Savannah’s Olympic history now available online

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Just in time for the Rio Olympics Savannah’s Olympic history is now online.

It’s been 20 years since the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. The sailing and yachting events were held in the water just off shore from the Hostess City and now the archives are available to you online.

Savannah City Hall July, 1996, the Centennial Olympic Flag unfurls. It was the 100 year anniversary of the Modern Olympic Games, hosted in Atlanta, but with the yachting events just off the Savannah Coast.

“We had a lot of photographs, we had plaques and awards to our mayor and the city,” says Savannah Library & Archives Director Luciana Spracher. “It was great for us to look back and we wanted to be able to share those things with our citizens.”

The archives include dozens of photographs, both professional and candid, even shots of the crowd as the torch passed through Savannah.

“It’s nice to see that everybody came out to watch it,” says Spracher.

The marks from those Olympics are visible throughout the citt, from the Olympic Torch Sculpture along the Riverfront to the celebration of the sailing events at Lake Mayer. But now the archives are online too.

“What the yachting events were, what type of ships were sailing .25 a timeline of all the activities,” says Spracher.

Spracher and her team in Savannah’s Library and Archives Department wanted to celebrate the 20 year anniversary and make it easy for us to see that history.

“If you weren’t there it will help you understand what was going on and if you were there it’ll be a great way for you to remember,” she says.

You can see the photos, read the history, even check out Savannah’s Olympic Flag and watch two Olympic themed episodes of Savannah’s former government channel show Civic Magazine all online at www.SavannahGA.gov/Olympics.

“Being part of the Olympic Games was really special,” says Spracher.

On a fun side note, WSAV News 3’s Tina Tyus-Shaw was one of the torch bearers for that Olympic Run through Savannah.

Remember you can watch the Rio Olympics starting Friday, August 5, on WSAV News 3.

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