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Athens 2004 - 10 Years Anniversary

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Well, a huge part if the problem was that they frittered away the first four years. By the time Gianna was back on board they had to move at light speed. Legacy planning takes a lot of time and they simply didn't have it. They had to get ready for the Games themselves and every other priority (finances, legacy) went out the window. It really is true that "haste makes waste." I've learned this in my own business. The Greeks put themselves in a bind by wasting those first four years and there were far-reaching negative consequences.

Yes , temporary venues don't save anywhere near as much money as some think. Probably the biggest savings comes from signing a relatively short lease for the land where the temporary venue is situated.

Ah yes, to think they had like what more than 7 years since it was their 2nd bid and they skipped a cycle. By doing things too late, it was a rush to the finish that added on to their debt.

As for the temporary venue situation, if they contracted some company to do temporary stands and such, then I don't see such a vneue being too expensive, where a permanent one for a couple of million extra would be more "worth it".

Well, would it be fair to say the Sochi Games are the Winter Version of Athens?

Both had great ceremonies. Both had problems with infrastructure and organization.

No. For starters, Russia was financing it and they're a far bigger economy than Greece. A little 50 billion dent on their trillions will not affect anything. They have a good logical plan as to what to do with their venues as to make sure that the unecessary ones would serve their legacy uses, something Athens should have done at the start with much of their indoor venues.

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Well, would it be fair to say the Sochi Games are the Winter Version of Athens?

Both had great ceremonies. Both had problems with infrastructure and organization.

No. I won't accept that.

Sochi was all in service of one man's ego. It gave no thought to human rights. It was heavy-handed propaganda intended to prop up a former super-power.

Athens was living in a dream. They built what they wanted because it was beautiful. They pretended money wasn't a reality because they wanted to make something wonderful. And they did make something wonderful, it was just incredibly unwise.

Sochi lacked humility and compassion. Athens lacked wisdom and foresight. Totally different situations.

As a footnote, Sochi's ceremonies were nice, but they didn't hold a candle to the lyrical poetry and vision of Athens.

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For me Athens was the least anticipated Summer Games of the past 20 years, but it had less to do with Athens and Greece itself than Sydney which I at the moment felt to be such a climax that afterwards there was an incredible sensation of emptiness. I kind of lost my interest in the Olympic Games for a while and even thought of not following them. That's not what happened but my attitude towards Athens was quite indifferent. For that reason I don't have (m)any memories of the disputed OC even though I did watch it. I have now even rewatched it and it seems a beautiful piece of art, it's easy to see why it's a favorite for so many, although frankly I can't judge it 10 years later because back then I was too nonchalant to really care about it. I have often watched parts of athletes parade though, which may sound a bit weird, but I find that Tiesto's soundtrack makes it at times magical. London had a nice soundtrack for the parade too, but still gets only the second price. What annoys me a lot are the three female announcers with especially the English speaking one trying to outshout the others. I believe mixing it with one male voice would have been better.

The lingering image of Athens remains quite negative though due to the Greeks' partisan nationalism that they displayed in some of the disciplines where their banned athletes were about to participate and the marathon attack incident, not to forget the organisational issues and the crumbling image of Greece a few years later. Still, can't even imagine what a surely unforgettable, magical summer that 2004 was for Greece with their shock victory in Euro 2004 followed by olympic games returning back home. In hindsight this could have been a good opportunity to see the games live but at the moment it didn't seriously even cross my mind.


For me Athens was the least anticipated Summer Games of the past 20 years, but it had less to do with Athens and Greece itself than Sydney which I at the moment felt to be such a climax that afterwards there was an incredible sensation of emptiness. I kind of lost my interest in the Olympic Games for a while and even thought of not following them. That's not what happened but my attitude towards Athens was quite indifferent. For that reason I don't have (m)any memories of the disputed OC even though I did watch it. I have now even rewatched it and it seems a beautiful piece of art, it's easy to see why it's a favorite for so many, although frankly I can't judge it 10 years later because back then I was too nonchalant to really care about it. I have often watched parts of athletes parade though, which may sound a bit weird, but I find that Tiesto's soundtrack makes it at times magical. London had a nice soundtrack for the parade too, but still gets only the second price. What annoys me a lot are the three female announcers with especially the English speaking one trying to outshout the others. I believe mixing it with one male voice would have been better.

