Wednesday, July 25, 2012

2004 Summer Olympic Opening Ceremony - Athens (entire ceremony)


The Games of the XXVIII Olympiad
Athens, Greece
2004
Opening Ceremony of the 2004 Olympics in Athens
Olympic Ceremony Records
italics indicate records at the time
  • First City to Host Three Official or Unofficial Olympic Games (1896, 1906 intercalated games, 2004 - the 1906 games weren't "unofficial" unitl the IOC Congress of 1948)
  • First Opening Ceremony to Fill Stadium Floor with Water
  • First Holograph
  • Most Nations Participating (201) - previous Sydney 2000 (199)
  • Most Olympic Events (301) - previous Sydney 2000 (300)
Olympic Torch Relay Records
italics indicate records at the time
  • Most Nations Traveled - 27 (previous Munich 1972 - 8) 
  • First Global Torch Relay
  • Longest Torch Relay - 132,129km (previous Sydney 2000 - 38,646km)

Opening Ceremony
Olympic Stadium (71,030)
August 13, 2004

Complete Video
(viewer's guide below in Ceremony Highlights)
Video may take some time to load depending on connection. 
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Official Report
(click the image below to download the Official Report - to large for embedding)

Opening Ceremony Highlights
Athens was under great financial stress coming into the games, yet their minimalist opening ceremony was magnificent.  Even though the ceremony could not compare to the size of Sydney, Athens incorporated many unique ideas and most importantly, planned the most effective music score combining the ethereal feel and modern minimalist grandeur of the event in every segment.  This would highly influence Beijing's music adaptations in 2008.
  • Welcome (1:00)
    • Drummers enter stadium
    • Comet launches from the video screen to the stadium floor filled with water, lighting the Olympic Rings
  • Wide Sea (6:20)
    • Boy in paper boat starts his journey across the water-filled stadium floor
    • President of Greece arrives with dignitaries
    • Greek National Anthem
  • Allegory (14:10)
    • Centaur enters the stadium lake
    • Giant marble head rises from the center of the lake
    • Projections of great Greek thinkers on the head
    • Head breaks into 8 pieces revealing statue of a young man
    • Statue breaks into 6 pieces revealing another statue depicting freedom
    • Cube appears on which a man walks
    • Fragments fall to stadium floor as islands in the Aegean Sea
  • Clepsydra (20:50)
    • Procession of Greek images through time
  • Book of Life (32:00)
    • Pregnant woman walks toward holographic DNA strand in the center of the lake
    • Goddess Athena makes an olive tree appear in the center of the stadium, islands come to together to form the Acropolis; water recedes
  • Parade of Nations (39:30)
  • "Oceania" performed by Bjork; dress covers athletes; dove projected upon the cloth (57:50)
  • Dedication to all the previous Olympic Hosts (1:04:00)
  • President of Greece declares the games open (1:08:00)
  • Olympic Flag enters the stadium and is raised to the Olympic Hymn (1:09:30)
  • Athlete's and Judge's Oaths (1:19:10)
  • Olympic Flame enters the stadium; cauldron is lit by Nikos Kaklamanakis (Gold Medalist in Windsurfing) (1:21:00)

Photos
Gold Medal from the 2004 Olympics in Athens
2004 Athens Olympic Torch
Official Poster of the 2004 Olympics in Athens
Opening Ceremony of the 2004 Olympics in Athens
Opening Ceremony of the 2004 Olympics in Athens
Opening Ceremony of the 2004 Olympics in Athens
2004 Olympic Cauldron in Athens

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