I was in Centennial Olympic Park hours before the bomb went off. I’d watched women’s volleyball. Maybe I even passed Eric Rudolph on the street (me and thousands of others) as I wandered around.

It’s hard to believe the guy who saved so many lives — and was subsequently slimed by the government so that people would relax and party again — has died at 44.

The Atlanta Olympics are a very fond memory for me. Despite the media’s carping, they were great. I met people from all over the world, saw the women’s gymnastics team perform, watched Gwen Torrence and Gail Devers triumph in the beautiful Olympic Stadium. I remember Michael Johnson’s golden shoes and Carl Lewis’ last dance and getting angry because the TV kept cutting away from women’s soccer for more sob stories.

I love the olympics. Hate the terrible TV coverage, but love the games. I can’t wait until next year. I’ll probably watch on the internet. Hopefully, the Aussies will come through for us again and bust the Chinese swimming team for steroid use before the games begin.

One day, I want to see the olympics again. My only regret is that I didn’t spend more time and money there during the fantastic summer of ’96. Yeah, maybe I’m worshiping at the altar of crass commercialism. But I can worship where I want.

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