There, in the bowels of MARTA, the transportation dungeon, where elbows and tempers have been flying all week, came a strange, sweet, calming sound.

The way the nose follows the aroma of fine coffee, my ears were drawn to the strains of two violins and a harp.

Tucked in a corner of the MARTA stop at the Woodruff Arts Center, as hundreds trampled by, three teenage girls were playing Bedrich Smetma's "Themes From The Meldau."

The girls, it turned out, were from the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra, and were there to provide a moment of calm before the sardines squeezed themselves into their Olympic transportation cans.

I don't know why I stopped, but I did. I listened to the entire stanza. Not a glitch in the entire performance, a first at these Atlanta Games.

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