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kevzz

Athens 2004 - 10 Years Anniversary

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If you had been in the stadium, and forgot to take your binoculars, your memories might not be all that great.

I actually agree with your point. I was at the London's opening ceremony and sat up there with the Gods. It's only after you re-watched the ceremony on tv again that you realised of the details you missed out. Somehow my memory of the ceremony is a blur combination of what you saw in the stadium and the tv broadcast.

I was wondering that too after looking at the full scale rehearsal video posted above of the Cycladic head. Seems like there's no way it was a secret but without all the social media prying eye and spies maybe it was still a big surprise.

It was so incredible, it's daring simplicity, that serene pool, the perfect shade of blue light as a running theme accented with gold moments, incredible sounds and fire, the perfect incorporation of host culture and the human experience, it really was a cut above anything before or after that I've seen........this was truly the only ceremony I would say rose above artistic performance to true art. From beginning to end it played like one unified experience, I only wish I could have seen it person and had that memory.

The absolute pinnacle of Olympic ceremony achievement.........so far.

Absolutely. You hit every point I felt about the ceremony. :)

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So many 'permanent' structures were built that need not be built at all. A beach volleyball stadium (Sydney just put up temporary stands on Bondi Beach), permanent hockey and softball venues (again temporary would have been fine), the Calatrava roof on the stadium completely unnecessary (they 'removed' the planned pool roof with no problem). The opening is my favourite ceremony ever, but how much did retrofitting a quick empty lake into the stadium cost, not to mention the ceremony itself?

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The opening is my favourite ceremony ever, but how much did retrofitting a quick empty lake into the stadium cost, not to mention the ceremony itself?

Transforming the stadium for the Ceremony was about $23 mil; the OC cost another $27 mil -- and that does not include the est. $20 mil paid the Jack Morton group and all the talents who worked on the 4 ceremonies.

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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So many 'permanent' structures were built that need not be built at all. A beach volleyball stadium (Sydney just put up temporary stands on Bondi Beach), permanent hockey and softball venues (again temporary would have been fine), the Calatrava roof on the stadium completely unnecessary (they 'removed' the planned pool roof with no problem). The opening is my favourite ceremony ever, but how much did retrofitting a quick empty lake into the stadium cost, not to mention the ceremony itself?

The roof was necessary on the stadium and, all things considered, I think the ceremony costs were well worth it. The pool really should've had a roof too. Athens sun in August is hot and blinding.

I agree that beach volleyball, baseball and softball did not need permanent venues. I didn't see any beach volleyball, but I did pass by the baseball and softball venues and they actually struck me as quite modest. Very tidy, but not large or flashy.

Ditto with most of the venues in that complex, actually. The basketball and fencing venues at that location were utilitarian boxes. Nothing fancy. All were built on the site of the old airport, I believe.

I will say that OAKA was quite beautifully designed and probably could've been simpler. That said, I really loved the ambiance. The reflecting pools, the giant archway, the animated wall (stunning!), elegant rooflines of the stadium and velodrome. It was all quite beautiful.

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I was at the London's opening ceremony and sat up there with the Gods. It's only after you re-watched the ceremony on tv again that you realised of the details you missed out. Somehow my memory of the ceremony is a blur combination of what you saw in the stadium and the tv broadcast.

Paradoxically, it was only after seeing videos by people in various different parts of the stadium audience that I realised how much of the 2012 action was missed on TV.

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A beautiful Games that I will always remember. That Opening Ceremony took my breath away - it was intelligent, classy, emotional and spectacular. They could have easily gone down the hokey path of marble columns and posing athletes to drum home that "WE INVENTED THIS" --- but they didn't. They just got on with it and celebrated humanity.

The Games themselves seemed fresh and well organised - but as others have mentioned, the legacy is a nightmare.

For 2004, I feel that Rome would have been too similar-ish to Barcelona - but I'm intrigued by the potential that would have been held by Stockholm. I imagine that they would have also staged a striking and modern ceremony too.

