Georgia Power Energizes Olympic Stadium With Ceremonial Lighting Show

Georgia Power Co. President and Chief Executive Officer Allen Franklin threw the power switch at dusk Friday to turn on the lights for the first time at the new Olympic Stadium. Billy Payne, president and chief executive officer of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games joined Franklin on the field as an orchestrated show of lights, a waterfall of fireworks and music filled the stadium.

Georgia Power is the Official Power Source of the 1996 Olympic Games, the Official Power Source of The Atlanta Grand Prix -- the first event held in the Olympic Stadium -- and Official Sponsor of the evening’s lighting ceremonies.

“Tonight we show the world that Atlanta is ready to stage the greatest sporting event in the city’s history,” said Franklin. “And Georgia Power is proud of its decade-long commitment of continuous, uninterrupted support to Billy Payne and his dream of bringing the Olympics to the American South.”

The lighting ceremony showcased Georgia Power’s core business -- energy -- within the environment of the most important architectural legacy of the 1996 Olympic Games.

It was a night of celebration as Payne and Franklin were joined by Vice President Al Gore, President of the International Amateur Athletic Federation, Primo Nebiolo, track star Edwin Moses and guests of the Atlanta Grand Prix. The public dedication of the new stadium will take place Saturday before the Atlanta Grand Prix. The Grand Prix competition will be televised nationally on TNT Sports beginning at 1 p.m.

“Olympic Stadium is the single largest legacy of Atlanta’s decade-long Olympic effort and our gift to the people of this great city,” said Payne. “The seats are in, the track is down, the grass is up and the lights are on. We’re ready.”

Approximately 200 athletes from 30 countries will give the new stadium its first real test. Atlanta Grand Prix competitors representing the United States include Carl Lewis, LeRoy Burrell, Gail Devers, Michael Johnson, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Dan O’Brien, Gwen Torrence, Derrick Adkins, Allen Johnson and Derek Mills.