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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS | Spotlight

G'day, Atlanta

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

August 02, 1996|BILL DWYRE

As the winding down begins for the Atlanta Olympic experience, it is appropriate to take a quick look at the next Summer Olympic site--Sydney, Australia.

With help from the Sydney Morning Herald, here it is:

--The beauty shot for NBC, which tends to grab a scene and make it a symbol, will probably be the city's harbor, with its Golden Gate-looking bridge and its opera house jutting out onto a peninsula of the harbor.

--Sydney won the voting for the 2000 Games by only two votes over Beijing, 45-43. It took the same approach as Atlanta in winning the bid: Befriend and romance as many members of the International Olympic Committee as possible.

--Sydney's population is about half a million above Atlanta's in a metro area about three-quarters as large as Atlanta, and while its average temperature for the Olympic period is nearly 20 degrees cooler (87 to 68), it also is considerably less violent, averaging 1.9 murders per 100,000 people, compared with Atlanta's 50.4.

--Sydney's organizing committee will be known as SOCOG, the Sydney Olympic Organizing Committee. It will be headed by Mal Hemmerling, 49, who got the position by running, for 10 years, Australia's highly successful Formula One Grand Prix of auto racing.

--Sydney's goal is to limit its volunteer total to 40,000, less than half the 85,000 in Atlanta, with an estimated 46.7% of them taking pictures of each other at any given moment.

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