BE READY FOR IT IN ATLANTA
- Soaring temperatures and humidity...Atlanta has been touted as "the
most extreme climate the Games have ever been hosted in." Coaches for
sports such as track and sailing are extremely worried about the possible
problems associated with such conditions, namely dehydration and heat exhaustion.
Water bottles will be a key item in the team kits this summer-and doctors
warn that thirst is not a reliable sign that the body is in need of liquids.
They recommend consuming one or two cups of cool (not cold) water before
starting an activity, followed by a cup every 20 minutes during prolonged
activity in the heat.
Good news: the athlete residences are air-conditioned in Atlanta!
- Heavy traffic...a number of polls have shown that over half of Atlanta
citizens wish another city had been granted the 1996 Olympic Games, and
almost as many will be leaving Atlanta for the duration of the Games. In
a city that has problems dealing with daily traffic, much of the city will
simply be blocked off. Expect to be sitting in that shuttle bus a few minutes
longer than usual when Atlanta welcomes the whole world.
- High security...despite an overall drop of 2 per cent in the U.S.
national crime rate in 1995, the crime rate in Atlanta rose 4 per cent,
a heartening thought for those headed to Atlanta this summer.
A total of 10,500 athletes from 197 countries will attend the Games, along
with 30 heads of state, so security will no doubt be the tightest yet: the
Olympic security contingent will consist of 8,500 U.S. troops, and 2,500
federal agents and Georgia state and local police (figures from The Globe
and Mail ). Of the $227 million the federal government will spend on
the Games, $69.8 million of it will go toward security.
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