We love to see Olympic Sites (especially one from the Summer Olympics) so I couldn’t pass up see the Atlanta Centennial Olympic Park with the torch (since I was there to see a swim meet, I was already able to see the Olympic pool at Georgia Tech University). I set off in the earlyish morning of a Saturday and walked from Midtown to the park. It was about a 30 minute walk and was enjoyable to be outside and see the sites along the way.
Tribute sculpture was installed to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the modern Olympic Games. It was designed by Peter Calaboyias and actually damaged in the bombing of the park. It still bears a mark of some shrapnel that hit it during the bombing.
There are so many green spaces around the park with flowing streams and large open grassy areas. The best is called the Atlanta Water Gardens and it features a water feature around landscapes with rock formations and best of all it provides some shade.
Statue of Pierre De Coubertin
In one section of the park is a statue of Pierre De Coubertin who is known as the father of the modern Olympic movement. He convened the committee to revive the Olympics as sports and athleticism had become more popular. His ideas of the definition of amateurism in the context of Olympic competitors influenced Olympic policies for many years. He believe that Olympic athletes could be compensated while competing so it was more inclusive of the working class.
Sport must be the heritage of all men and of all social classes.Pierre De Coubertin
Notorious Events in Centennial Olympic Park
This park has seen a great deal of catastrophic events. In July of 1996, Eric Rudolf planted a bomb in a backpack in a crowded day at the park and killed two people and injured over 100.
In March of 2008, a tornado touched down in downtown Atlanta and the park sustained some damage.
In March of 2020, the park was closed indefinitely due to COVID-19 and not being able to support allow public access without the revenue coming from the events in the Park.
“Biography of Pierre de Coubertin, Founder of the Modern Olympics” ThoughtCo. Updated May 15, 2019. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
“Centennial Olympic Park“. Think Sculpture™. Retreived on February 21, 2021.
Cook, Rhonda; et al. (March 16, 2008). “AJC Deja News: Tornado slams downtown Atlanta (2008)“. Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved November 17, 2018.
“Eric Rudolf”. Federal Bureau of Investigation. Retrieved November 17, 2018.
“New historic marker for 1996 Games unveiled in Centennial Olympic Park“. Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved November 17, 2018.