Last Updated: 20/06/12 1:30pm
American hero and boxing legend Muhammad Ali got Atlanta off to an emotional start as he lit the Olympic flame for the 1996 Games.
Sadly, a terrorist atrocity overshadowed the start of the Olympics when a bomb blast in the Centennial Olympic Park killed one person and injured a further 110, but everyone was determined not to let the tragedy ruin the event.
Atlanta's staging of the Olympics did come under some criticism for being too commercial, but the event did help in transforming the city into a more modern, cosmopolitan city.
The 85,000-capacity Olympic Stadium was designed specifically to be reconfigured after the Games to form Turner Field - home of the city's baseball team the Atlanta Braves.
A record 197 nations took part in the Games, with a record 79 of them winning at least one medal - while 24 debutants took part including 11 former Soviet nations.
Canadian Donovan Bailey set a world record time of 9.84secs in the 100m, while also clocking up the fastest top speed ever clocked of 27.07 mph during the race.
American Carl Lewis became only the fourth person to win the same individual event four times (long jump) and the fourth person to earn a ninth gold medal.
Countryman Michael Johnson's double success over 200m and 400m was the first for a man in Olympic history, setting a new world record of 19.32 seconds in the 200m.
Steve Redgrave (his fourth) and Matthew Pinsent (his second) rowed to gold in the coxless pairs - Britain's only triumph of the Games.
France's Marie-Jose Perec won the 200m and then broke the 400m Olympic record, the best performance for 10 years. She became the most successful French female athlete of all time and the first sportswoman to win the Olympic title over 400m twice consecutively.Hubert Raudaschl (AUT) became the first person ever to compete in nine Olympics, and it could have been ten had he been more than just a reserve in 1960.
Who can forget Michael Johnson's golden feet in Atlanta? The American may have had an unconventional running style but it got him round half and a full lap of the track faster than anyone else.
Johnson broke the Olympic record when dominating the 400m final, before becoming the first man ever to win both that and the 200m with a world record over half a lap - he then added 4x400m gold just for good measure.
Marie-Jose Perec sealed her place as the best ever French female athlete as she matched Johnson's 200m/400m double - just the second woman ever to do so at an Olympics.
Perec claimed more history as winning the 400m saw her become the first athlete ever to make a successful defence of the one-lap title in Olympic history.
Gymnast Kerri Strug showed remarkable bravery to help the 'The Magnificent Seven' of the USA win their first ever women's team gold and finally overcoming the powerhouses from Russia.
Going last on the vault, Strug badly injured her ankle on her first attempt, but bravely went again, nailed the landing practically on one foot, before collapsing in pain and needing assistance to leave the floor - all to ensure the home team picked up gold.
Turkish weightlifter Naim Suleymanoglu, known as the 'Pocket Hercules', became the first weightlifter to win three Olympic gold medals in Atlanta, and secured his place as a national hero.
In that famous quote from a Turkish journalist: "When he eats at a restaurant, nobody asks him to pay the bill; if he breaks the speed limit, he does not get fined, and the police wish him a pleasant journey."
DOB: 17/5/1956 Event: Boxing Medals: 1 gold Flag: USA
A week into the Games of the XXX Olympiad, Richard Moore brings us his half-way highs and lows
Linford Christie sprinted to 100m gold for Britain at an Olympic Games best remembered for America's basketball dream team.