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micheal_warren

Athens 2004 - August 13 - Opening Ceremony

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Can you believe it?  One year ago today, the drummers linked the modern stadium to the ancient, the paper boat floated gently through a brilliant blue pool, a giant cycladic head later emerged and broke apart, a parade of colour and art came to life, a strand of DNA formed in the mist, the athletes of the world assembled around a mountain and an olive tree and the needle shaped cauldron tilted down to receive the flame as the hearts of the citizens of the world beat passionately to the rhythm of the XXVIII Olympiad!

I just finished re-watching the ceremony.

Happy First Anniversary to Athens.

calendar_olympics_store_ima.jpg

opening.jpg

Olympic_Flame.jpeg

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i have to say on the whole the Athens Olympic Games did not do it for me like Sydney, SLC, and Nagano did.

Most of that probably had to do with Canada's less than great performance, but i was not a big enjoyer of the Opening or Closing Ceremonies, and didn't find much of the competition worth remembering.

Of course their were high lights, but not to the degree i have in regards to past Olympic Games. In my record books Athens will go done as one big "meh" like Atlanta did for many of you.

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wow, one year already i cant believe it!!! I think that athens 2004 opening ceremony was the best ever, magical

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I think it was well known before the Games that the Greeks could not really afford to host such lavish Games and the long term planning needed for developing the venues was spent on the short term build up to make up for lost time.  A bit of pragmatism would have gone a long way.

These were beautiful Games, but as far as a long term legacy, that is still cloudy.  These Games certainly changed Athens, but I don't think to the same degree they did for Barcelona after 1992.

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The games were good - but not outstanding, loads of great memories and also remember the moments when I was quite frustrated. The first week i missd the "Olympic Spirit" - empty seats everywhere and also many people downtown were quite desinterested what was going on. Second week was better

Nice venues, great Opening Ceremonies, lousy food for the staff, the heat..... It seems that it was yesterday.....

:upside:

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Guest ryan04
several wonderful memories, i planned on watching the OC tonight but, i am going to a party so...

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Some things NEVER EVER EVER change !

Today was the last day of the MASS EXODUS of the Athenians. There is NOT A SINGLE WALKING SOUL in the city ! Everything is shut down. EVERYONE is on HOLIDAYS ! And nomatter what, the Athenians will religiously stick to the tradition of the 10-20 of August NATIONAL holidays.

Some good news : The SUDDEN demand is testing the capacity of Greek tourist. The rise in tourism this year is beyond the wildest dreams. One good thing (call it legacy) of the Olympics, is that the terrorism-free Olympics registered in people's mind that Greece is a SAFE destination . That is increasingly important considering what happened in Egypt and what is happening in neighbourhing Turkey.

Some REALLY important news : GIANNA - her highness - is in MYKONOS since the beginning of Aug. She has COMPLETELY IGNORED the 1st anniversary festivities, cruising in the Aegean, instead. She has also suffered an ankle twist while Water skiing (!). Awwwww LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL ! She has burned ALL her bridges with the government, and is waiting to strike again, and re EMERGE as the MESSIAH just like she did back in 2000.

Other than this, it is ALL one BIG PARTY right now. The clubscene is CRAZY and the islands are PACKED.

Come September we'll talk about the white elephants. Now everyone is too busy holiday-ing !

PS - Yep ! The sky is STILL the bluest of blue !

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Some things NEVER EVER EVER change !

Today was the last day of the MASS EXODUS of the Athenians. There is NOT A SINGLE WALKING SOUL in the city ! Everything is shut down. EVERYONE is on HOLIDAYS ! And nomatter what, the Athenians will religiously stick to the tradition of the 10-20 of August NATIONAL holidays.

Some good news : The SUDDEN demand is testing the capacity of Greek tourist. The rise in tourism this year is beyond the wildest dreams. One good thing (call it legacy) of the Olympics, is that the terrorism-free Olympics registered in people's mind that Greece is a SAFE destination . That is increasingly important considering what happened in Egypt and what is happening in neighbourhing Turkey.

Some REALLY important news : GIANNA - her highness - is in MYKONOS since the beginning of Aug. She has COMPLETELY IGNORED the 1st anniversary festivities, cruising in the Aegean, instead. She has also suffered an ankle twist while Water skiing (!). Awwwww LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL ! She has burned ALL her bridges with the government, and is waiting to strike again, and re EMERGE as the MESSIAH just like she did back in 2000.

Other than this, it is ALL one BIG PARTY right now. The clubscene is CRAZY and the islands are PACKED.

Come September we'll talk about the white elephants. Now everyone is too busy holiday-ing !

PS - Yep ! The sky is STILL the bluest of blue !

Great report, Poli!!  I loved it.   :wink:

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Athens had its ups and downs.

The Opening Ceremony was most definitely an "up." It was absolutely brilliant.

But the Olympic Flame.... I still thought that was a bit.. "meh," after all that fire and water we'd been spoiled with at Sydney.

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A year. Time sure flies here. Makes one wonder how long we will remember these Games.

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Gianna turned her back, because the beloved government turned it first.

They remembered to invite the organizing comittee to the 'celebration', Friday evening.

Fani Pali send an invitation to Gianna, but all the last year, she didn't even talk to her.

The government itself, organized a clown festival at OAKA for the first anniversary of the Games.

For me Gianna reacts clever. Everyone knows that she made the Games succesful.

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I wholehartedly agree. She injected new life into the organizing committee, and she deserves every accolade for helping in part to making the Athens Games one of the best ever.

What Idon't understand is why people keep hammering Athens for those empty seats at the start of the Games when there were empty seats at several sports at previous Olympics. It's a bit of a double standard.

