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The Atlanta Constitution from Atlanta, Georgia • 29

Location:
Atlanta, Georgia
Issue Date:
Page:
29
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

The Atlanta Journal- Training together v. it- i i i I i Monica Michini (front) and Cathy Symon are among the U.S. rowers who are training at established national cen- -ters in an effort to improve medal per-, formance. Article, Page D5 ha i 't i DID YOU KNOW? The five Olympic rings are the most widely recognized symbol in the world, according to a market research project. In a sample of 7,000 people from six countries, 92 percent recognized the rings.

i liir.n i M. If jit nun QJi ftojects that Coming Monday: 200 days to go We've been waiting six years, and in three days it will be here: 1996. The year of Atlanta's Olympic Games. Jan. I also will be another benchmark: 200 days until the Opening Ceremonies.

On Monday, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution will publish a special four-page wrap-around section featuring a fold-out panoramic view of the Olympic stadium from the vantage point of the starting line. The section will take you through the flurry of work on the projects that must be completed in the next seven months and will tell what you can expect once the Games begin. VOICE OF EXPERIENCE: As Atlanta Olympic officials prepare for the harrowing ride ahead, consider the words of Josep Miquel Abad, Billy Payne's counterpart for Barcelona. Reflecting on the dawning of 1992, the year of his Games, he said: "The feeling of proximity, on having the event right on top of me, was physically and psychologically overpowering. We knew that we were near the completion of several years of work and that the final grade was contingent precisely on whatever would happen in these last moments." never the drawm i.

just couldn't make it But the mother of all Olympic pipe dreams wasn't in Atlanta at all. Douglas County officials had. been keeping their fingers crossed for a privately financed iiauvjr -oijriw vjuiiv vtiui nil. Wind" theme park in Villa TM I lfPA '11' nans lur ine jou minion, 300-acre attraction were being developed by the J. 1 1 NXSNN V' ll S' 4 'XN X'vX VIm A ft'- I s- X1 in mmm ft GREY BLACKWELL Staff s-M ,1 otoff birth to dozens of reach fruition.

well as being the unofficial keeper of unsolicited proposals. It is a job he performs with grim seriousness. "There are a lot of people out there with a lot of ideas," Day said, refusing to discuss them in detail because he fears lawsuits. "People put a lot of thought and effort into these things thinking they would enhance the Games, so I don't consider any of them frivolous or whimsical." Reluctant to give specifics, Day recalls an intriguing art project with one tiny drawback: It needed five acres of land. "The sculpture was funded, but what they didn't have was the five acres," he said.

"We weren't in a position to help them." Another project that got a courteous thumbs down from ACOG was a suggestion to build a humongous carillon with 600 bells. Then there was Tom Cox, a local marketing executive whose Olympic epiphany was a 45-foot tall, $4.5 million fountain he called the Atlanta Olympic Centennial Memorial. The circular fountain featured several disembodied arms rising from the water, their hands grasping a huge torch. Each limb represented famous Atlanta figures such as Henry Grady, Asa Candler and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

With the diligence of a door- Some hoped-for projects are Olympic road kill while others are clinging to life on the list of post-Game possibilities: R.I.P. Omni-to-Underground bridge: A suspended walkway 18 feet wide and 80 feet above the Spring Street viaduct. Olympic carillon: A structure with 600 bells. Plaza '96: Honoring Olympic athletes at Piedmont Park. Centennial House A temporary facility for Olympic VIPs.

Olympic wall: A monument to Olympic achievement. Atlanta Tower: A 720-foot space needle with observation decks. STILL BREATHING Public toilets: Coin-operated restrooms in pedestrian corridors. Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza: a 3 1 8-room hotel near Centennial Olympic Park. GeoNova Dome: A 200-foot tall, EPCOT-like structure with theaters and restaurants that could display video images on its exterior.

