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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 First Half
First of all, let me explain the vantage points for the photos. Charlie had two tickets widely separated, so we decided to swap seats during the (interminable) Parade of Nations. For the first half, if Bill Clinton looked at the section to his left, I was in the 12th row, less than 20 yards from the action. I got the first of many goose bump attacks the moment I sat down.

I was sitting with a bunch of Canadians, and as much as I tried to be a model Atlantan in our pre-show small talk, once the action began, I'm sure they thought I was the prototypical crazy American. I really *got off* on the opening Call to the Tribes, and I was whoopin', and laughin', and shootin'....generally letting loose the emotions of six year's anticipation.
27k-olympic spirits23k-olympic spirit

While I was blown away, it was not because of the intricate subtext of the Olympics Spirits calling to the Tribes of Nations from the five continents. Those of us at the stadium didn't have the benefit of Bob Costas coaching us through what was happening. I didn't know what it was, I just knew there were some truly cool things happenin' in my viewfinder. A visual feast, and I chowed down!
It was the most incredible experience of my life, yet one of the most difficult to shoot. Yeah, there was the technical difficulties, with wildly varying theatrical lighting, and at times, not a lot of it.....but I'm pretty used to that. The problem was being overwhelmed by the emotion and spectacle of the moment, and suddenly remembering, "oh, yeah, I've got a camera in my hand."

I wish I always had such problems. Somehow, I struggled through....

There are more MORE PHOTOS from the first half
on the NEXT PAGE

[click the cauldron
for more stuff I saw]
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