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Home > Schedule - Results > Friday 13 August

Friday 13 August

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Opening Ceremony

The Opening Ceremony of the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games. © ATHOC/ Getty ImagesWith a magical Opening Ceremony, Athens welcomed the best athletes from around the globe for the Olympic Games, which returned home.

72.000 people inside the Olympic Stadium and four billion more across the globe watched the moment the Games returned to the country where they were born and the city where they revived.

Connecting symbolically the Ancient Olympia Stadium with the Athens Olympic Stadium, the beginning of the Opening Ceremony bridged 3,000 years of Olympic Games history. 400 percussionists played to the rhythm of the Greek dance “zeimbeiko” and then to the heartbeat, as the Olympic circles appeared flaming through the water that covered the Olympic Stadium’s field of play.

Next, a giant Cycladic head (2,700 b.C.) slowly emerged from the centre of the Stadium. Following the course of Greek art, it then broke apart to reveal to the astonished audience the figure of a “Kouros” statue and then to a classical statue. At the perimeter of the field of play the history of Greek civilisation was depicted, starting from the Minoan age to the present day, through works of art.

The 202 National Delegations paraded in the Olympic Stadium in alphabetical order  (according to the Greek alphabet), accompanied by music played by the famous DJ Tiesto. Flagbearer of the Greek Olympic Team was Pyrros Dimas, three time Olympic gold medallist in Weightlifting. Bjork, the singer and performer from Iceland, then sang “Oceania”, a song she composed especially for the Opening Ceremony of the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games.

A gigantic ATHENS 2004 Olympic Torch is the Cauldron from where the Olympic flame will light throughout the Games.

When the last Torchbearer, Sailing Olympic winner Nikos Kaklamanakis, reached the Cauldron, the Torch pivoted downwards, bringing symbolically together earth and sky. Nikos Kaklamanakis lit the Cauldron and the Torch slowly lifted the Flame above the Athens Olympic Stadium.

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