As it was 100 years ago that the olympics were re-invented, everybody expected that Athens would be the host city in 1996. The IOC decided different: it became Atlanta - USA.
Atlanta 1996 will be remembered as Games with a very commercial character and because of the bomb-incident in Centennial Park halfway the Games, this happened despite all security measures. A total of 111 people were injured and 2 were dead (1 heart-attack included). The perpetrator was Eric Robert Rudolph, arrested in 2003 and sentenced to life imprisonment. His intention was to get the Games cancelled because of some abortion issue. He committed three more bomb attacks in 1997.
Changes included that demonstration sports were no longer part of this and future Games and all 197 participating countries affiliated through the Olympic Stadium for the first time in history. President Bill Clinton opened the Games and Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay) enlighted the eternal olympic flame, a very emotional moment for a lot of spectators known to his professional boxing carreer and what happened after that.
In total 8.6 mln tickets were sold which facilitated a very good attendance in the stadiums.
The most astonishing sportive moment was the athletics 200m final with Michael Johnson (USA) in the lead. He won in 19.32 seconds, unbelievable fast.