I'm also disappointed with the evergrowing final bill left over. I wish the EU, UN and Olympic sponsors, especially the Olympic sponsors, would help foot at least some of the bill. They owe it to Greece.

I don't care what the rest of you say, but I STILL love the Opening.

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Everyone knew that the cost of the Games would be very high. I mean we built stadiums for every sport. We didn't use temporary venues like previous hosts. Greece couldn't use temporary venues, any other country could, but the birthplace couldn't. Now we have to pay for this, but we love it!

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Everyone knew that the cost of the Games would be very high. I mean we built stadiums for every sport. We didn't use temporary venues like previous hosts. Greece couldn't use temporary venues, any other country could, but the birthplace couldn't. Now we have to pay for this, but we love it!

Guess being the birthplace of the Olympic Games is unique in this aspect. As one commentator said last year that I remembered, "You are always happy, when your child comes back home." And, what a child it is.

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I just came back in Athens from vacation today and I felt that most people around me spoke English, not Greek. The Athenians are nowhere to be found - but I guess they'll be coming back in a few days.

The lack of post-Olympic legacy inside Athens is an issue that should bug all Athenians. The problem is that at this point the Games have been demystified - not that the Greeks regret having hosted the Olympic, but the economic black hole weighs too much on their wallets and everybody blames the Olympic cost.

However, as Pyrros mentioned:

What's more interesting, is that the 6.1% (budget deficit percent of GDP) become 6.5% in 2005 with no costs from the Olympics.

Probably the Olympics are not the sole reason for this bad economy. Personally, I blame the stock market crack some years ago.

Papaioannou (the Ceremonies' director) recently expressed his disappointment on how the Olympic legacy has been treated and feels that the DVDs of the Ceremonies are a poorly done job. Also, his wishes for a soundtrack of the Ceremonies were never really considered - the only thing closest to that is Tiesto's "Parade of the Athletes" but even that lacks most of the parade tracks played during the ceremony.

One really positive aspect of the white elephants: more and more foreigns artists, singers, rock bands come to give concerts in Athens (this summer was the best ever) as well as big theatrical productions coming from abroad. The venues are being put in great use during such events.

The transportation plans for Athens in the coming years are truly ambitious ( the suburban railway will connect Athens directly to Korinthos and Halkida, new tram, subway stations, new bus lines). All aim to convince Athenians to leave their cars and have 50% of the city population use only MMT in the coming years!!

This will probably serve as a smart prototype for the rest of the country: Greece - being a small country - will be divided into few functional regions - a main city serving as the regional center directly connected to a much larger area (villages, smaller towns) resulting into a better distribution of the population and serving as a true tourist-attractive country.

Oh! And the One Year Anniversary Celebrations in Athens were a farce!

:angry:  I hate politicians!

But then . .the 2006 IAAF World Cup in Athletics, Eurovision, the Champions league finals in 2007, the 2006 European Cup in Athletics, the 2012 Euro bid . .

Well, time will tell.

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I wholehartedly agree. She injected new life into the organizing committee, and she deserves every accolade for helping in part to making the Athens Games one of the best ever.

What Idon't understand is why people keep hammering Athens for those empty seats at the start of the Games when there were empty seats at several sports at previous Olympics. It's a bit of a double standard.

I'm also disappointed with the evergrowing final bill left over. I wish the EU, UN and Olympic sponsors, especially the Olympic sponsors, would help foot at least some of the bill. They owe it to Greece.

I don't care what the rest of you say, but I STILL love the Opening.

the other members of the EU should not have to pay for the games considering most of them have hosted economical responciple games

i don't think olympic cost overruns is a reason to get aid from the UN

and its not like other places came rushing to the aide of Montreal with their debt, Athens and Greece should have to live with the choice they made, deal with it and stop whining, you wanted it, you got it

no one owes greece anything, they were lucky to get the games, if the hosting process was fair Stockholm or Rome would be celebrating their one year anniversary.

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Sorry, but I haven't heard any Greek whining about the cost of Games. We are proud of what we achieved.

If the world was fair there wouldn't be men's and ladies' room.

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Sorry, but I haven't heard any Greek whining about the cost of Games. We are proud of what we achieved.

If the world was fair there wouldn't be men's and ladies' room.

Well, I talked with a friend of mine in Athens a few days ago and she told me that they do really have this "White Elephant" problem and that the majority of Athens inhabitants is a  bit sad and angry about that.

Last year, I was impressed by the quality of all the Venues the greek did build in such a short term (the games were quite compact although we had the Equestrian and Canooe/ Kajak events a bit far away).

Guardian posted a BBC article inanother Athens Topic that said that the Hellenikon Compex did cost 300 Million Dollars - and now its not used anymore and they are no future plans???

How can this happen?

All the Venues are closed for the Public and even the inhabitants are allowed to entry! I really cant belive it.

I saw on German Television that at Helleniko there was lying litter around and some greeks (like the friend I talked too) were a bit dissapointed on this or angry. They pay for the Venues and are not allowed to use them - Wow, Gianna really did a perfect job....

But thank god we have still have the memories about this games. I really do hope that they are developing some legacy plan now.

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Someone just sent me the transcript of a lecture the Director of Jack Morton Worldwide recently gave to would-be Beijing Ceremonies-bidders.   David Zolkwer shared quite a few production secrets and trivia of the Athens Ceremonies that many of you would turn your mother in for.  

Normally, I'm quite generous to share all these.  But lately there have been malevolent spirits here (i.e., a trollette surnamed Tradeau, a kiss-up pansy named arwebb) -- that I ask myself: why should I share with such ill-willed spirits.  So unless someone else finds it and posts it, you can PM me if interested.  May comply if I feel like it.

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