Olympic Photo Album

Max & John Buten at the Olympic Games

Your ticket to the Olympic Games!

I know what you're thinking... I can't even make plans for Thursday night let alone a year in advance, how did I ever get the gumption to get tickets to those Olympic games? The answer is simple. I of course had nothing to do with it. My brother Collin and my father had attended the Los Angeles and Montreal games and thought ahead to get tickets to Atlanta. I don't know all of the details, but it did involve committing several hundred dollars to the ACOG on the off chance that you were drawn by lottery for the tickets you asked for.

Then struck dumb luck. Collin's plane ticket to Atlanta on ValueJet was regretfully refunded, and his new (sort-of) job etc. conspired to prevent him from going (he had a fever the weekend we left too). As the opening ceremonies were going on, we were looking into selling the tickets and into hotel availabilities at the same time. In the end, we piled our bicycles, our luggage, and a case of spring water into the Camry along with a one-inch thick AAA trip-tick and were off (at the ungodly hour of 4:00am) to Atlanta.

Pulled Pork at the Velodrome

Aggressively Friendly Hospitality at the Varsity

The Lovesong of J. Alfred Buterock


Knew the eatin' was going to be good when we took a half hour detour to have lunch in North Carolina at Lexington Barbecue. I am proud to say, a day did not go by south of the Mason Dixon line when I didn't have pork barbecue at least once (if not twice). Lexington was good, but I'm partial to black barbecue over white (the difference has to do with vinegar vs. sauce). Daddy D's on Day two was good, but Aleck's near Clark University Campus on Atlanta's West side was Pig-o-licious. "Ramshackle" doesn't do this place justice... the boards looked like they were ready to come off the walls as easily as the fatty meat eased off the ribs that were by far the best I ever ate. In the back they have MLK's favorite booth set up as a sort of shrine. I wanted to get a picture of the cook standing in front of his cobble-stone oven, but he was too busy fighting with his staff of one ("Don't you lay your hands on me!") to be bothered. Not to let any inferior barbecue touch our lips, we stopped off in Chapel Hill on the way back for Fried Chicken at Momma Dips' Country Kitchen.

Silver Medalist Marty Nothstein playing the waiting game

Italian Superwoman pursuiter Antonella Bellutti

The Spanish pursuit team

French Road Team: JaJa 3rd from left

Cycling Action

Marty Nothstein looked very strong in the first round of the Match Sprint, easily powering around the Italian in the last curve to advance. Womens IP hopeful Rebecca Twigg looked weak as reported, and was eliminated. The US team pursuit but in a good effort, but just weren't strong enough to keep up with the Australians and were eliminated. The stars of the day were Felecia Ballanger of France, who handily won her sprints, even waiting out a complete 2:59 track stand by one challenger and Antonella Bellutti who lapped her opponent 8 laps into the 12 lap individual pursuit. We biked to the event, which was no fun after getting up at 4 the morning before and a 15 hour drive. Directions were bad and we had to bike all the way around the Stone Mountain park from the South entrance to the West enterance (the Memorial Drive enterence,even thoug Memorial Drive has been re-named). The highlight, though was cruising through the park with all of the sprinters doing warm-up laps on their road bikes. On the way out, ran into the French road team... I know Jalabert's the one who looks like he just ate some particularly stinky cheese, but would like to know who the other gens are.

Shot Put Gold Medalist Randy Barnes after his final & winning throw.

Gold Medalist Michael Johnson in the 400 semis (look for the gold shoes)

100M Gold Medalist Donovan Bailey - fastest man on earth

100M Gold Medalist Gail Devers - fastest woman on earth

Triple Jump Gold Medalist Kenny Harrison in instant replay

Track & Field Action

Whew, did we see some track & field. Got to our seats Friday just in time to see Michael Johnson jog through his qualifying heat for the 440M. On Saturday, in the second round, he didn't run much harder, but hard enough that he didn't look around to see how far ahead he was more than twice. Saw Randy Barnes toss the winning put. Saw Kenny Harrison jump the winning tripple jump (& following back-flip). We watched through our binnoculars to see some poor volunteer instruct Linford Christie that he was going through the improper exit and would have to leave the track another way. My dad saw Donovan Bailey break the Olympic Record in the 100 he had seen Carl Lewis set 12 years before. And saw Gail Devers & Gwen Torrence take a victory lap together. We were at the far corner of the track, so we couldn't see as much of the 100 action as we could of the 200 (the heptathalon 200 start was spitting distance from us). But the real point of going, I guess is to be able to watch the sports on TV, since you're not likely to see much of them on NBC.

Crowds weren't too bad, except at the security checks

Haie Norge! (pronounced Hi-yeah Nor-gay)

Hibe-Hibe! Pakistan! (or something vaguely like that)

What else to say? We were on MARTA the morning after the bombing and saw an unattended suitcase. The New Yorker in me didn't want to say anything lest it delay our passage to the Boxing venue... but we had to do something when our pointing roused a five year old to ask, "Mommy, do you thing there's dynamite in it?" As a MARTA employee on the platform grabbed the bag and yanked it from the car, a man rushed up to claim his bag. After some kindly reprimands that he not leave his bag unattended, the car joined together for a chorus of Tammy Wynet's "Stand by Your Bag". My dad was interviewed by the Atlanta NBC affilliate and by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, but he doesn't give good sound-bite.

We sold our Sunday Track & Field Tickets (in part to pay for the pricey boxing seats the day before) and went to the lesser desired sports... Men's Field Hockey & Women's Team Handball. We found seats at field hockey in the middle of the Pakistani booster section. Though out of the medals, Pakistan was happy to trounce Argentina. The Argentines in the stands were content to do the hand signs to the Village People's YMCA -- the international language of disco. The first half of the handball double-header saw USA face the favorite Hungary. Most Americans in the crowd wouldn't have known what to cheer for if it hadn't been for the hundreds of Norwegians sitting together who were expected to meet Hungary in the finals. They came with t-shirts, special Olympic engraved cow-bells, plenty of flags, a big drum, and even a guy in a viking costume (look for him at the front of the photo) wielding a sword (how'd he get that through the gates?). The US team fell way behind in the first half, but came back in the second with the help of some Hungarian fouls & power plays to come close to tying it up. Norway defeated Germany in a reasonably close match.

This page last updated June 14, 2002.

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