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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS | SPOTLIGHT

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A look at the day that was and at what lies ahead at the Summer Games

July 30, 1996|BILL DWYRE

Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games: On the first day of tennis at the new Stone Mountain tennis venue, the toilets clogged and eventually overflowed. The highlight of that was an ACOG official telling an appalled woman that the liquid running out the doors of the bathrooms was that color because of red Georgia clay in the septic system.

Also on the first day, many of the 20,000 or so fans here were parked, at $10 a car, as far as two miles away, then directed by ACOG people to walk to the stadium.

Since it is common practice at major events to run shuttle buses from parking lots to stadiums, the question was put to Billy Payne, president and chief executive officer of ACOG: Why punish the paying customers like this?

Payne's answer was that there had been a mistake the first day, that somebody had directed people to the wrong lot.

Monday was the seventh day of tennis competition. Nothing had changed except the vendors along the two-mile walk. The Dove cart was gone.

--Local press: First, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario was hit with the question in a postmatch news conference: What do you know about the history of Stone Mountain? She looked strangely at the questioner and babbled something about not having time to get out much and see things.

Then Woodbridge and Woodforde were interrogated.

Question: "Stone Mountain is a historic place here in Atlanta; the carving on the mountain of the Confederate heroes. I'm wondering if you've seen the carvings?

Answer: Woodbridge, "I saw the carving because the bus got lost . . . "

Q: "Do you know anything about the history of it?"

A: Woodbridge, "No." Woodforde, "No. Should we?"

Proposed question: Are there Dove bar carts on Stone Mountain, or does Coca-Cola own that too?

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