""And the Winner is... Athens"" Athens by tak_pap
Athens Travel Guide: 4,400 reviews and 10,489 photos
With its vote on September 5, the International Olympic Committee selected the City of Athens as the Host City for the 2004 Olympic Games.
The wonderful result that came out of the IOC ballot box took place in the Palais de Beaulieu in Lausanne where the 107 members of the IOC convened to select a winner among the candidacies of Cape Town, Buenos Aires, Stockholm, Rome and Athens.
The capital city of Greece won the right to host the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad with ease, receiving 66 votes, while its major opponent, Rome, received 41.
Juan Antonio Samarank's famous phrase:
"The city which will have the honour and responsibility to host the Olympic Games of 2004 is…Athens"
was beamed from the "Palais de Beaulieu" in Lausanne at exactly 19:30 Greek time.
The voting was being covered by over 100 Greek media people and the news was broadcast to every corner of the globe by the biggest news agencies, tv and radio stations. The announcement was greeted with an explosion of enthusiasm in Greece, and especially around Zappeion, where a big crowd had gathered to watch the selection process on large screens. Greeks living outside the country also received the big news, celebrating the event with enthusiasm.
This success was the result of hard work during the previous 18 months. Initially 10 cities had entered the race, along with Athens, in the summer of 1996,when the candidacies were first announced. St. Petersburg, Buenos Aires, Stockholm, Cape Town, Rome, Seville, Lille, Rio de Janeiro, Constantinople, San Juan and Athens all did their best to promote their city's chances up until March 1997, when the IOC would reduce the number of the Candidate Cities down to five or six.
As announced alphabetically by the Swiss member Marc Hodler, the news for the capital city of Greece was good: Athens, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Rome and Stockholm were the lucky candidates selected to cross their swords and compete for selection in the second round.
From that point on, the Committee for the Candidacy of Athens, headed by Yianna Angelopoulou Daskalaki, faced a demanding six months, armed with a very complete candidacy file and a solid strategy. The team's objective was clear: IOC members had to be convinced that Athens made the best proposition for the 28th Olympic Games.
The Bid Committee functioned not just as an Ambassador for Greece in the IOC but also as a goodwill Ambassador to the entire world. A large number of IOC members were invited to visit Athens and were informed of the details of Athens' candidacy, while they were given the opportunity to plant their personal olive tree in the "IOC Members'Grove".
The Greek government's support as well as that of Parliament, played an important role in Athens' candidacy. The entire image which Greece projected abroad had a positive effect not only in the selection of Athens as the host city, but Greece's presence on the international scene overall.
Athens' basic communication strategy is to show the world not only the existing link between culture, sports, and the Olympic ideals, but also Greece's modern identity.
"The opening ceremony puts forward a position, let's say. It's a declaration, an announcement of the country's spirit, the spirit of the hosts".
Dimitris Papaioannou, Concept Creator and Artistic Director of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Athens Olympic Games
On the 13 August, the biggest celebration of the world begins at the Athens Olympic Stadium. Exactly at 20:45, the Opening Ceremony of the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games signals the return of the Olympic Games to the country where they were born and revived.
It will be the beginning of a celebration that will last for 16 days, with the Olympic spirit and the athletic achievements dominating and with the athletes’ emotions competing peacefully to overcome themselves.
Concept Creator and Artistic Director of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Athens Olympic Games is Dimitris Papaioannou.
The 40 years old dancer and founder of “Omada Edafous” dance group has stated about his “mission”: “What I have been asked to do now for my country and to memorialise my country makes me extremely proud. I feel fortunate to have the finest calling a man could have”.
In the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Athens participate 8,000 performer volunteers and 2,000 artistic and technical support volunteers, as well as famous artists.
Among them is DJ Tilsto, who will perform his DJ-set live in the Olympic Stadium in Athens for approximately 90 minutes. This will include new tracks, produced especially for the Opening Ceremony, and songs that have been tailored to compliment the spirit of the Ceremony.
In connection with his participation in the opening ceremony, DJ Tiλsto said: “I am honoured to be to be part of the biggest sports event in the world. The fact that the Games are returning to their birthplace and to the city where they were revived makes Athens 2004 very special”.
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