If you are reading this in Atlanta, I apologise in advance. My memories of this event are entirely to do with how bad the Games were. Not that I was there, but the news media was full of complaints that it took too long to get into events, that the transport system was rubbish, that venues were too far apart and generally a negative picture of the whole city was painted.
At this point, I will interrupt what burgeoning narrative there is to this entry to say that I have flown via Atlanta on many occasions and have only ever found the people to be friendly and hospitable. In fact, the one time that something to the contrary looked like happening, a colleague intervened and resolved the issue within minutes. Which is pretty remarkable for airport staff and gives me view of the place which I certainly don’t have of supposedly more welcoming places such as North Carolina. But I digress.
The five hour time difference was a boon for me, because it meant that the events I wanted to see were mostly happening after I returned home from work. I saw Redgrave and Pinsent win Britain’s only gold medal and heard the famous quote live afterwards. I was there, sat on the sofa of our little attic flat in Surrey, groaning as the likes of Steve Backley, Roger Black and Jonathan Edwards just failed to reach the gold standard. Atlanta might have been a disaster for the Great Britain team and for the city, but for me it was actually a lot better than any Games since Moscow.