Remembering the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Athens 2004


No words are sufficient to recall the visual, musical and emotional spectacle that Dimitris Papaioannou created to open the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens.

Fireworks lit up the sky as some 10,000 athletes representing 202 countries marched together in front of 70,000 spectators during the opening.

The ceremony featured countless themes from ancient and modern Greek culture including traditional music, mythology-inspired costumes and other such motifs.

“The Opening and Closing Ceremonies will reflect two main aspects of Ancient Greek culture: the Apollonian and Dionysian,” Artistic Manager and Director of Ceremonies, Dimitris Papaioannou, stated at the time.

It also marked the first time in more than a century that the Olympic Games returned to Greece — as the first modern games had taken place there in 1896.

Following the ceremony, a parade of nations entered the stadium. The nations were arranged according to Greek alphabet, making Finland, Fiji, Chile and Hong Kong the last four to enter the stadium before the Greek delegation.

The ceremony ended with a massive fireworks spectacular. Photo: IOC.

On this occasion, in observance of the Olympic tradition that Greece opens the parade and the host nation closes it, the Greek flag bearer opened the parade and all the Greek delegation closed it.

The ceremony ended with the lighting of the Olympic Cauldron by 1996 gold medalist windsurfer Nikolaos Kaklamanakis, after which the audience was encapsulated by a massive fireworks spectacular.




By subscribing you accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.


Latest News

The Larcos family: Navigating generational trauma from the Turkish invasion of Cyprus

The Larcos family could never have anticipated the upheaval that awaited them when they made the decision to relocate from Australia to Cyprus.

A lifetime of diplomacy: A conversation with Prokopis Vanezis

It was an afternoon full of stories—many untold—poetry, dragons, and a single fairy unfolds as the present meets the past to discuss the future.

Cyprus’ cultural heritage is not for sale

For centuries, ancient artefacts, art, and relics have been a topic of ownership, provenance, and morality debates.

Beyond sheftalies: Cypriot Australian youth keep reunification flame burning 50 years on

Young Cypriot Australians, born decades after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, are grappling with the conflict’s enduring legacy.

50 years of occupation: Who remembers Cyprus?

At the Ledra Palace check point in Nicosia, Cyprus stands a red and white sign that reads: ‘TURKISH REPUBLIC OF NORTHERN CYPRUS FOREVER.'

You May Also Like

Nick Politis down $160 million as Eagers Automotive shares crash

Rich Lister Nick Politis' wealth has taken a hit after Eagers Automotive's shares plunged 19 per cent in early trading on Wednesday.

Federal Minister calls for life ban on carer Anastasia Moutsos after sickening video of assault

Three women were found to have bullied and assaulted a disabled woman with cerebral palsy, Lee-Anne Mackey.

Hellenic Club of Canberra holds its Annual General Meeting

The Hellenic Club of Canberra held its Annual General Meeting on October 22, at its premises at Woden in the Australian Capital Territory.