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26 Jul 2021
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With the Tokyo Olympics taking place, here’s a throwback to Savannah’s connection to the games.

It’s a little-known fact that Savannah hosted Olympic yachting events in the summer of 1996. Atlanta hosted the Centennial Olympic Games that year, but the city is landlocked, so Savannah hosted yachting sports. About a dozen yachting races took place during the Olympics at Wassaw Sound and in the open ocean near Little Tybee Island. 


Because of the distance between Savannah and Atlanta, Olympic officials decided to hold separate opening and closing ceremonies in Savannah, which included the official Olympic flame. The flame entered Georgia through Savannah’s port, aboard the tall ship, Eagle. 


Visit River Street to see the Olympic Yachting Cauldron, also known as the Olympic Torch Sculpture, lit at the start of the games. The monument now stands in Morrell Park, with five columns that pay tribute to the Olympic rings and the statue’s fire bowl.


Here’s another piece of local Olympic trivia: Savannah is the hometown of Olympic medalist Cheryl Haworth, a weightlifter who won a bronze in 2000 and was national champion from 1998-2005. 


If you’re visiting Savannah during this year’s Olympic Games, head to one of the local pubs to watch the competition. 

Cheer Team USA on at the Savannah Taphouse on East Broughton, just a few blocks from the Olympic Cauldron. Savannah Taphouse has 40 beers on tap, including many local brews. But, they also serve more than 100 bottled varieties. Celebrate with an import from Ireland, Mexico, Germany, Belgium, England, Scotland, Canada, or the Netherlands. 

Or head to Dub’s Pub, a sports bar on River Street. The pub has a dozen TVs, along with traditional pub fare and games. Check out their inventive cocktail list. 


For Mediterranean flavor in celebration of the originators of the games, try Olympia Cafe. Located in Rousakis Riverfront Plaza on East River Street, the charming cafe serves traditional Greek food, pizza, pasta, and seafood. 


And because this year’s games are in Tokyo, why not enjoy some Japanese cuisine. Yatai in City Market, a brightly decorated cafe on Barnard Street, offers Japanese street food like build-your-own bowl ramen, sizzling plates of skewered meats, and teriyaki. 


Savannah is perfect for any celebration, including the Olympics. Stay in our Congress Street Retreat four-bedroom property or the three-bedroom Broughton Deco. Either way, you’ll have top-notch accommodations fit for a champ!