Mathis’ Olympic legacy will live on

Jim Mathis, Jr.’s Hall County Olympics legacy will live forever.

Mathis, who died Monday at the age of 77, was one of the driving forces that brought part of the Atlanta Olympics to Hall County in 1996 in the form of the flatwater canoe/kayak/rowing events. And Tuesday Lake Lanier Olympic Park officials announced the new boathouse at the facility will contain a lasting memorial to Mathis, who visited the site recently.

“Jim Mathis will forever be remembered as the driving force behind the 1996 Olympic Games coming to Gainesville, Georgia,” a Facebook posting begins. “Due to his dedication and work with GH96 (Gainesville-Hall ’96, the local organizing committee), the Lake Lanier Olympic Park will continue to promote the Olympic Legacy.”

It was two weeks ago that Mathis visited the boathouse as construction was nearing completion.

“We were able to share with him a photo and plaque that will be displayed the in The Torch room (dedicated to those that carried the…Olympic Torch in the 1996 relay)” which passed through Gainesville.

“We express our heartfelt gratitude to Jim Mathis for his leadership in the community. His Olympic Legacy will leave a lasting impression on the community and Lake Lanier Olympic Park.”