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Our History

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.

Gainesville-Hall ’96

Gainesville-Hall ’96 is a non-profit organization that serves as a catalyst and to unify community efforts relative to participation in the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games and other events which will have significant impact on our community before, during and after the 1996 Games.

World Championship Events Hosted on Lake Lanier

1996: Centennial Olympic Games
1997: National Canoe/Kayak Championships
2003: Senior World Canoe/Kayak Championships
2010: National Rowing Championships
2011: National Canoe/Kayak/Rowing Championships
2014: National Canoe/Kayak/Rowing Championships
2015: National Rowing Championships
2016: Pan American Championships
2018: ICF Dragon Boat World Championships

Canadian Team Trials 2016, 2017
US Team Trials 2016, 2017