The Olympics are back, as I'm sure you're aware. They were here in Atlanta 20 years ago, and it's hard to believe that 20 years have passed since then.
It seems like just a couple years ago, but we had a wonderful time during the 1996 Olympics. Beth and I hosted a friend of mine from California, my brother-in-law's sister, and one of her friends. We had people sleeping in the guest room and on the sofa, and every morning we'd pool our tickets and decide which event we were going to attend.
Downtown Atlanta seemed like a different place, not only because of all the newly built Olympic venues, but also because of all the foreign tourists milling around, and the large security presence all over town which made walking in even some of the sketchiest of areas relatively safe.
Of course, all that security couldn't prevent a right-wing domestic terrorist from setting off a bomb in Centennial Olympic Park. We weren't there when it happened, but had been at the park earlier that day, and at the same time as the bombing the day before. But we had all agreed that we weren't going to let the cowardly act of one madman ruin our time, and we, along with thousands of other Atlantans, bravely went back to the Olympic venues the next day, and even to the Park itself.
Ah, memories. . . . Brazil vs. Nigeria in soccer at Athens, Georgia, Team USA beach volleyball somewhere south of the city, boxing on the Georgia Tech campus, and gymnastics at the Georgia Dome. We had lots of baseball tickets, too, as I recall, but didn't go to many games (too long). We saw the US men's basketball "Dream Team" play one game from the cheap seats at the Dome.
Everybody had a good time, and I still have some souvenirs and tchotchkes left over. I wish Rio the best, and hope they have every bit as much fun as we did.