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Olympic Park Bombing Story Page

ACOG president: Bomb will not ruin Olympic spirit

Image of Payne

July 27, 1996
Web posted at: 10:45 p.m. EDT

ATLANTA (CNN) -- The president of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympics Games was awakened early Saturday with the horrifying news: A bomb had jolted Centennial Olympic Park, killing one person and injuring more than 100 others. Another man died of a heart attack.

In an interview with CNN, Billy Payne admitted the Olympic spirit has been "diminished momentarily" in Atlanta. But although spirit might be down, it's not out.

"There's a strong and indomitable spirit, and it's going to come back even in the midst of our grief," Payne said.

He said fans turned out en masse for Olympic matches and competitions Saturday, and he maintained that the city and Olympic revelers would not be intimidated by the act of terrorism.

Here are highlights from the interview:

Sound IconPayne's reaction to the news (179K AIFF or WAV sound)
Sound IconWhat Centennial Park symbolizes (255K AIFF or WAV sound)
Sound IconWill Centennial Park reopen? (111K AIFF or WAV sound)
Sound IconPrecautions when and if the park reopens (298K AIFF or WAV sound)
Sound IconBomb's immediate impact on 1996 Games (323K AIFF or WAV sound)
Sound IconOlympic Spirit (77K AIFF or WAV sound)
Sound IconAssurance of safety for Olympic visitors (281K AIFF or WAV sound)
Olympic park bombing Sights and sounds
The investigation
The victims
Olympic security
Impact on the games
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