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Athens 2004 - 10 Years Anniversary


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I just want to pay tribute to Athens 2004, which started on this day 10 years ago on 13 August 2004. Thank you Athens, for giving us this wonderful, dream game.

The best there is. The best there was. The best there ever will be.

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I would like to make some things clear or at least to try. There are venues «abandoned» but in most cases this is the result of very complicated processes. The OAKA is in use as before of the games.

Urgh, that heartbeat lightning thunder thingy they did at the beginning always sends me goosebumps!!

^^^^^^^^

Jeeeeeeeealous

It's amazing for this generation of Olympic fans to get to watch a games in its birthplace with events at Olympia and the Panathinaiko Stadium. Athens 2004 is a classic of our time. Very fond (and photogenic) memories.

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As iconic as Athens 2004 was, it does carry a heavy burden when you think about how things went in Greece the following decade...

The Olympic spending was only part of the problem, but in retrospect, the Games seemed like a dance on a volcano that would soon erupt.

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/\/\/\ - this is directed at Victor's snarky comment.

Been there; done that. And it's NOT so great IMHO considering the financial mess that tiny nation found itself in after throwing a party they couldn't really afford. Am glad to see I'm not the only one who gets dewy-eyed over an irresponsibly-staged extravganza.

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This is not the time to thrash Greece. It's a celebration of the amazing Games they gave to the world. At least they put on the best show on earth we've ever seen. And I truly hope they will recover in no time.

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/\/\/\ - this is directed at Victor's snarky comment.

Been there; done that. And it's NOT so great IMHO considering the financial mess that tiny nation found itself in after throwing a party they couldn't really afford. Am glad to see I'm not the only one who gets dewy-eyed over an irresponsibly-staged extravganza.

LOL, YOU are the one who made a snarky comment.

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The games weren't the reason why Greece crashed and 2004 was too far from september 2008 to any economist predict and prevent the financial crisis with absolute certainty. That being said, the 2004 olympic venues are the most visible indicator of Greece's financial struggle, in a similar way as the 1984 venues of Sarajevo today still carry signs of the darkest times in that city. The Euro 2004 in Portugal (hit hard by the crisis) is also inaccurately portrayed as the reason of the crisis there.

OTOH, the perspectives may change a little in the following years as many cities around the world are pointing fingers to the IOC for asking too much and helping too little. People usually answer this with 'the IOC doesn't force anyone to bid and host' excuse of a self-centered organization that is pushing itself to the most unreasonable places of Earth because of the expensive party they own. Let's see how Agenda 2020 will address the current strike of bidding cities.

Hate to bring that other city with and initial A in its name, but as the 2004 anniversary thread is already hijacked by a debate GB never gets tired to repeat (been there;done that) Athens is not the only one with an eroding post-games legacy.

In the meantime, Welcome to Afens!! :P

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Thanks for posting the video Victor. It never fails to amaze me how superbly executed the whole ceremony is. Not even Beijing can top the artistic and professional integrity of Athens, in my honest opinion.


Although for the real experience, one have to watch the original version and not the NBC broadcast one. The original 'cinematography' and camera direction is much much better. Wished somebody would upload the original, high quality version onto YouTube.

BTW, does anyone know why the official IOC YouTube Channel only uploaded London 2012 and Vancouver 2010 ceremonies? I wished they would do the same to all past ceremonies.

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So when using the anniversary to also point out some less favourable things, that's immediately trashing Greece?

You can't have one without the other...the Games were great, but they didn't happen in a paradise bubble even though some might want to make us believe that.

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It never fails to amaze me how superbly executed the whole ceremony is. Not even Beijing can top the artistic and professional integrity of Athens, in my honest opinion.

To each their own then. While Athens' was great, I thought the Beijing ceremony was the best I had ever seen of all the ones that I've watched.

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BTW, does anyone know why the official IOC YouTube Channel only uploaded London 2012 and Vancouver 2010 ceremonies? I wished they would do the same to all past ceremonies.

I'm guessing it might be a matter of storage capacity. I don't think the IOC realizes that at some point in time, some 3 people in the world might want to watch even older ceremonies at the same time that they're NOT making the full versions available. That's a guess.

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The atmosphere seemed a bit stunted in comparison to other Games and you got the sense that a small country was doing something beyond their means...

But Athens 2004 really was a beautifully executed Games.

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The ceremonies, venues, and Look were top-tier in Olympic history.

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The glowing Aegean sun… the curling Aegean waves and blue waters… the green of olive orchards… the bright fucsia of bougainvillea flowers… ancient Greek vase patterns… stunning.

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I only feel gratitude for my experience in Athens.

I was incredibly ill the entire time I was there, but refused to let that dull the experience. The city was beautiful and the Games were exquisite. It was almost surreal for me.

No, Greece should not have bid for the Games; it was irresponsible for them to do so. But that does not diminish the magnitude of what they achieved and the quality of the experience they created. As has been noted previously, the total cost of the Games amounted to less than 2% of Greece's national debt. Obviously it was an unnecessary extravagance, but the Olympics did not cripple the country the way some have suggested. The Olympic expenditures were symptomatic of a totally unrealistic financial outlook.

I am thankful for the rustling olive trees, for the Acropolis, for the sparkling Aegean, for the burning August sun, for the fascinating metro stations, for the museums, for the arid gardens, for the amiable stray dogs, for the elegant venues and vibrant decor, for the warmth of the people, for the excitement and drama that seized the city, for a beautiful escape.

Thank you, Athens. I wish you all the very best.

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