With the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio coming to a close this weekend, we thought we would take a trip down memory lane, back to when the Summer Olympics were held in Atlanta in 1996. What’s really amazing though, is that fact that a lot of the Olympic venues used for the 1996 Olympics, are still open to the public 20 years later. Many of these sporting venues were built from scratch, purposely for the Summer Olympics. The hefty price tag for this new construction—$1.7 billion.
Now here we are, two decades later. While some buildings fell to ruin, others are still thriving. Take a look at 10 of the historic spots in Georgia you can still visit today.
1. Alexander Memorial Coliseum—965 Fowler St NW, Atlanta, GA 30318
The Alexander Memorial Coliseum was the Olympic spot in 1996 for the boxing tournament. It held up to 10,000 people for each event. While you can still visit the coliseum, it has gone through over $45 million in renovations in 2010, and is now called the Hank McCamish Pavilion.
2. Stone Mountain Tennis Center—1000 Robert E Lee Blvd, Stone Mountain, GA 30083
This tennis stadium was once a vibrant, thriving spot where some of the greatest in the sport gathered to play. It's also the spot where Andre Agassi and Lindsay Davenport won gold for America. However, now the courts lay in ruins, with chains up along the fences, and overgrown weeds reaching through the cracks of the clay.
3. Georgia Tech Aquatic Center—750 Ferst Dr NW, Atlanta, GA 30318
The Georgia Tech Aquatic Center now goes by the name of Georgia Tech Campus Recreation Center. The Aquatic Center was built specifically for the 1996 Olympics and cost $16.8 million to build. During the games, it featured competitions in swimming, synchronized swimming, diving, and water polo.
4. Georgia World Conference Center—285 Andrew Young International Blvd NW, Atlanta, GA 30313
The Georgia World Congress Center or the GWCC, is a convention center and exhibition space in Atlanta that hosts millions of people every year. During the Olympics in 1996, it hosted handball, fencing, judo, table tennis, weightlifting, and wrestling. Although a tornado tore through the convention center in 2008, it was able to be rebuilt.
5. Centennial Olympic Stadium (Turner Field)—755 Hank Aaron Dr SE, Atlanta, GA 30315
In 1996, Centennial Olympic Stadium was built and it became the center staple for the entire Summer Olympics. After the Olympics, however, the stadium turned into Turner Field and became the home of the Atlanta Braves. While you can still visit the stadium now, it is set to close in 2016, as the Braves make their way to Cobb County.
6. Georgia Dome—1 Georgia Dome Dr, Atlanta, GA 30313
The Georgia Dome was constructed a few years prior to the Olympics with the purpose of hosting athletic events. However, it was a main staple during the 1996 Olympics. One-half of the arena hosted the Olympic basketball competitions, and the other half hosted the artistic gymnastics events and team handball.
7. Clayton County International Park—2300 Highway 138 E, Jonesboro, GA 30236
Not too long ago we wrote about This Hidden Beach In Georgia Will Take You A Million Miles Away From It All. If you haven't read it yet
Within this beautiful park, you'll find the beach volleyball courts which were built for the 1996 Olympics. You can still play on those same courts today.
8. Lake Lanier—7000 Lanier Islands Pkwy, Buford, GA 30518-1442
Many Georgians visit Lake Lanier each year to vacation along the beautiful shores. However, most don't know that this great lake was home to the sprint canoeing and rowing events during the 1996 Olympics. While you can't climb the finish tower, you can certainly photograph it from afar.
9. Georgia International Horse Park—1996 Centennial Olympic Pkwy NE, Conyers, GA 30013
Throughout the entirety of the 1996 Olympic Games, more than half a million people visited Georgia International Horse Park. This venue hosted events in equestrian, mountain biking, as well as portions of the pentathlon. You can still catch a race at the Horse Park, or maybe even a concert.
10. Songbird Habitat Trail at Stone Mountain—1000 Robert E Lee Blvd, Stone Mountain, GA 30083
During the 1996 Olympics, Stone Mountain not only hosted tennis, but also archery and track cycling. While both the archery and cycling track are overgrown now, they have become park of the Songbird Habitat Trail, which you can still hike today.
The 1996 Olympics were such a memorable and uniting time for the city of Atlanta as well as the state of Georgia. Thanks to YouTuber, Trivyon Bland, you can relive the moment when Muhammad Ali lights the Olympic flame.