T-MINUS ONE YEAR AND COUNTING; ATLANTA AWAITS THE WORLD
Wednesday marks one year before the Opening Ceremonies of
the Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta. Media around the country
are taking this opportunity to examine Atlanta and its
preparations before the Games.
MEDIA ROUNDUP: USA TODAY's Tom Weir: "I want to know how
many strangers from different nations are going to hug on the
street and exchange addresses. And that is where I worry about
Atlanta." (USA TODAY, 7/18). In the ATLANTA CONSTITUTION,
Olympic historian John Lucas says, "Atlanta has the potential to
be a pioneer in the healing of wounds between black and white,
rich and poor, Americans and non-Americans, old and young. Every
ethnic group and every age that has divided the world will be
coming to Atlanta" (Elizabeth Kurylo, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION,
7/18). In Chicago, Rick Telander notes the news of newly-
constructed dorms in the Olympic village settling too far into
the clay: "What shall we call this? An oversight? A minor
setback on the Road to Oz? Or is it something darker, an omen of
failings to come in a city doing too much too fast to make a name
for itself" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 7/17). ACOG President Billy
Payne: "The whole purpose for the Games and bidding for the
Games is to make us an international city. ... [But] until that
time comes, when the whole world comes and likes what they see,
we are probably exaggerating a little when we declare ourselves a
great international city a year in advance of the Games" ("Sports
Tonight," CNN, 7/16). In S.F., Joan Kirchner writes, "Visitors
to the Olympics this time next year will discover that Atlanta
hasn't shaken its Southern roots on its fast climb up the
corporate ladder. It's legal to marry your cousin. Grown-up men
commonly keep little-boy nicknames: Bubba, Billy, Johnny. And
the city's most famous restaurant is the Varsity, a drive-in that
specializes in greasy chili dogs and onion rings" (SAN FRANCISCO
EXAMINER, 7/16). In Miami, Linda Robertson notes, "Atlanta is
poised to host the centennial Games and hoping to join the
company of 'the world's great cities'" (MIAMI HERALD, 7/16).
AP's Marc Price notes, "Organizers have repeated it until they
are blue in the face: the Games will be on time, on budget, and
the best ever" (L.A. TIMES, 7/16). In Houston, John Lopez
writes, "Preparations are going smoothly with a year left"
(HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 7/16). In Milwaukee, Katherine Skiba writes,
"With the 1996 Olympics a year away, the place is like a host
fretting and sweating in front of the oven before company comes"
(MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 7/16). Header in Tampa: "As it
prepares for the 100th anniversary of the Modern Olympic Games,
Atlanta works hard to live up to expectations - and live down
some of its reputation" (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 7/15).
LET'S CELEBRATE: Bryant Gumbel and the "Today" show will
broadcast from Atlanta tomorrow in recognition that the Olympics
are one year away (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 7/18).