Revisiting an iconic site of the 1996 Olympic Games

Remembering Centennial Olympic Stadium

ATLANTA -- Twenty years after the Centennial Olympic Gamers were held in Atlanta, the site of the most iconic moments of the 1996 Games still draws tourists to the city, hoping to remember them.

It’s the site of the former Centennial Olympic Stadium, which today is Turner Field.

Carolyn Serra worked for the Atlanta-Fulton Stadium running up to the Olympics and Paralympics in 1996, and watched every stage of construction for the stadium. And when it was all over, she watched them take it down.

“This was built to seat 80,000 for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, so after the games were over, it took seven months to transform it in to Turner Field,” she said.

She runs the Braves Museum now, but still talks about Centennial Olympic Stadium a lot.

“We get people, a lot of foreigners who love the Olympics, they come here looking for the Olympic stadium, and they're expecting to see a big oval shape,” she explained. “So, they're surprised when they see it's a baseball stadium.”

PHOTOS | 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta

But even now, Serra thinks there's still a little bit of Olympic magic at Turner Field.

“This is one of my favorite spots at Turner Field because you can look out and see the cauldron and the Olympic rings,” she told 11Alive’s Kaitlyn Ross.

Serra worked for the Paralympics in 1996, and got a sneak preview of that iconic cauldron lighting by Muhammad Ali.

“I went to the rehearsal, so I did not see the live opening ceremonies, I watched it on TV,” she said.

PHOTOS | Muhammad Ali at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta

But even now, as the historic site prepares to undergo changes again, Serra said that magic will always remain and she's still proud of all of the Olympics history the stadium still holds.

“I remember the excitement of having the Olympics here, of turning Atlanta in to more of an international city,” she said. “Working for the games was one of the greatest moments of my life. And something I'll always remember.” 

© 2017 WXIA-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment