Sunday, July 24, 2011

An Olympic paradise

There are a lot of things to do in Atlanta, in which I spent some time recently on vacation.

One may be a little underrated because not enough people may be aware of it, but it's definitely worth a trip for any Olympic fan if you happen to be in the heart of Georgia.

In the Buckhead section on the north end of the city lies the Atlanta History Center. As part of a multi-faceted facility is the Centennial Olympic Games Museum, celebrating Atlanta hosting the 1996 Summer Games.

The museum is one of the largest Olympic collections of its kind in the world.

When you enter, an impressive row on the right showcases torches and medals for every Olympic Games staged since its inception in 1896. It's hard to fathom the history in front of you.

The opposite side is devoted to Atlanta's efforts to secure the Olympics. It tells the story of a local businessman whose dream was to bring the Games to Atlanta, despite having never traveled abroad let alone attended an Olympics.

The floor is a track that guides you around to more exhibits, including one for each day of the Atlanta Games.

At the end, as one of the hands-on parts of the experience, attendees can stand on an Olympic podium.

(And yes for the record I did stand on the podium, playing the role of tourist perfectly. Besides, let's be honest - that's the closest I'll ever get to being an Olympic gold medalist.)

Here is a sample of what I saw:

So if you're ever in Atlanta, I highly recommend seeking this out if you're a fan of the Olympics. It's well worth the effort.

- Chris Lillstrung


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