The lingering image of Athens remains quite negative though due to the Greeks' partisan nationalism that they displayed in some of the disciplines where their banned athletes were about to participate and the marathon attack incident, not to forget the organisational issues and the crumbling image of Greece a few years later. Still, can't even imagine what a surely unforgettable, magical summer that 2004 was for Greece with their shock victory in Euro 2004 followed by olympic games returning back home. In hindsight this could have been a good opportunity to see the games live but at the moment it didn't seriously even cross my mind.

It's like the Greeks didn't want to embrace the world but rather showed the world how they embraced themselves as a sign of feeling superiority.

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It interesting your 'flat' feeling about Athens, I felt it too (maybe because I saw 70 Gold medals being won in Sydney and both ceremonies)!

Looking back it seems just by chance every second Games is a bit flat - LA great, Seoul flat, Barcelona great, Atlanta mmmm, Sydney great, Athens flat, Beijing huge, London a bit meh..... I think Rio will be spectacular and full of passion again in 2 years time. Tokyo will be safe and a bit flat....

Just a theory.

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Interesting how people 'vibe' from Games.

For me, I'm a little cold on Rio - despite the fact it will probably be very colourful, lively and the first in South America. I somewhat feel I'd be more excited about a Chicago hosting in 2016 - even though I think Rio was the best choice.

And Tokyo - while I supported Istanbul and saw Tokyo's selection as boring and pragmatic, I'm excited for 2020 and am seriously thinking of going.

I was in Beijing in 2008 (didn't attend any Olympic events, just Paralympics) and the atmosphere was electric, but I understand this didn't translate well on television. Beijing was amazing.

Athens was incredible to watch on TV. Unforgettable.

Sydney was, of course, an amazing moment for Australians.

Atlanta I don't remember much of - aside from bits of the ceremonies and Australians like Kieran Perkins. And I just remember hearing the name "Barcelona" a bit around 1992.

I wouldn't say I've had a flat vibe from any of them - the only Olympics I got that from was probably Turin in 2006. It just seemed somewhat unenthusiastic. Perhaps it was because I was living in Melbourne, with the CwG starting only a fortnight or so later? I also get a dull vibe from Seoul, despite being a baby at the time.

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It interesting your 'flat' feeling about Athens, I felt it too (maybe because I saw 70 Gold medals being won in Sydney and both ceremonies)!

Looking back it seems just by chance every second Games is a bit flat - LA great, Seoul flat, Barcelona great, Atlanta mmmm, Sydney great, Athens flat, Beijing huge, London a bit meh..... I think Rio will be spectacular and full of passion again in 2 years time. Tokyo will be safe and a bit flat....

Just a theory.

Interesting observation. We're talking about ceremonies here, or just the way the Games were staged. If ceremonies, let me give your observation one more dimension...

LA - great as you say - Wolper (& Birch was just like #3 in command)

Calgary was OK - fun, harmless, Canadian

Albertville - tres outre; none of the usual American/Aussie producers involved

Barcelona - a Birch production

Lillehammer - great winter show; strictly home-grown

Atlanta - OK; Mischer Productions - home-grown

Nagano - boring

Sydney - terrific; over-the-top; Birch

Salt Lake - Terrific; Mischer and Scott Givens

Athens - somewhat terrific; Greek and British (Jack Morton)

Torino - strangely flat (a Birch production)

Beijing - stunner! (home-grown but with western consultants)

Vancouver - fun ceremonies ( David Atkins, ex-Birch flunkie)

London - too muddled (home-grown)

Sochi - Best winter ceremonies so far! (Home-grown but w/ Broadway designer Tsypin as OC visionary)

Rio - well, Birch helms it again...

Edited by baron-pierreIV

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Athens was incredible to watch on TV. Unforgettable.

Ironically, I can't watch it on TV at that time (Indonesian TV were awful rating chaser guys). Watched it on YT and it became my longtime favorite.

Like Rogge said "unforgettable, dream Games ceremony :D"

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Those were his words, but to describe the entire Olympics - not the ceremonies.

well i'm just joking by changing the original words with "ceremony" :D :D :D

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I really don't remember Sydney, Athens was maybe the first one I remember due a lot to the Calatrava structures all in white, the structural design was so unified. That stadium in Australia always confused me when I looked at it later, never understood why people like it so much. Size?

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Each to their own, but I do agree with the sentiments here over what Games ceremonies stand out over others...

I have a soft spot for Los Angeles 1984 as this was my first remembered games and IMO the games that saved everything...It will always be my benchmark that others are judged on.

Seoul seemed formal but big. Barcelona '92, truly magical and got me into thinking (back then) NZ could host the Olympics if they were to really try. Atlanta '96...phurrp. Sydney 2000, OCs and CCs was OTT but left with a very proud legacy that will stand the test of time.

...And here we are at Athens, they were so likeable, even the Opening Ceremony stood out as a really good production...A cruel lesson to learn for others...It's so sad :(

Beijing '08, hmm, well, it's a cultural thing and over delivered. London 2012, Great Games, OCs a shambles, CCs a makeup for it.

Vancouver '10, first time I really got into the OWGs, enjoyable.

Rio '16 looks like a party is on it's way, Tokyo maybe more ceremonial but the games executed with precision.

:D So Los Angeles needs to come again to reset the format. :D ...I'd love it to happen in the rest of my lifetime!

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In hindsight this could have been a good opportunity to see the games live but at the moment it didn't seriously even cross my mind.

It's like the Greeks didn't want to embrace the world but rather showed the world how they embraced themselves as a sign of feeling superiority.

I guess I was the flip side of that coin. Amid the bad press and worry, I could see that these Games had potential and might be the most affordable time for me to make a return trip to the Olympics. I took the plunge and I am so glad I did.

I really don't think it's at all fair to characterize the Games as "flat". That certainly wasn't my experience of them. They had a warm, joyful intimacy to them. Athens wasn't the big boldness of Sydney. They succeeded in a different way. But they DID succeed.

I think the idea that the Greeks "didn't want to embrace the world" is flat out wrong. I did not get the sense that they were "embracing themselves" or flashing signs of "superiority." Frankly, I sensed that FAR more from London.

The Greeks were incredibly welcoming. I felt like they acted out their slogan beautifully: "Welcome home." I felt totally at home in a place I'd never been before. They were EXCITED, but I never felt they thought they were "superior." Throughout the Games there was a sense that this was an incredible accomplishment for a very little country. Not just the Greeks, but the majority of all fans cheered on the Greek athletes. It was warm and optimistic and celebratory -- not haughty or superior.

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While we've got this thread going- does anybody know of any live-audience footage from the Athens OC online, apart from this little YouTube medley (with a slightly ill-chosen Tiësto track replacing the live sound)?

Interesting observation. We're talking about ceremonies here, or just the way the Games were staged. If ceremonies, let me give your observation one more dimension...

....

Salt Lake - Terrific; Mischer and Scott Givens

Amusingly, Scott Givens was nominally in charge of the London ceremonies, as Managing Director of London 2012 Ceremonies Ltd., but I'd say he was appointed largely to lull people into a false sense of security.

The Persians did it first in 1971, showcasing 2,500 years of their history in a parade copied by Papaioannou

The Persians probably did it first in 1,000 BC- "through the ages" is a pretty standard procession theme:

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One thing I am curious about is why NBC didn't not produce a Commemorative DVD for the Athens Games. To my understanding, they did win an Emmy for their coverage that year.

To date, they've done VHS/DVD's on Seoul, Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney, SLC, Beijing, Vancouver and London.

However, they didn't do one on Athens, Torino or Sochi. I just wonder why that is...

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One thing I am curious about is why NBC didn't not produce a Commemorative DVD for the Athens Games. To my understanding, they did win an Emmy for their coverage that year.

To date, they've done VHS/DVD's on Seoul, Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney, SLC, Beijing, Vancouver and London.

However, they didn't do one on Athens, Torino or Sochi. I just wonder why that is...

There was like a 10-disc pkg of most of 2004. But obviously didn't get (or didn't go for) the rights to market such a product in the US (which is their designated territory).

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I really don't remember Sydney, Athens was maybe the first one I remember due a lot to the Calatrava structures all in white, the structural design was so unified. That stadium in Australia always confused me when I looked at it later, never understood why people like it so much. Size?

If you look at it in Olympic mode, and in the context of time, it was very impressive and fresh. The soaring and graceful arches, and epic end stands were a total contrast to anything that had come before. Comparing it to Atlanta, Barcelona and Seoul gives you a good impression.

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Well, Atlanta's stadium was a misshapen, misbegotten mess if you ask me. In contrast, Sydney was a huge improvement. And it was gigantic. But I agree with Paul that it isn't an architectural wonder, even if you look back to previous Games. I loved Athens stadium. The bird's nest was great too, but it sort of demanded attention and felt contrived, whereas Athens was beautiful in a very natural, unaffected way.

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Well, Atlanta's stadium was a misshapen, misbegotten mess if you ask me. In contrast, Sydney was a huge improvement. And it was gigantic. But I agree with Paul that it isn't an architectural wonder, even if you look back to previous Games. I loved Athens stadium. The bird's nest was great too, but it sort of demanded attention and felt contrived, whereas Athens was beautiful in a very natural, unaffected way.

Sydney's stadium was really cheap- but handsome and huge, and still intimate somehow. Its reconfiguring from 115,000 to 80,000 was well planned too. So pretty good planning all round.

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Sydney's stadium was really cheap- but handsome and huge, and still intimate somehow. Its reconfiguring from 115,000 to 80,000 was well planned too. So pretty good planning all round.

For sure. It definitely did the job. I agree with Paul though in finding it difficult to understand "love" for it. It's a very good stadium that served its purpose well and it makes sense that Aussies especially would have a soft place in their hearts for it. I'm just saying that architecturally it's not really a standout -- at least not for me.

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Sydney's stadium was really cheap- but handsome and huge, and still intimate somehow.

Sydney's stadium looks as if it was designed around the spectators.

photograph_olympic_stadium_5.jpg

The roof slopes inward, and combined with the rise to the middle of the long sides, that makes your fellow spectators the dominant visual feature when you're there. The high end stands add to the feeling.

The Athens design consciously separates the roof from the spectators, then goes even further by highlighting the supporting arch. That gives a sense of openness, as if you were in an ancient stadium to which a modern roof has been added.

olympic-stadium-athens-2004.jpg

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Sydney's stadium was really cheap- but handsome and huge, and still intimate somehow. Its reconfiguring from 115,000 to 80,000 was well planned too. So pretty good planning all round.

I agree. There is a misconception about white-elephant Sydney 2000, which is totally wrong. I'd argue that Stadium Australia is the most well utilised purpose built Olympic Stadium of the post-WW2 era. Sydney 2000s infrastructure legacy is hugely successful.

But I think Athens stadium is the most beautiful since Munich.

Sydney's looks like the beastly love child of Athens and London.

It has the grand arches and form of Athens, with the canterlivered white super frame of London

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The Persians probably did it first in 1,000 BC- "through the ages" is a pretty standard procession theme:

Well, yeah, except Persepolis 1971 and Athens '04 were 1-time things, highly stylized. And what was odd about Athens was that it was staged to be seen from one side and actors attempting to ape statues. The other model I know that Papaioannou might've used is the Pageant of the Masters down in Laguna Beach where the townspeople go crazy pretending to be non-moving figures in famous paintings. That's more DP's style or what he did for Athens -- cast people who were NOT getting paid anyway, of dubious talent as mannequins. How difficult could that be? Thank God, none of the Athens mannequins sneezed or chortled while passing in review in front of the camera!! :lol:

http://www.foapom.com/pageant-of-the-masters/

MUSES32609(1).jpg

Edited by baron-pierreIV

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The Pageant of the Masters is bourgeois garbage. I only see a vague, passing similarity. There was motion and energy to Klepsydra that never shows up in the ticky-tacky Pageant of the Masters. Plus, Klepsydra was only one part of Athens' OC.

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