Greece is the birthplace of the ancient Olympics, and the Games have long held a
rm foothold in Greek national identity. Many expected the IOC to award the
1996 Olympics to Athens to mark the 100-year anniversary of the Games’ revival
in the Greek city. But to the bitter chagrin of many in Greece, the IOC picked
Atlanta, leading Greek actress and former minister of culture Melina Mercouri to
remark caustically, “Coca Cola won over the Parthenon.” Coca-Cola is head-
quartered in Atlanta and has been a longtime corporate sponsor of the Games.