Tybee Island B&B Memories: 1996 Olympics in Savannah USA

Tybee Island, Georgia USA — How can we think of Summer Olympics Games without reminiscing about the 1996 Summer Olympics yachting [now called sailing] events in Savannah, Georgia USA, near Tybee Island.*

Exciting 1996 Olympics in Savannah slide show produced by Savannah Morning News, posted on SavannahNow:

Former Innkeepers Share a Personal Olympics Story —

In 1996 former innkeepers Susie and Stuart lived in downtown Savannah on East Factors Walk. Their apartment had large sliding glass doors that opened up to a balcony overlooking River Street, meaning they had a “bird’s eye view” of the daily ships that came in and out of the Savannah Port. Plus, the couple was up close for all the fireworks on River Street.

Susie recalls, “I remember the morning of July 10, 1996, was overcast with slight rain in Savannah. But, that did not deter the enthusiastic 4,000 spectators gathered on River Street to greet the arrival of the Olympic Flame aboard the America. As the ship America sailed passed our balcony, the tugboats came out in full force with their nozzles spraying streams of pink and blue water. We had invited 10 to 12 friends to watch from our balcony and celebrate this historic event”.

She reports that the roar from the crowd was inspiring. The Olympic flame was passed from then-Georgia Governor Zell Miller who then passed it along to others.  “We watched as the flame continued along River Street, the first of many legs of relay around the city.  And a good time was had by all!”


In October 1995 Susie was in New York City to visit an art collector friend. They spent the days visiting air galleries and just enjoying the city. While out on our walk one day we passed a small Swatch shop and noticed they had a Swatch clock designed for the 1996 Olympic Games. Being an art collector she was interested in buying one but thought she could find it in Savannah when she returned home. My friend encouraged me to buy it then and have it mailed home. “I am so glad I took his advice. I found out they were not available to buy in Savannah and were only available to top committee members,” Susie recalls.

The 1996 Olympic Swatch clock was on displayed on a wall in the bed and breakfast for years. Great memories!

*Note:  The 1996 Summer Olympics were known officially as the Games of the XXVI Olympiad and officially as the Centennial Olympics.  The official opening date of the 1996 Summer Olympics was July 19, 1996, in Atlanta, Georgia.  The closing date was August 4, 1996.

For more information:

Lighthouse Inn, a Tybee Island beach inn
Historic Tybee Beach Bed and Breakfast Cottage, Celebrating 100 Years!
tybeebb.com | lighthouseinn@bellsouth.net
16 Meddin Drive | Tybee Island | Georgia | USA 31328
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