Tuesday Talk: A Spectacular return to Centennial Olympic Park

Tuesday Talk rounds up the latest Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA) news you might have missed and also points forward to upcoming events on our campus.

A month shy of the 1-year anniversary of its original installation at Centennial Olympic Park, The Spectacular is back.

Crews hoist The Spectacular back into place at Centennial Olympic Park on Monday, Nov. 4.

Removed from the Park in late September for maintenance, the colorful 5,000-pound plate aluminum sculpture depicting the Olympic rings stands at 11 feet tall and spans 23-and-a-half feet wide. After its December 2018 installation, it quickly became an iconic fixture in Centennial Olympic Park and a popular spot for photo ops.

Because the sculpture is designed to be interactive – i.e. many guests climb on it to pose for pictures – and because it endures the outdoor elements, it has required frequent paint touch-ups.

So the piece was uninstalled and transported back to the shop where it was fabricated, Henry Incorporated in DeKalb County, where the maintenance was performed.

As of this morning (Nov. 5), construction fencing still surrounded The Spectacular (as pictured above) because grout needed to be applied around the pedestal base, but the barriers are scheduled to be removed by Thursday (Nov. 7).

The Spectacular is intended to strengthen the Park’s Olympic heritage while providing interactive opportunities for guests to create memories – namely selfies.

If you do take a Spectacular selfie, make sure you tag us: #SpectacularSelfie.


ICYMI (In Case You Missed It): And staying with Park news, the Atlanta Business Chronicle broke the story late last week that the GWCCA plans to honor Richard Jewell with a plaque at the site of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bombing.

Jewell, a security guard who was initially hailed as a hero for finding the bomb and then was tabbed as a suspect by the FBI, eventually had his name cleared as domestic terrorist Eric Rudolph was convicted in 2005 for the bombing.

Jewell is the subject of the namesake Clint Eastwood-directed film, “Richard Jewell” coming out in December which was shot in part at the Park this summer, recreating the vibes of the Olympic gathering spot and the fatal blast that took the life of 44-year-old Alice Hawthorne, and injured more than 100 in the crowd that fateful summer night in 1996.

Cover of new book about the Centennial Olympic Park bombing set for release Nov. 12.

In addition, a book entitled “The Suspect: An Olympic bombing, the FBI, the media and Richard Jewell, the Man Caught in the Middle,” is set for release on Nov. 12.

A plaque unveiling ceremony honoring Jewell is scheduled for March 2.

For more, see the ABC article here (but be forewarned, it is behind a subscription paywall): https://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/news/2019/11/01/olympics-bombing-hero-richard-jewell-to-be-honored.html.


Continuing through Wednesday (Nov. 6), the Association of Air Medical Service’s Air Medical Transport Conference kicked off Monday (Nov. 4) at the GWCC’s Building C. The conference, geared toward air and ground emergency medical transport providers, features a variety of aircraft on the show floor. The conference typically attracts 2,300 attendees, across various medical and aviation disciplines, from respitory therapists to paramedics to pilots.

The Atlanta Regional Commission’s State of the Region Breakfast returns to the GWCC’s Georgia Ballroom on Friday (Nov. 8), bringing together more than 1,500 civic, elected business and community leaders to explore key issues facing the 10-county region. The event, which is sold out, is from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

President Trump on stage at the National Rifle Association Annual Meeting & Exhibits in 2017 at the GWCC.

President Donald Trump returns to the GWCC on Friday (Nov. 8) for the launch of the Black Voices for Trump coalition ahead of the 2020 election. The event starts at 3 p.m. Friday in Exhibit Halls C2-C4.To register for tickets, click here.

Starting at the GWCCA’s International Plaza and ending on the 50-yard line inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the 5k/Walk Like MADD race is set for Saturday (Nov. 9). The race is a benefit for MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers) Georgia. To participate in the race, click here. For spectators, the event is free. The 5K begins at 7:30 a.m.

Campus good neighbor State Farm Arena hosts a trio of Atlanta Hawks games this week and caps off the weekend with another concert. First up, the Hawks battle the San Antonio Spurs at 7:30 tonight (Nov. 5). The youthful Hawks are back at it again on Wednesday (Nov. 6) with a matchup against the Chicago Bulls. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m. The Hawks get a one-day breather before hitting the court again for a Friday (Nov. 8) night tilt against the Sacramento Kings. Tipoff is again at 7:30 p.m. On Saturday, rock duo The Black Keys bring their “Let’s Rock Tour” to the arena, with opening acts Modest Mouse and Shannon & the Clams. Showtime is 7 p.m. Tickets for State Farm Arena events are available via Ticketmaster.com.