Thursday, August 27, 2009

Games of the XXVI Centennial Olympiad

Some Olympic games collectors would remember that the Centenary of the Modern Olympic Games Movement was celebrated by holding the 26th Olympiad at Atlanta in the United States. They would also remember that these Games concluded in the month of August of 1996, that is 13 years ago. A few details for the statisticians amongst us are:
Host city Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Motto The Celebration of the Century
Nations participating 197; Athletes participating 10,320
(6,797 men, 3,523 women) Events 271 in 26 sports
Opening ceremony July 19 Closing ceremony August 4
Officially Opened by President Bill Clinton

The 1996 Summer Olympics of Atlanta, officially known as the Games of the XXVI Olympiad and unofficially known as the Centennial Olympics, were an international multi-sport event which was celebrated in 1996 in Atlanta, Georgia, United States.


The Atlanta Olympics were marred by the Centennial Olympic Park bombing on July 27. This bombing killed spectator Alice Hawthorne and wounded 111 others, and caused the death of Melih Uzunyol by heart attack. Eric Robert Rudolph was charged with and confessed to this bombing and several others. He is now in a US Federal prison.
At the closing ceremony, IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch said in his closing speech, "Well done, Atlanta" and called the Games "most exceptional". This broke precedent for Samaranch, who had traditionally labelled each Games "the best Olympics ever" at each closing ceremony, a practice he resumed at the subsequent Games in Sydney in 2000.
Stamps Issued
The first frame shows a sheet of stamps showing the many categories of events at the Games. These were issued se-tennant.
The second frame is particularly interesting as it shows the description of the event portrayed on the stamp on its reverse. This practice is very rarely seen.
(click to enlarge)

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