At a press conference this afternoon, ATHENS 2004 President Mrs Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki commented on the successful completion of the 2004 Olympic Games and took questions from Greek and foreign journalists.

Mrs Angleopoulos began by evaluating the Games:
‘The Games of the 28th Olympiad have been concluded’ (she said). ‘With the challenge of the Paralympic Games still to come, from 17 to 28 September, we can fairly claim today that Greece and the Greek people have kept their promise, a made to the world and to ourselves.

It was a promise of success, joy, celebration, peaceful coexistence, and noble strife. The world has witnessed that we were able to organise insuperable, unique Games that rose to the occasion of returning to their birthplace.

And we can truthfully say that, with the Athens Olympic Games, the Olympic Movement and the Olympic Ideal took a step forward.

The message of the Athens Games was sent out to the whole world loud and clear. It was the message of the first International Torch Relay, the message of Ancient Olympia, the message of our terrific volunteers, the message of a hospitable and safe Greece, the message of a modern, hard-working, successful Greece.

It was also the message of the need for ‘clean Games’, and for the Olympic Movement and the whole world to face up to anything that casts a shadow on noble strife and fair play.

In Athens, the world’s athletes were able to compete under the best possible conditions, the best venues and the best organisation ever.

And our Greek athletes, with their ethos and their performances, exhibited in a unique fashion our country’s inherent, authentic links with the Olympic Ideal.

With yesterday’s celebration and the message of the Opening Ceremony still echoing in our ears, I would like to thank all those who strove so hard, under such personal stress, to carry out successful Olympic Games in Athens:

those at ATHENS 2004 for their excellent work, all those in the state sector who contributed to this undertaking by their work, the state representatives, and all the people who worked with us, whatever their positions and duties. And I want also to thank our fellow-citizens, who made a decisive contribution to the Games’ success by their civilised conduct, whether in the streets of our city or in the stadiums.

Our biggest thanks, though, go to our wonderful volunteers, to whom we are greatly indebted; not only for supporting this effort, but also because they gave a new meaning to the Olympic Games in their own special way. They set an example, a trend towards volunteering in Greece for the Games that will bequeath a priceless legacy to Greek society at large.

At the Athens Games:

We hosted 11,099 athletes from 202 countries, more than any other sport event ever held, the largest number of athletes in history.

We ensured that these Games were held in the best sport venues possible.

We provided the finest Olympic Village and the best centres for the international Press and Broadcasters.
More people applied to serve as volunteers at these Games than ever before.

3,581,080 tickets were sold, a record number, bearing Greece’s population in mind.

The transport system worked impeccably for athletes, journalists, spectators and visitors alike.

Technology and telecommunications performed flawlessly to a very high level and covered the requirements of the Games perfectly.

Again with the size of the host country in mind, there were greater assured profits to the sponsors than at any previous Games, for a smaller number of sponsors.

The Athens Olympic Games had a 20% larger share of television viewers than Sydney. Four billion viewers all over the world watched these Games. They all saw Greece, inside and outside the stadiums. We have showcased our country as it has never been showcased before.

All of us working from start to finish on this herculean task feel satisfied and proud of our labours. We are proud of what we Greeks accomplished. We are proud of what we told the world, the message we sent out as contemporary Greeks.

Lastly I would like to thank all of you, the media, for helping us by your interest and your critical eye, to transmit the message of the Athens Olympic Games all over the world.

For more details contact:

International Media Desk
T: +30 210 2004 002