Bill Fields, 1952 Olympic Gold medalist in rowing, voiced a vision for Lake Lanier when he pitched the site to be home to the rowing events in the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta.
During the Olympics, rowers gathered from around the globe to compete here for the Gold; for the dream of being an Olympic Champion. Today, that legacy continues as teams continue to train and compete on the best water in the world.
Fields’ Family Legacy
Mr. Bill Fields was a member of the Great 8 rowing crew, who captured the Gold Medal in the 1952 Olympics. After his military service, he returned to Gainesville, where he consulted with the U.S. Olympic Atlanta Organizing Committee, who chose Lake Lanier to be the sight of the 1996 Rowing and Canoe/Kayak events.
Because of his role in creating Lake Lanier Olympic Park, we are proud to welcome visitors at our entrance with a beautiful butterfly garden in honor of him and his family. The Fields family will always hold a special place in our hearts as they are the reason the Lake Lanier Olympic Park exists.
1996 Olympic Games
The Lake Lanier Olympic Venue was built for the 1996 Olympic Rowing and Canoe/Kayak Competitions. The original timing tower remains today and is the last remaining venue from the 1996 Olympic Games that continues to be used for its original purpose.