2004 Summer Olympics.
August 11, 2022
The XXVIII Summer Olympic Games were held in 2004 in Athens, in the homeland of modern Olympism, Greece. After Athens surprisingly did not receive the organization of the games in 1996 when the centenary of modern Olympism was awarded to Atlanta, the IOC chose Athens this time, from among candidates from a short list that included Rome, Cape Town, Stockholm and Buenos Aires. The wider selection also included Istanbul, Lille, Rio de Janeiro, San Juan, Seville and St. Petersburg, but they were eliminated earlier. They were the first games in history where all the countries that at that time had their own official national Olympic federation and were members of the IOC participated, including debutants East Timor and Kiribati, as well as Serbia and Montenegro under that name. Although Athens had a lot of problems during the preparation of the Games, all the arenas were completed in time for the competitions despite construction delays. It is particularly interesting that some competitions were held at the ancient stadium in Olympia, so it is recorded that the first winner on the ancient arena in the modern era was the Cuban shot putter Jumileidi Kumba. The opening, as usual at the Olympic Games, was spectacular, with the participation of numerous internationally recognized artists, such as the Icelandic singer Björk. The parade of 202 participating nations was organized according to the order of the Greek alphabet. Considering that it is customary for the parade to be opened by athletes from Greece, and to be closed by the host athletes, this time it was decided to start the parade with only the Greek flag, and for the Greek athletes to enter the stadium last. Also, the old tradition of the Olympic flame traveling from Greece to the host country of the Games was modified this time so that after the lighting ceremony the torch made a tour around the world and then returned to the beginning.