Olympic Games 1996 Atlanta

26th Olympiad


Sports: 31

Events: 271

National Teams: 197

Participants: 10,339

Identity Card



The Olympic Charter dictates that only those with an official role or function necessary to stage the Games are eligible for accreditation. Eligible persons are identified as Olympic Family and non-Olympic Family. The IOC's Accreditation Guide defines Olympic eligibility. Based on this guide, individuals are identified under a large number of different accreditation categories.

The Policy division determined and implemented access rights for all constituent groups. It also identified, registered, and processed all individuals requiring accreditation following approved policies and procedures. The Policy division was primarily concerned with three areas:
   -   Olympic Family Accreditation, which included coordinating the development, production,
       distribution, and management of OICs;
   -   Non-Olympic Family Accreditation, which planned and implemented accreditation for
       staff, volunteers, service contractors, and law enforcement personnel, and identified other
       constituent groups that might require accreditation; and
   -   Data Control, which ensured that the record of every person who might require accreditation
       was entered into the database and filed as a printed copy.

Additionally, the Policy division formulated regulations regarding zoning, the OIC, the Olympic accreditation badge, the radio-frequency (RF) badge, and the accreditation process.


In order to regulate and control circulation within Olympic venues, each competition venue was divided into public areas accessible to all, including ticketed spectators, and areas reserved for accredited persons only. The latter areas were divided into zones that were restricted to persons with a functional need to be present. Accreditation staff met with management and site designers for each venue to develop a logical zoning plan based on a generic set of zones of exclusion. The zones had the same generic definition at all competition venues.

                                   -  0  all zones
                                   -  1  field of play (competition areas)
                                   -  2  athlete preparation areas
                                   -  3  operations and administration areas
                                   -  4  media areas
                                   -  5  rights-holding broadcaster areas
                                   -  6  Olympic Family lounges
                                   -  7  accredited persons circulation areas

The Olympic Villages were divided into two zones: the international zone and the residential zone. Right to access the international zone was indicated by zone code V, and zone code R granted access to both the international and residential zones. Zoning principles were applied consistently to venue perimeters and interiors. The concept of accredited circulation or flow (zone 7) between restricted islands (zones 1-6) was broadly applied. Sport- and venue-specific considerations played an important role in developing zoning plans. Pictogram and zone signage was developed in conjunction with each scheme.

The Olympic Identity Card

The OIC authorized Olympic Family members to enter the US to perform their Olympic duties during the Games. The OIC contained the holder's Olympic ID number, a personal identifier used to access the holder's record in the accreditation database promptly.

In 1993, ACOG began to develop OIC policies and procedures in conjunction with US government representatives. Most matters were addressed by either the State Department or INS, but a number of other governmental services were also involved, including the US Department of Justice, Department of Labor, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of the Treasury, and the White House.

While over a dozen different visa classifications for Olympic Family members would normally be issued, after lengthy discussions, it was agreed that the OIC would replace all necessary visa classifications except for the A visa issued to foreign diplomats. In spring 1995, operating procedures for the OIC were finalized, and it was agreed that the applicants' passports would not need to be submitted. However, in order to maintain their physical integrity, each OIC had to be submitted to the appropriate US consular post for approval and application of a tamper-resistant Centennial Seal.

When designing the OIC, ACOG used the IOC Accreditation Guide, which contains baseline requirements for information displayed on the cards. In addition, ACOG worked closely with the Forensic Document Laboratory of the INS to develop specifications for the OIC that would safeguard against counterfeiting, alteration, and photo substitution.

Prior to the Games, Accreditation focused on educating and establishing communication with NOCs and other organizations regarding the NOC process. ACOG personnel met with government officials in Washington, DC, and at the busiest ports of entry to explain the OIC process and answer questions. ACOG and the State Department also produced a video explaining the OIC process that was delivered to all US ports of entry and consular posts. A communication network encompassing ACOG personnel, senior State Department and INS officials, and the Olympic coordinators at US consular posts worldwide was also established. As a result, the majority of issues were resolved within 48 hours. To address entry problems during Gamestime, an ACOG representative coordinated the international entry response team (IERT), comprised of field officers from government agencies and ACOG personnel. Operational 24 hours daily during June and July, the IERT resolved any issues that arose during the Games period, particularly at ports of entry.

identity card olympic games 1996 atlanta

Numerous categories of accreditation badges were produced to identify people representing the various constituencies involved in staging the Games and allow them the access necessary to perform their role or function.


Olympic Accreditation Badge

The final goal of the accreditation process was delivering to authorized individuals accreditation badges that identified them and visually displayed their specific access rights and privileges. A basic principle of Olympic accreditation is that each eligible participant may be issued only one badge. Dual or multiple applications must be individually analyzed and consolidated, where appropriate.

The accreditation category and the badge holder's name, photograph, function, and organization appeared on the accreditation badge. Access rights were represented by pictograms indicating sports, competition venues, and noncompetition venues where access control was enforced, and symbols for zone codes and transportation privileges. For the Atlanta Games, 84 pictograms were used-31 sports and 53 service pictograms-as well as 7 zone code and 5 transportation code symbols. Inside venues, an accredited person's ability to circulate within and access restricted areas was determined by numerical codes for zones as noted earlier.

A transportation code was displayed next to the zone code on each badge. The codes were as follows.
   -    T1 gave the bearer access to a private dedicated car and driver.
   -    T2 gave the bearer access to a shared dedicated car and driver.
   -    T3 provided access to the ACOG motor pool.
   -    T4 provided access to an ACOG-organized bus system, such as the athlete or media
   -    T5 provided access to public transportation systems through a MARTA pass issued to
        all zone 7-accredited members during accreditation processing.

(Source Document:  Official Report 1996, Vol I,  page 54 - 55  ) 
Read more:   Official Report 1996,  Vol. I, page 50 - 64

Other Olympic Identity Cards: