ATHENS 2004 – THE JOURNEY BEGINS
On the evening of the 13th August 2004, thought at that moment I did not know it, a really wonderful journey have started.
It was the day that in spite what the international press said and did in order to, for reasons only known to them, discredit the efforts of Hellas to host the games the whole world seen and experienced a truly magical opening ceremony which was the start of the Olympic games of Athens, the country that proudly can claim that the games have started and born centuries ago.
The ‘’Sygnomi Athina’’ which translates to ‘’Athens we are sorry’’ which was the backround of CNN news casters after the end of the games and the praise of the press that only 2 weeks ago was saying that nothing is ready and nothing will work was little consolation for the people that believed them and not visited Athens. The ones that did come and lived the games are the ones that gained memories to last a lifetime.
During the games I had the chance to visit most of the venues and truly enjoy the whole atmosphere all over Athens. Yes they are games and competition is held but it is at another level, the first and the last athlete are together after, there are no winners or losers, there are participants. The spectators that are watching are next to each other and they all cheer but not ever fight or do anything against each other. They all mingle around carrying their national flags, scarves, pins or whatever smiling at each other, exchanging experiences they had and they all cheer. The color of their skin or their race or their religion does not matter, they are all one and that’s the spirit of the Olympic games.
It was what I felt all those days and especially during the closing ceremony that I had the luck to be inside the stadium and the feelings experienced that made me wanting to relive them and thus the journey began.
A journey that will follow the Olympic games, summer as well as winter, around the world but no matter were I know the feelings and experiences will be the same.