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To response to some of the posts I read without being an expert and from a subjective point of view:


Building great venues was a matter of pride for the greeks. Temporary stadiums seemed to be disrespectful for the athletes and the sport. Gianna Aggelopoulos Daskalaki who was the force behind Athens 2004 had this vision of «state of the art» venues and the responsibility to make those Games a reality. Temporary venues didn't seemed to fit into that concept. Also I would like to remind you that back then economic crisis seemed no to exist and the most of us believed that the Olympic Games will be the beginning of a new epoch. At least some of us. I also have to add to that that the government of Karamanlis that took over, one of the worst ever, absolutely disliked Gianna and her success and did absolutely nothing to utilize the potential of the Games. On the contrary the Government of Kostas Karamanlis almost provocative dismissed plans by the former government (a matter of principle) and rested on the success of the Games. The Minister of Culture Adrianos served from 2004 to 2009 today says «Our highest priority back then was to make the Games a success but there was no plan for the day after». Strange because until the Games he was in the opposition and criticized the effort. Then he saw the success tried to earn it and then as the responsible for the day after didn’t do anything. Unfortunately this Government was one the most corrupted ever.


But to be fair mistakes have been done before. After Athens awarded the Games, many of the plans changed. The Simitis Government didn’t like Gianna. She was an outsider and most of them I presume were afraid of her potential power. New persons were placed and they changed the Organizing Committee. After losing precious time and the inability of the new team the pressure of getting ready didn’t allow experiments. Gianna were placed back although no one really liked her. The costs exploded because of the pressure to get ready and international pressure. As the criticism rises greeks get stubborn to prove the opposite. Also the IOC and the International sports federations and every each of them wanted great venues. So many different interests increased the pressure. The costs for security was exploding by the pressure of the US. The costs for engineering and facilities were exploding too as international enterprises took advantage of the lack of time. Big scandals like the Siemens Corruption Scandal was the result. Also there was unbelievable antagonism between the Minister of Economy back then and Gianna. He once called her «this rich bitch» behind closed doors. «She thinks she can command my ministry.» Gianna wanted to get the money she needed to get ready in time. The Government criticized her strongly for being unsparing with public money. But the truth is a different in my opinion. The government was to be blamed as they are responsible for the lost of extremely precious time, time that was needed to organize the Games.


My opinion is that no one of those man was man enough to recognize her skills and her power as a strategic coordinator and great manager. The big success of the Games is the proof. After that and the big success, normality came back and political dispute and envy lead to the situation that we can see today. I believe that this didn't happen accidentally. A new mentality would have changed the whole political system. Citizens with more responsibility, with a stronger opinion, that work and achieve work more precise , that volunteer that have visions would destroy or at least disturb the used political system based on what we call in Greece «clientelistic state».


Although I have to say that some things are exaggerated. The legacy isn’t a nightmare. Thats way to negative. The legacy isn’t satisfying in many cases. In some it is bad and in some others the legacy is very good and in some of great importance. Because beyond of the economic legacy there is another one. There is a cultural and emotional legacy. A legacy that we carry within our soul. Those games redefined Athens and Greece. No matter what happens today.


This Opening Ceremony itself is a cultural and emotional legacy of unsurpassed meaning. Those days everything is about economy. Everything. Extremely weird times if you ask me. Everyone seems to be brainwashed. What the market will say? How will the economy react? Capitalism is starting to show its true character after he totally defeated politic power. But this another discussion. The legacy of something maybe economic short-lived but through ages it is an emotional, a cultural, a philosophical, a social.


I am so grateful for those Games and this Opening Ceremony and for Gianna backing everything Dimitris Papaioannou did:


«I am so charmed by her personality, a personality from a cosmos totally strange to me. It is absolutely given that without her the Ceremonies would not have been possible. I am truly charmed. I those three years of working together the quality of our contact increased geometrically. Her support was beyond of any other previous olympics. The personality of Gianna is this dance of her on the bleachers of the stadium at the closing ceremony. And the dastardly side of the greek reality blamed her for dancing at the closing ceremony. Not to imagine blaming someone for celebrating the biggest success of a country in the last decades. Who blames someone for dancing? This dancing needs the sweetness of anarchy of a soul that has still something alive within»


It is sad to see that following governments and people responsible for the economic and athletic legacy were incapable and unworthy of this task but I am absolutely confident that many of the venues are facing better days to come.


But as I said before and once again: the emotional legacy of those games is bigger and most important then the economic. And if today this emotion is bittersweet by watching those pictures then this proves how great those games were.

Edited by savas
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The personality of Gianna is this dance of her on the bleachers of the stadium at the closing ceremony. And the dastardly side of the greek reality blamed her for dancing at the closing ceremony. Not to imagine blaming someone for celebrating the biggest success of a country in the last decades. Who blames someone for dancing? This dancing needs the sweetness of anarchy of a soul that has still something alive within

Was her dancing caught on the tv broadcast? Would love to see it! :)

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Well not exactly ... It was after the Closing Ceremony ended. Here a video of her dancing as broadcasted in the news. So nice to see her so happy.

