Izzy, the WTF Mascot of the Atlanta Olympics

Izzy, described variously as a tear, a glob of toothpaste, and road kill, was originally called Whatizit. The Olympic mascot is intended to remind people of the host city or region. Given a chance to define Atlanta, the host committee came up with a fat blue zero. The marketing and branding blunder was mitigated somewhat through a public campaign to remake Izzy with a focus on youth appeal. Billy Payne, the glad-handling wizard who brought the Olympics to Atlanta over Athens, Toronto and Melbourne, chose the design after looking at the ten finalists for a few minutes, and before his staff had arrived for the day. Here is the behind-the-scenes story of what happened after that fateful decision.

What is it? An oral history of Izzy, the mascot marketing snafu of Olympic proportions

AtlantaMagazine.com, July, 2016

The 1996 Olympic Bombing in Atlanta

Here are two pieces dedicated to the Olympic Park bombing in 1996. The first is from Sports Illustrated and includes shocking quotes from the cowardly bomber, Eric Rudolph. The second is from Atlanta Magazine and includes extensive anecdotes from security guard Richard Jewell, who was on the scene and was wrongly accused of the crime.

An oral history of the bombing that rocked the 1996 Atlanta Games

SI.com, 7.24.12

Fallout: An oral history of the Olympic Park bombing

AtlantaMagazine.com, 7.1.11