Twenty Years ago I had the honor to work at the Atlanta 1996 Summer Olympic Games.Growing up I viewed the Olympics as nations coming together with peaceful intent to showcase their best athletes. To see the best of the best whether it be team sports or individual I was always enthralled and engaged, via the TV.
Now, this was an opportunity to see it up close, and personal. I had secured a month long sabbatical from work, and had conditioned myself to be outside in the hot Atlanta summer.
I was assigned to the two field hockey venues which were on the Clark/Atlanta University system campus. When I put my application in I had listed event management of Ice Hockey which was gaining popularity in Huntsville, at the time. I guess whoever read the application decided ice hockey and field hockey were a lot alike.
The first two weeks were spent helping putting the “look” of the two stadiums together. As the construction crews were hurriedly finishing up construction of the roadways, external stadium entrances, and pedestrian walkway between the two stadia, we put up banners, signage, and did other tasks. We were actually expensive labor, as all 14 of us were getting paid.
Our official titles were “Sector Coordinators”, which meant…….we managed the sectors in the public areas of each assigned venue. The team comprised of people from all over the United States. Each day of competition there were volunteers who had signed up to take tickets and usher people to their seats. We worked with them to make sure all went smooth for each game.
I was honored to represent the United States, during these games, and had a great experience working with the team. It was also an honor to be able to interact with people from all over the world who came to the Olympic games to cheer for their team.