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Athens 2004 Olympic Games

Athens 2004 Olympic Games - XXIII OlympiadAthens 2004 Olympic Games

The 2004 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad, was a premier international multi-sport event held in Athens, Greece from August 13th to August 29th, 2004 with the motto "Welcome Home".

Athens 2004 marked the first time since the 1996 Summer Olympics that all countries with a National Olympic Committee were in attendance.  It was also the first time since 1896 that the Olympics were held in Greece.

10,625 athletes competed, some 600 more than expected, accompanied by 5,501 team officials from 201 countries. There were 301 medal events in 28 different sports.

Athens 2004: Home to a Brilliant Games
Will and Guy's Brief Top Ten Success StoriesAthens 2004 Olympic Games

  1. Swimmer Michael Phelps won six gold medals and set a single-Games record with eight total medals.
  2. Leontien Ziljaard-van Moorsel became the first female cyclist to earn four career gold medals, reaching a total of six Olympic medals.
  3. Canoeist Birgit Fischer became the first athlete in any sport to win two medals in each of five Olympic Games.
  4. Runner Hicham El Guerrouj won both the 1500m and the 5000m.
  5. British pride was given a boost when Kelly Holmes won both the women's 800m and 1500m on the athletics track.
  6. We British had another boost when our men won the 4x100m relay in a photo finish from the USA.
  7. In team play, Argentina won the men's football tournament without conceding a goal.
  8. The USA softball team outscored their opponents by an aggregate score of 51-1.
  9. On the medal tally, the United States reigned supreme in Athens, winning 35 gold, 39 silver and 29 bronze for a total of 103 medals.
  10. Through the prism of history, the Athens Olympics may come to be seen as the Games at which two major trends emerged: the rise of the Asian nations as Olympic powers and the time the war on drugs became serious. Athens 2004 Paralympic Games

Paralympic Games 2004

On 17th September 2004, the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games began with a colourful and spectacular Opening Ceremony, marking the beginning of the unique Games and bringing together the world's best athletes with a disability. Seventy-three of the 136 competing nations won at least one medal during these Paralympic Games: several of these countries secured their first medal in Paralympic Games history. For 17 countries, these were their first Paralympics ever.

Ten Funny, Clean, Meaningful and Amusing Olympic Quotes from Athens

  1. I'm thankful I live in an era when I have got to compete with clothes on.  I am sure the fans are grateful as well. - John Godina [USA shot putter]
  2. Apart from being born, this is the greatest moment of my life. - Jeremy Wariner, USA 400m gold medal winner
  3. Is the pain worth it?  Yes, absolutely.  It's the Olympics. - Australian runner, Jana Pittman, who won her 400m first-round heat just over a week after undergoing right knee surgery.
  4. All the world knows that we are not strong like other athletes.  But I tried my best. - Judoka, Friba Razayee on her 45 second defeat as Afghan women make their debut in the Olympic Games.
  5. The Athens Olympics will be meaningful even though I cannot participate as an athlete, since I can participate in the flame relay all over the world. - Cathy Freeman.
  6. I wanted to be an Olympic swimmer, but I had some problems with buoyancy. - Woody Allen.
  7. I guess I might be the best athlete ever. - Michael Phelps.
  8. Olympic figure skating - a sport where competitors are dressed as dinner mints. - Jere Longman
  9. I am not going to let Athens affect the rest of my life. - Paula Radcliffe
  10. Basketball analyst: "He dribbles a lot and the opposition does not like it.  In fact you can see it all over their faces".  See more commentator howlers.

The Inevitable Drug Controversy

What accident are they talking about?

It's just an alibi.

He fell into a trap all by himself but he took down all of Greece with him. - Greek sports fan angry at Olympic 200m champion Kostadinos Kenteris who missed a drugs test and then ended up in hospital after a motorcycle accident.

Kostas Kenteris and Ekaterini Thanou were rightly banned for failing to turn up for a drugs test.  While their story of a motorcycle crash was fascinating, few believe it was a true account of that evening.  This saga contrasts with the 1980 Moscow Olympics where drug taking was probably rife, but those who tried to catch the cheats were hamstrung by ineffective rules and tests.

Reporter: Did you visit the Parthenon while in Greece?
Shaquille O'Neill: I can't really remember the names of all the clubs we went to.

See more Olympics Trivia

The Most Famous Long Distance Race - The Marathon

U.K. Teenagers of the 1970's thought Marathon was a chocolate bar!  Naturally you know it was the the Greek city where the Phedippedes finished his epic run.

The Marathon race legend tells us that Phedippedes ran from Marathon on one coast, over the hills to Athens and brought word of a great victory for the Greeks lead by Callimachus over the Persians lead by Darius.

They call the race the 'Marathon' not the 'Athens' .  The crucial point is that Marathon is on the opposite coast from Athens and was the site of a famous Greek victory against the Persians (Modern Turkey / Iran).

No wonder they refer to these legends as Greek tragedies; in this instance sadly, the Spartans hit a religious time-out and would not help the Athenians, and Phedippedes himself, hit a terminal 'Blue Screen' when he returned to Athens to tell of the tell Sparta of the impending Persian 490 BC.

Geography check.

Athens to Sparta is 140 miles, so the 2004 marathon will NOT be following the original course!  Phedippedes covered the ground in 36 hrs, I cannot help wondering if the legend embellished the story, or whether he had the occasional horse ride?

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