Olympic Games - Events
The Olympics were held, after the completion of four years during the month of July or August. The time in between two Olympic Games was called an Olympiad. In the beginning the games lasted only one day and only had one event, the foot race but gradually more events were added resulting, towards the 5th century BC, in the games lasting for 5 days.
In total the Olympic Games consisted of 10 events: running, the pentathlon, jumping, discus, javelin, wrestling, boxing, the pancration, chariot racing, and horse racing. All Greeks who were free citizens and had not committed murder or heresy, had the right to take part in the Olympic Games. Women were not entitled to take part, except as owners in the horse races but they were strictly forbidden from watching the games.
The athletes presented themselves one month before the games began at Elis, the organising town, but the organisation and supervision for the upholding of the rules was carried out by the Hellanodikes (jury), who were chosen by lot from the citizens of Elis. Two days after the beginning of the games, the procession of the athletes and the judges started from Elis to arrive in Olympia where it was received by the crowds who had come to watch the games.
The ceremonies began with the official oath that was taken by the athletes at the altar of Horkios Zeus, in the Bouleuterion, swearing that they would compete with honour and respect the rules.
The victors enjoyed great honours and on returning to their cities. Their compatriots pulled down part of the walls for them to enter. They were also given special privileges and high office.
Olympic Games - Origin
The origin of the Olympic Games is linked with many myths referred to in ancient sources but in the historic years their founder is said to be Oxylos whose descendant Ifitos later rejuvenated the games.
According to tradition, the Olympic Games began in 776 BC when Ifitos made a treaty with Lycourgos the king and famous legislator of Sparta and Cleisthenes the king of Pissa. The text of the treaty was written on a disc kept in the Heraion. In this treaty that was the decisive event for the development of the sanctuary as a Panhellenic centre, the "sacred truce" was agreed, the ceasing of fighting in all of the Greek world for as long as the Olympic Games were on.
As a reward for the victors the cotinus, which was a wreath made from a branch of wild olive tree that was growing next to the opisthodomus of the temple of Zeus in the sacred Altis, was established after an order of the Delphic oracle.Related to:
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Football team AEK Athens have Olympic Stadium for their home so it is a good oppurtinity to see both the great stadium and a nice football match. Fantastic atmosphere, high class football. A must see!
Equipment: Tickets from 15 euro
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Pretty strange after five days of visiting Athens. I´ve seen so many beautiful things: monuments that are thousands of years old, statues, gorgeous landscapes, and so on. But the thing I will definitely will never forget is the football match of AEK Athens.
Andreas (AndyRG) was so kind to take me with him to a match against PAOK Saloniki. I´ve never before in my whole life experienced such an amazing match. Fireworks, thousands of enthusiastic supporter shouting, screaming, dancing and clapping, together with a beautiful stadium and an exciting match, made me have the time of my life.
If you are a football fan and you are in Athens during the football season, you should definitely arrange some tickets. The atmosphere is that wonderful that the result don´t even count.
During my first week in Athens Andreas - fan of AEK - took me with him on the stadium to support one of the leading football teams in Greece.
Greeks love football and they prooved it in 2003 in Portugal!
Olympiakos is by far Greece's most successful football club, one of the best-supported and also THE most hated. They are based near Athens in Piraeus and owned by Socrates Kokkalis. He bought the club in 1992.
OSFP, or Olympiakos Syndesmos Filathlon Piraeus (Olympic Association of Sportsmen of Piraeus) was formed on 10 March, 1925 after the merger of Piraeus Football Club and Piraeus Fans Club. The name was inspired by aviator Notis Kamperos. The club has had its down years but has pretty much dominated ever since it was formed. It has more titles than archrivals Panathinaikos and AEK combined! Olympiakos is nicknamed "Thrylos", meaning "legend".
After 10 straight years without a title, the worst stretch in their history, Olympiakos won an unprecedented 7 league championships in a row between 1997 and 2003. In 2004, they were finally knocked off by Panathinaikos.
Unfortunately, Olympiakos has failed to register in European competitions, always finding a dramatic way to lose.
Equipment: Olympiakos' colors are red and white. They play at Karaiskaki (Built 2004, Capacity 33,334) located at Faliro.
Olympiakos have won 32 Championships:
1931, 1933, 1934, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1947, 1948, 1951, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1966,1967, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1987, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003
1947, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1957, 1958, 1959,1960, 1961, 1963, 1965, 1968, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1981, 1990, 1992, 1999
2 Super Cups:
1947, 1951, 1954, 1957,1958, 1959, 1973, 1975, 1981, 1999
1 Balkan Cup:
AEK is a major football club in Athens with a great history and a large base of supporters. It has a very proud beginning and has been successful in the domestic league and competitive abroad.
When Athens was flooded with Greek refugees from Turkey in the 1920s, many famous athletes from Constantinople were among them, especially from the clubs Pera Klub and Enosi Tatavlon. They quickly joined other clubs in Athens, but they felt the need to have a club with their own identity.
In 1924, AEK, or Athlitiki Enosi Konstantinoupoleos (Athletic Union of Constantinople), was formed by these refugees. Its symbol of a black double-headed eagle of Byzantium on a yellow background was chosen.
Equipment: AEK's colors are yellow and black. Their historic home stadium is Nikos Goumas in Nea Filadelfia (Built 1930, Capacity 22,600). It was demolished in 2003 in order to build a new stadium. Matches have been played at Spyros Louis and Rizoupoli.
AEK has won 11 Championships:
1939, 1940, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1978, 1979, 1989, 1992, 1993, 1994
1932, 1939, 1949, 1950, 1956, 1964, 1966, 1978, 1983, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2002
1 Super Cup:
Panathinaikos (pa-na-thi-na-ee-KOS) is the biggest football club in Athens and very well supported throughout Greece. They have been successful domestically and competitive internationally.
POA, or Podosfairikos Omilos Athinon (Football Club of Athens), was founded in 1908 by an 18 year old Giorgios Kalafatis. In 1918, the team's colors, green and white, were chosen, along with the symbol of a 3-leafed clover, or trifili. In 1924, the club changed its named to the present name, PAO, or Panathinaikos Athlitikos Omilos (Panathinaikos Athletic Club).
PAO is responsible for the greatest accomplishment of a Greek team at the club level. They reached the final of the Champions Cup in 1971, but lost to Ajax 2-0 at Wembley Stadium in London. Along with that run, they have been the most competitive Greek team in international matches.
Equipment: Colors are green and white. Home games are played at Apostolos Nikolaidis at Leoforos Alexandras (Built 1922, Capacity 16,620). A new stadium is being discussed.
The team has won 19 Championships:
1930, 1949, 1953, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1977, 1984, 1986, 1990, 1991, 1995, 1996, 2004
1940, 1948, 1955, 1967, 1969, 1977, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 2004
3 Super Cups:
1988, 1993, 1994
And completed the double 6 times:
1969, 1977, 1984, 1986, 1991, 1995, 2004
Basketball is very popular in Athens and Greece. Athens has some well-supported teams, including AEK, Panathinaikos, Panionios, Maroussi, and smaller clubs. Olympiakos is nearby in Piraeus. The national team has also had competitive teams.
Equipment: This website gives you information about teams in English:
It has standings, players, team contact info, etc.
The website below is the official website in Greek.
On 4 July, 2004, hundreds of thousands of Athenians poured into the streets of Athens with tears of joy in their eyes to celebrate Greece's victory at Euro 2004 over Portugal. It was quite a scene watching everything unfold on TV. This was the biggest success Greek football has ever witnessed and will forever be in the hearts of Greeks.
100 to 1 underdogs at the start of the tournament, the team used defensive tactics and opportunistic offense to defeat the competition, only losing once to Russia, 2-1. Highlights included beating Portugal twice (in the opening match of the tournament and in the Final with only 1 shot on target - a corner by Angelos Basinas headed in by Angelos Charisteas), absolute domination of the French team, and the last-second silver goal by Traianos Dellas against the Czech team in the semi-final.
The mere mention of the victory will bring a smile to the face of any Greek around the world. Personally, it is the most joy I have ever felt in my life.
Equipment: The team was coached by Otto Rehhagel of Germany. The leading goalscorer was Angelos Charisteas with 3. Captain Theodoros Zagorakis won Player of the Tournament.
12/6/04 Greece 2, Portugal 1
16/6/04 Greece 1, Spain 1
20/6/04 Russia 2, Greece 1
25/6/04 Greece 1, France 0
01/7/04 Greece 1, Czech Rep. 0 (Silver Goal)
04/7/04 Greece 1, Portugal 0
Squad members: * indicates Euro All-Star
1 Antonis Nikopolidis*
2 Giourkas Seitaridis*
3 Stelios Venetidis
4 Nikos Dabizas
5 Traianos Dellas*
6 Angelos Basinas
7 Theodoros Zagorakis*
8 Stelios Giannakopoulos
9 Angelos Charisteas*
10 Vassilis Tsiartas
11 Demis Nikolaidis
12 Kostas Chalkias
13 Fanis Katergiannakis
14 Panagiotis Fyssas
15 Zisis Vryzas
16 Pantelis Kafes
17 Giorgios Giorgiadis
18 Yannis Goumas
19 Mihalis Kapsis
20 Giorgios Karagounis
21 Konstantinos Katsouranis
22 Dimitris Papadopoulos
23 Vassilis Lakis
During the day...
"Stoa", "Agora" and a... sea were created outside the Olympic Stadium a few months before the beginning of the Olympic Games, according to the plans of Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.
The new "look" of that area is totally different than its old one, for our own good and luck...Related to:
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Athens Olympic Sports Complex
Marousi is a northern suburb 9 km of Athens (22 from the airport), where mainly lies the olympic era. Most of the stadiums are there, like the Olympic Stadium (athletics-football), the stadiums for basketball, aquatics (diving -like at the picture- water polo, swimming, synchronised swimming), cycling, tennis. You can go to Athens Olympic Sports Complex with a lot of ways, the best is by metro ("Eirini" station or "Nerantziotissa" station).Related to:
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- Diving and Snorkeling
Athena and Phevos!
These were the mascots of the Olympic Games 2004 in Athens, in front of the Panathinaiko Stadio. A brother and a sister (Phevos is Apollo, the brother of goddess Athena) are the symbols of participation, heritage and celebration...
The source of inspiration for Athena-Phevos was an ancient greek doll (7th c. BC), it is exhibited at the National Archaeological Museum.
Many Greeks wanted another type of mascot, they didn't like them, but we were soon got used with Athena and her brother... The mascot about the Paralympic Games was Proteas, rather more beautiful.Related to:
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The connection with the present...
Panathinaiko Stadio is used nowadays in special occasions (celebrations, ceremonies, concerts etc). About 70.000 people can be inside it, as in 1968 and its world record (for details, check the travelogue about AEK).
At the Olympic Games of 2004 the marathon race (finish) -the original one- and the sport of archestry surely gave more gold pages to the history of the stadium.
During the night there is illuminance of it, really nice...Related to:
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Pyrros Dimas, the best Greek athlete
He was born in 1971, at Himarra of Northern Epirus (it belongs in Albania). He has managed to win three golden olympic medals, in Barcelona (1992), in Atlanta (1996) and in Sydney (2000). Athens was the place for the fourth one, this time bronze...
At the picture, Pyrros, already a myth and national hero, is lifting 180,5 kg -category of 84 kg- and making another world record (Athens, 26/11/1999, World Championship).Related to:
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Every visitor to Athens cannot fail to notice this huge hotel. It's right on Syntagma Square,...more
This place is wonderful. I arrived hungry and exhausted about 10pm (local) after a long and...more
This hotel's best quality is the location. It's very close to many attractions inside Athens. Near...more
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