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And indeed, the ceremony — which took place against a backdrop of the Georgia Aquarium, The World of Coca Cola, the College Football Hall of Fame and other nearby attractions built since 1996 — featured a fair amount of braggin’ by various speakers on how much of an economic and development engine the Games were and continue to be. The Almighty also figured into several speeches as when Young mentioned that Payne had come up with his idea to bid on the Games after spending time in church and having some heart problems.
“Billy didn’t seen the Olympics as a religious act,” Young, who traveled to 110 countries with Payne during the bidding process and later became ACOG’s co-chairman, told the crowd with a chuckle. “But, well, the Lord knows how to get your attention.”
GHS erects and maintains about 2350 markers around the state, some dating to the Civil War or earlier. This newest marker also covers the most recent period of history of any of them, Groce said. But that’s not the only reason it stands out, Reed said.
“Once we won the Atlanta Olympic Games, we never doubted ourselves again,” said the mayor, ticking off accomplishments ranging from the city’s perennial ranking as the world’s busiest airport and home to a large concentration of Fortune 500 companies to its role as the site of an upcoming Super Bowl and NCCA basketball Final Four. “So this historical marker will serve as a reminder to everybody who crosses its path … that the city of Atlanta is a place where you can bring and build your dreams.”