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Why Atlanta, not Athens, was chosen for 1996?

Updated: 2006-04-05 16:53

The IOC Evaluation Commission ranked Atlanta  highest for its infrastructure and facilities. More IOC representatives visited Atlanta than any other bid city, and the city's organizing committee president circled the globe for two years meeting with IOC members.

Atlanta surpassed the competition's international credibility through the participation of Andrew Young, former mayor of Atlanta and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

First, Young assured African IOC delegates that Atlanta's civil rights history and reputation for racial harmonyproved the city could host a successful multicultural Olympics.

Second, Atlanta's organizing committee proposed a substantial revenue-sharing package. Like Barcelona's financial package for the 1992 Olympics, the Atlanta committee planned to distribute 10 percent of excess revenue to the IOC, with an additional 10 percent targeted for the national organization, the US Olympic Committee. Atlanta surpassed Barcelona's generosity by offering to disburse half of the remaining surplus to national Olympic committees (NOCs) around the globe.

(fromHistory Dictionary of the Modern Olympic Movement)