Of the bombings committed by Rudolph, the most notorious was the Centennial Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta on July 27, 1996, during the 1996 Summer Olympics. The blast killed spectator Alice Hawthorne and wounded 111 others. Hawthorne had attended the Olympics with her daughter because she wanted to watch the American basketball team. Melih Uzunyol, a Turkish cameraman who ran to the scene following the blast, died of a heart attack. Rudolph's motive for the bombings, according to his April 13, 2005 statement, was political:
In the summer of 1996, the world converged upon Atlanta for the Olympic Games. Under the protection and auspices of the regime in Washington millions of people came to celebrate the ideals of global socialism. Multinational corporations spent billions of dollars, and Washington organized an army of security to protect these best of all games. Even though the conception and purpose of the so-called Olympic movement is to promote the values of global socialism, as perfectly expressed in the song "Imagine" by John Lennon, which was the theme of the 1996 Games even though the purpose of the Olympics is to promote these despicable ideals, the purpose of the attack on July 27 was to confound, anger and embarrass the Washington government in the eyes of the world for its abominable sanctioning of abortion on demand.
The plan was to force the cancellation of the Games, or at least create a state of insecurity to empty the streets around the venues and thereby eat into the vast amounts of money invested.
If this was indeed the plan, it was unsuccessful. Olympic organizers did not even cancel the day's events.
Rudolph's statement did authoritatively clear Richard Jewell, a Centennial Olympic Park security guard, of any involvement in the bombings. Jewell had been falsely suspected of participation in the bombing a few days after the incident, after having been initially hailed as a hero for being the first one to spot Rudolph's explosive device, for saving lives, and for helping to clear the area. When he came (erroneously) under FBI suspicion for involvement in the crime, Jewell became the "prime suspect," and an international news story. Rudolph's confession vindicated Jewell -- who ended up as a symbol, not of domestic terrorism, but of an FBI and media fiasco.