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Old Thu Aug 19, 2004, 09:08pm
Atl Blue Atl Blue is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 159
I worked as one of the Official Scorers for the 1996 Olympics. We were also certified by the IBA (International Baseball Federation). We were considered as the same credentials class as the umpires, and roomed with them in the same dorm (although the same in class, I would have MUCH rather been on the field!). In the 96 Olympics, the US umps were D-1 college guys. The International umps ranged from college to "semi-professional" umpires.

We (the umpires and the scorers) received no "pay" for working the games. We were given a significant "per diem", even though meals were available to us at the venue or the dorm. We were given free rooms, free transportation in Atlanta, all kinds of clothing/uniforms, gifts from the Olympic Committee and the IBA, and travel to and from the Games in Atlanta from your home (which for me was about 4 miles away, but was considerable for the umpires from Korea and Australia). Officially, we were not supposed to get any tickets or use baseball credentials to get into other events, but let's just say I saw just about any event that my schedule allowed during the games. Because the Baseball stadium was the staging area for the Opening Ceremonies, we got see all and meet many of the athletes before they marched in the Openning Ceremonies. We watched Mohammed Ali light the torch from a vantage point that was better than many people in the Olympic Stadium.

I met some great people that week. On nights off, since I was the "local", we would commandeer an Olympic van (against MANY rules), and I would show my International friends some of the more fun spots in Atlanta in which to have a proper "post game briefing" (which is where we spent most of our per diems). I still have a tie which was a gift from the Dutch ump (he owned a tie business in "real life"), I learned Korean drinking games, and received an invitation to the 2000 Games in Sydney from the IBA, the Olympic Committee and my Australian umpiring friend.

There are MANY tales from those couple of weeks, far too many to detail here. It was one of the most fun and event filled two weeks of my baseball career. I envy the guys that are in Athens this week.
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