How does Loserville become a winner? Let us count the ways:

The Olympics, the Super Bowl, the heavyweight boxing champion, the 1990 Atlantic Coast Conference football champs, an eight-time Mr. Olympia, and finally, the best in the National League West.The worst-to-first Atlanta Braves have inspired fans as far away as South Dakota, where a ninth-grade social studies class decorated its classroom door with the team's colors and the words, "Go Braves."

"We're No. 1, baby, we shook up the world," Braves outfielder Ron Gant said. "Only kids dream about these things and I'm one of these kids. It really feels sweet to see this thing turn around, to see it happen."

The victory capped a year of sports triumphs for Atlanta, long starved for winners.

The new era began in September 1990, when the International Olympic Committee chose Atlanta as the site for the 1996 Olympics. The town celebrated for days - and even held another party a year later, to relive the moment.

The city had already been chosen to host the 1994 Super Bowl. By winter, an undefeated Georgia Tech rolled to an ACC championship; in the spring, Atlantan Evander Holyfield knocked out Buster Douglas for the heavyweight boxing title.