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Well not exactly ... It was after the Closing Ceremony ended.

a video of her dancing as broadcasted in the news. So nice to see her so happy.

LOL she must be so chuffed to see the Games ended successfully. Job well done! No wonder she's running, dancing around!

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Thanks for thay long post Savas- yes the world is a hard, money focussed place these days- beauty, art, celebration, personal experience and achievement are all undervalued or un-valued. Everything is judged in dollar terms. We have a new government in Australia that judges everything in dollar terms- so no action on climate, no support for the environment, brutal cuts to services to the poor, demonisation of refugees etc.... it is a soul destroying philospohy.

Athens 2004 was uplifting and special - and the world is a better place for experiencing it.

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It's so sad to punish and mock the entire economy and culture of Greece because one doesn't grasp the opening ceremony of an Olympic Games. How very little can people get?

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It's so sad to punish and mock the entire economy and culture of Greece because one doesn't grasp the opening ceremony of an Olympic Games. How very little can people get?

Tiny.

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It's so sad to punish and mock the entire economy and culture of Greece because one doesn't grasp the opening ceremony of an Olympic Games. How very little can people get?

U know this is a 'democratic' forum the last time I looked. Are we ALL supposed to kneel and bow down just because one didn't buy the WHOLE vision of Parpaioannou? :rolleyes:

How LITTLE...MICROSCOPIC of you, Victor, not to allow that people will have dissenting views. It was brilliant in certain parts...and go ahead, Jose, hit me here while you can...but the parts just didn't add up to a whole.

And to quote you...it's so sad to punish and saddle the rest of the European economies because one bought the whole concept that the unnecessary, extravagant spending of one nation for one 2-week party...nor the cooking of the books of the same nation...was nothing and caused other economies to subsidize the irresponsible spending of that one member. How very stupid and blind can people get? :P

Go ahead..shoot!! :P

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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U know this is a 'democratic' forum the last time I looked. Are we ALL supposed to kneel and bow down just because one didn't buy the WHOLE vision of Parpaioannou? :rolleyes:

How LITTLE...MICROSCOPIC of you, Victor, not to allow that people will have dissenting views. It was brilliant in certain parts...and go ahead, Jose, hit me here while you can...but the parts just didn't add up to a whole.

GO AHEAD, shoot! :P

...as much as I don't like ya...Classic! :)

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Tiny.

Sycophant!! (Hey, Greek word there!! ;) )

And Greece, after all, is the birthplace of democracy -- so DISSENT is allowed, even if it's NOT popular. :P

Edited by baron-pierreIV

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And Greece, after all, is the birthplace of democracy -- so DISSENT is allowed, even if it's NOT popular. :P

I see. You're well versed at Dysentery. And even have fans of that style. Congratulations. :)

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I see. You're well versed at Dysentery. And even have fans of that style. Congratulations. :)

Talk about lowering the quality of the discussion. That didn't even enter my thoughts...but hey, if that's where your thinking is...then so be it.

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It's sad what happened to Greece in the aftermath of Athens 2004, and not just financially. Greece didn't win a single gold medal at either of the next two Summer Olympics. From Barcelona up to Athens, there was a resurgence of Greek sporting success. Pyrros Dimas, Paraskevi Patoulidou (the woman who famously took 100m hurdles gold in Barcelona after prohibitive favorite Gail Devers screwed the pooch at the last hurdle), Ioannis Melissanidis, Nikolaos Kaklamanakis, Kakhi Kakhiashvili... Of course there were rumored drug cheats like Thanou and Kederis and Hawaii, but Greece was punching above its weight. Do you remember when that Greek duo won gold in synchronized springboard diving? The three teams representing the world's most powerful bullies/countries (China, Russia, and USA) bombed on their final dives, and the Greeks took advantage. That was an exciting moment. It's a shame that the economy in Greece has screwed everything up, including the potential of its athletes.

Frankly, I prefer Athens' tasteful, classy opening ceremony to the overrated, indulgent orgy that took place in Beijing. NBC still acts like that was the greatest achievement I the history of mankind.

Excuse me: Halkia...

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I don't care less what Eurobankers think. They have probably paid themselves bonuses greater than the cost of the Athens Games over the last 10 years.

That's exactly it. U're NOT financing a country's debts. U're merely kibitzing on the visual wonders of a show. Funny. Someone has to pay for that. :rolleyes:

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