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Former Atlanta Mayor Says Olympics Were A Boon To The City13:16Download

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Olympic rings adorn both sides of the steel bridge that will span the space from the Centennial Olympic Stadium, left, to the Olympic Cauldron as construction continues at the site in downtown Atlanta in 1996. (Ric Feld/AP)MoreCloseclosemore
Olympic rings adorn both sides of the steel bridge that will span the space from the Centennial Olympic Stadium, left, to the Olympic Cauldron as construction continues at the site in downtown Atlanta in 1996. (Ric Feld/AP)

As we all know, Boston's Olympic bid has sharply divided Massachusetts voters. And, on this program, we've heard from the critics. We'll hear from them again — but now, let's hear from a major Olympic booster. Andrew Young is the former mayor of Atlanta who served as co-chairman of the Atlanta Committee for the 1996 Olympic Games. He's also a former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N.

In The Boston Globe, Young argued that the Atlanta Olympics sparked billions of dollars in investment and development, expanded affordable housing and extended Atlanta's civil rights legacy. Young says, "The same can hold true for the people of Boston."

Guest

Andrew Young, former mayor of Atlanta. He's an activist and pastor who served as a congressman representing Georgia's 5th congressional district. He was also United States ambassador to the United Nations. He tweets @AmbAndrewYoung.

Curt Nickisch, WBUR's business and technology reporter. He tweets @CurtNickisch.

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The Boston Globe: The Olympics — A Dream Worth Chasing

  • "One of the best things ever to happen to Atlanta was when Billy Payne came to talk to me about bidding for the Olympic Games. Billy was a University of Georgia football hero with a volunteer spirit and a deep desire to turn Atlanta into a global stage. At the time it seemed like a ridiculous idea, but there was something about the Olympics that was magic."

This segment aired on May 26, 2015.

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