Atlanta, 1996: Games turn 100 with Ali
Despite his struggles with Parkinson’s disease, former heavyweight boxing champion and Olympic gold medalist Muhammad Ali lit the Olympic flame during the opening ceremony of the 1996 Atlanta Games. It was an emotional start to the Olympics’ Centennial.
Sydney, 2000: North and South Korea unite
In a short-lived moment of alliance, North and South Korea marched together for the first time in Sydney’s opening ceremony. Rather than carry their respective national flags, the North and South Korean teams (in identical uniforms) joined hands and waved a unification flag featuring a blue map of Korea.
Athens, 2004: Medal design corrected
A new medal was distributed to winners at the Athens Games, replacing the long-standing design by Italian sculptor Giuseppe Cassioli that incorrectly depicted the Roman Colosseum rather than a Greek venue. Olympic medals now feature the Panathinaiko Stadium in Athens, one of the world’s oldest stadiums and the site of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.