole Bennett

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