The study will also focus on Atlanta, the winning bidder where the Centennial Olympics or the 1996 Summer Olympics was held, and the whole effect of the win on the local economic development, knowledge and innovation and on the area or region itself.
The Olympic Games dates back some 3,000 years ago or 776 BC in Peloponnese in Greece (IOC, 2006). The event was dedicated to the Olympian gods and staged for about 12 centuries on the plains of Olympia until Emperor Theodosius banned it for its pagan content in 393 AD (IOC, 2006). Today, it is an international multi-sport event as revived by French nobleman Pierre Fredy, Baron de Coubertein in the late 19th century with the vision and goal of a peaceful assembly of nations with the youths competing in sports rather than war. The modern Olympics now encompass both summer and winter games (Wikipedia, 2006). It is now held every four years as hosted by a different country's city each time. It has launched the successful career of athletes all over the world.
Two years prior to choosing the next city in 1990, the bid for the 1996 Olympics commenced and five cities applied: Athens of Greece, Belgrade of Serbia (formerly Yugoslavia), Manchester of United Kingdom, Melbourne of Australia and Toronto of Canada. As early as November 1997, countries were already electing their city candidates so that by the following year, the International Olympics Committee already sent out invitations to National Olympic Committees (NOCs) for submission of applicant cities. By January, examination of applicants begun and in May, 1990, candidate cities were short-listed by the IOC executive board. A Candidate City Observer Program is entailed and the first half of 1990 was spent evaluating the candidate cities. Prior to the September 1990 announcement in Tokyo, Japan, a lot of changes already occurred in each candidate city and this study will try to chronicle and present these changes by governmental policy perspective, local development, knowledge and innovation, and the region focusing on winning bidder Atlanta in Georgia, United States of America.
Atlanta, as pointed out by the Georgia Humanities Council (2006) not only won because of its presentor and conceiver Billy Payne and mayor Andrew Young's dedication and government cooperation but it's warm southern hospitality and the city's unique heritage as the birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr., a major center of civil rights struggle.
As former football player at the University of Georgia Payne conceived the idea of hosting the 1996 Summer Olympics, Atlanta Mayor Young joined the quest and sold the idea to local business leaders, and then to the U.S. Olympic Committee and the IOC. A two-volume bid document was produced with the outline of the city planning for the sporting event, financial support and accommodations. It competed against the five other bidders and the two bid leaders