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Coming Sunday: The '96 Olympics revisited
Coverage looks at Lake Lanier venue then and now
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Check back Sunday for a multimedia Olympic retrospective of photos and Times' front pages from the 1996 Games.

Fifteen years ago this week, Clarks Bridge Park was teeming with thousands of spectators, athletes and media members in town for the 1996 Olympics.

The rowing, canoeing and kayaking events at the venue put Gainesville and Hall County on the world map for two weeks that summer. Late NBC sportscaster Charlie Jones even referred to Gainesville as "the hospitality capital of the world."

Today, the venue remains the home for the local rowing and paddling clubs and numerous annual events, one of few Olympic venues still in use. But time and competition have stolen some of the luster from the site, leaving its future as a world-class facility in doubt.

In Sunday's editions, we'll take a look back at the excitement of the '96 Games, through the eyes of local residents and Times staff members from that era, and look ahead at what might be next for the venue.

At, you'll find a photo gallery from the Games and a look at The Times' front pages from that two-week span when the world came to North Georgia.

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