MagLev trains: High speed shuttles that would ferry passengers to the Olympic stadium from the Georgia State MARTA station. Gone With the Wind Park: Disneyesque theme park based on Margaret Mitchell's book. From futuristic people movers and dramatic architecture to public toilets, the Olympics have given ideas that may never By Lyle V. Harris STAFF WRITER lympic dreamers are a special breed: Visionaries who hoped Atlanta could become a modern-day Oz of graceful pedestrian bridges, towering space needles and sleek people movers zipping across the skyline. But with roughly 200 days to go before the Games, many of those dreamers are being jolted from their reverie by a painful pinch of reality and finding out that waking up is hard to do.

Many of the projects they proposed were doomed from the start, usually by a lack of money or common sense. But nearly all of them were infused with an enthusiasm that was hard, but hardly impossible, to resist. Susan Bronston, the city's Olympic projects coordinator, has responded to many of the dreamers with letters that say, politely of course, "Thanks, but no thanks." "We usually try to refer them to the appropriate agency, or to someone who could help further their idea," Bronston said. "We've even had people come in to sing their songs or show us their videotapes. We've tried not to be discouraging." At ACOG, Sherman Day is in charge of Olympic legacies, as fCZT California-based Landmark Entertainment Group.

Wes Tallon, the county's director of engineering, said 6et' got the bad news that the park was postponed two months agV "The developer said he vV? wanted it to be a quality development, and he didn't wrlt to rush things," said Tallon. "Everyone was hoping that it' Ij would be opened by the Olympics, but his reasoning i makes sense. He said he woultfj do it later, but I don't know when." 'J After the Games, many proposals will be lost forever ip i the ash heap of Atlanta's history, rj For now, at least, some are waiting on the back burner. "I haven't given up yet," said John G. Aldridge, a lawyer whose dreams of building a $70 A million Olympic museum have; been put on hold.

"It's premature to say it will ever be considered, but the good news is that all the C7 MANY ARE CALLED, FEW ARE CHOSEN: Who will hear our cheers on the fields of play during the Olympics? And when the Games are over, which names will we remember? Inside today's section, we list the best athletes in each Olympic sport, along with a schedule of events leading to the Games. Some of the athletes are barely known. (Never heard of Heryanto Arbi? The best badminton player in the world is a superstar in Indonesia.) Others are known around the world. Cuban heavyweight boxer Felix Savon and Ukraine gymnast Lilia Podkopayeva (above) already have realized international fame. Of all the athletes training, about 10,000 will earn the right to wear their country's colors and compete.

Fewer still will appear on television. And at the end of the Games, maybe half a dozen will be household names. Pages D6-7 T-SHIRT 200: The Centennial Olympic Games Hanes T-shirt Auction will put T-shirts numbered 20 1 and 200 up for bid at 6:45 p.m. Sunday from a stage at the corner of 14th and Peachtree streets during the First Night Atlanta celebration in Midtown. T-shirt No.

200, representing 200 days to go before the Games open July 1 9, probably will fetch a higher price than the average auction price, about $1,200. The first shirt auctioned, No. 500, sold for $26,000. The new year won't bring a change in the shirt logos. All the T-shirts bear the same slogan: "Countdown to the Dream" with the shirt number near the left shoulder.

As of Wednesday, ACOG had raised $457,422 from T-shirt sales, benefiting the Children's Olympic Ticket Fund. -Q- the advantage of well-heeled backers, shameless self-promoters or civic do-gooders simply ran out of time. For city planning commissioner Leon Eplan, the failure to bring public pay toilets to city streets before the Games has left him discouraged. "We did everything we could," Eplan said, his shoulders slumped in disappointment. "We to-door salesman, Cox shopped his fountain-sculpture for months, eventually winning the support of Mayor Bill Campbell.

But still no takers. "Of course I'm disappointed, but I'm not giving up on it," said Cox, adding that he had the perfect spot for it in Centennial Olympic Park. "All I'm doing is putting it to bed for a later time." Even some proposals that had laiiiiiiig lias uccii uuiic, ovi the time comes, we'll be ready. 1 i I 9 11. i 'I f-vi Pl.in, r.

Signs of the times If you thought Atlanta had too many billboards before, look out! With the Olympics approaching, more of the monster-size outdoor advertisements are taking over the city's highways and byways. Article, Page D4 Of 'l li (1 1 RICH ADDICKS Staff.

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Years Available:
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