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The site below was placed online in July & August, 1996, and has largely been left in its original form
Opening Ceremonies....The Second Half
I know opinions vary wildly about the Parade of Nations. Even the I.O.C. is talking about at least shortening it. On TV, it has a certain charm, especially with the added trivia and anecdotes about the nations and athletes. But let me tell ya, as a spectator event, it's not so charming. It's like one long half time show, and people treated it accordingly. Bathrooms and hot dogs were the priority, and this is when Charlie and I swapped seats.
20k-USA team enters

My new location was one section to the left of the ramp the athletes careened down, up high, near the center of the north side of the stadium. Most importantly, I was in that seat well before the dramatic entrance of the U.S. team. If that doesn't make you get serious chills on top of your goose bumps, you need to see a coroner....you may be dead.24k-USA team parades

Being in the stadium meant that I did not see individual athletes. Michael Johnson and Teresa Edwards looked just like Joe and Jane America from my seat. Although most of these athletes compete as indiviuals, this was a team, OUR team, and the moment was electric.......

And then the big moment....the arrival of the flame and the lighting of the cauldron....you're just one click away....

To see PHOTOS of the torch, go to the NEXT PAGE

[click the cauldron
for more stuff I saw]
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