The 2021 Olympic Games are soon to take place in Tokyo and how can I not think back to that spectacular Opening Event of the Athens Olympic Games in 2004? It was the most amazing year for Greece! The last time they took place in Greece was 108 years before – in 1896; many people feel they should always take place in the country where they were ‘born’. That is a matter of great controversy which I will most definitely not go into.
What I would like to share with you is the fantastic news of the Athens Olympic Games Museum which opened its doors on the 14th May, 2021. An absolutely marvelous place which should be visited by everyone.
The museum is at number 37A Kifisias Avenue in Marousi. It is next to the Golden Hall shopping center.
Operation Hours: From 10:00hrs – 21:00hrs from Monday to Sunday.
DID YOU KNOW?
- 202 countries participated in the 2004 Olympic Games in Greece.
- The opening ceremony which was one of the most impressive and most spectacular of all times covered 3000 years of history.
SOME FACTS ABOUT THE GAMES IN ANCIENT GREECE
- The first ever stadium in ancient Olympia was built in 560 BC. It took, however, 60 years before the final stadium as we know was completed. It could then accommodate up to 45.000 spectators.
- A 192.28m run, which was the length of a stadium, was the oldest Olympic Event ever.
- The discus which athletes threw was made out of either stone or metal and weighed 6 kilograms.
- In the horseraces, the riders were naked.
- Only men of Greek descent were allowed to compete in the Games.
- Married women were not allowed to watch the Olympic Games. There were strict rules for this and if any woman didn’t adhere to them, their punishment was … death by being thrown off Mount Typaeon. An exception was made to virgins though; they were allowed to enter the Altis.
- All athletes competed nude in the stadium.
- A woman, called Kallipateira disguised as a man, entered the stadium once because she wanted to celebrate her son’s victory. She was discovered and since then, coaches and athletes had to go naked.
- A branch of wild olive tree made into a wreath was the prize athletes got when competing in events. The official name for this wreath is … ‘kotinos’.
- In 1896, the winner of the Marathon event, Spiridon Louis, was offered the usual fruit juice that all competitors enjoyed after an event. He refused the juice and asked for a few glasses of … wine.
Over the years, the Olympic Games have gained so much recognition and popularity.
Hopefully, the Games return to their birthplace soon and that would be just one more reason to visit this spectacular country.
Best of luck to all contestants this year!