2004 Athens (Greece)
XXVIIIth Olympic Summer Games from 08/13 to 08/29/2004
Day 0 – Opening Ceremony – August 13
Arrived without problem in 2004 Athens which is full of the Olmpics colors. The transport system is well organized. In the morning, I visit OAKA, big venue where is Olympic stadium with Opening Ceremony this evening.
In the afternoon, I search the pin trading Coca-Cola center, it is in the south of Athens, near Pireaus port.
The Greeks presented us a grand spectacle with their magnificent opening ceremony. An extraordinary ambiance is guaranteed. The Games are opened.
Day 1 – August 14
9.00 am: women basketball at Helliniko Stadium.
1st match: Australia vs Nigeria, australians win 85/73.
2nd match: Korea vs China. A very interesting match, chinese win 71/54.
After, I visit Zappeion exhibition center where I see many of my foreign collectors friends. I go to Panathinaiko Stadium to see it. Near, is the training center for archery. In the evening, I go with my friends in Plaka, the best place to find a good restaurant not too expensive.
Day 2 – August 15
6.30 pm: fencing at Helliniko Olympic Complex, Women’s Individual Epee Semifinals and finals, medal.
Good new, 2 french athlets, Laura Flessel-Colovic and Maureen Nisima are qualified for finals.
We try to find a general programme, but don’t exist for
Athens 2004. We meet Philippe Boisse for an autograph. The final is France against Hungary!
In the 1st match Laura Flessel-Colovic win against Ildiko Mincza-Nebald with 15/14. Yeah, we are insured to get a silver medal and maybe a gold!
In the 2nd match, Timea Nagy win against Maureen Nisima by 15/14.
At the half time, I see Marie-Jose Perec, gold medal in 1992 Barcelona and 1996 Atlanta in athletics. I ask her an autograph. I see also Jean-Francois Lamour, actual minister of sport in France.
For bronze medal, it’s a nice match and the winner is Maureen Nisima with 15/12! Yessssss!
For gold medal, unfortunately Laura Flessel lost with 10/15, she have the silver medal for these 2004 Athens olympics.
Day 3 – August 16
10.30 am: Opening ceremony of the world olympic and sport stamp exhibition, coins and memorabilia. Many VIP are present: Dora Bayokannis, J.A.Samaranch and Jacques Rogge.An orchestra play the national greek anthem and olympic anthem.
“Greece”, by Michalis Vourtsis, is performed by the soprano Miss Alkisti Toya.
Jacques Rogge and Michalis Liapis, minister of transport and communication cut the white ribbon. After, we go to OAKA to trade some pins, unfortunately, it’s not possible to enter inside without a ticket or an accreditation and we must go back. Curious, because it’s only an olympic Park where are some sponsors, not yet inside Stadium, but it’s forbidden to visitors!
Day 4 – August 17
Visit of Coca-Cola center situed at Delta Falirou. Dora Bayokannis is here also.
Day 5 – August 18
Nothing particular today, except an auction for olympic memorabilia in Athens where I didn’t buy anything.
Day 6 – August 19
This morning, at 10 am, visit of historical museum of Athens where we can see an exhibition on renewal of modern Olympic Games by Pierre de Coubertin, the precursors were the Zappas cousins. After we go to the Interactive Museum, and we visit the virtual reality show which present the Olympia venue with gymnasium and ancient stadium where we see the old contests. I go to Water Plaza to Coca-Cola center.
Day 7 – August 20
Visit to Olymphilex for cancellations . My mail is on the way. Also, I go to Zappeion to look the stands and keep the one of my russian friend, Irina. Good day for France with 5 medals more.
Day 8 – August 21
2pm: badminton at Goudi Olympic Complex, Women’s Doubles Gold Medal Match.The China team Jiewen Zuang/Wei Yang win the gold medal 2/1 against the other China team Sui Huang/Ling Gao, the bronze medal is for a Korean team.
4pm: Men’s Singles Gold Medal Match, Taufik Hidayat (Indonesia) win 2/0 against Soung Mo Shon (Korea), the bronze medal is for an other indonesian. The game is very spectacular because very fast, the supporters give a show to spectators.
Day 9 – August 22
8.30am: women field hockey at Helleniko complex.
1st match: the german win 3/2 against korean.
2nd match: New-Zealand have 2/0 against Spain in the 1st half-time.
We go to Club France, but it’s not possible to enter, french supporters are not welcome in this house! It’s better to go in other houses like Netherlands, Switzerland or Canada!
In the evening, I go to Panathinaïko stadium to see the women marathon.
Day 10 – August 23
9pm: volley-ball at Peace and friendship Stadium.
1st match: France/Tunisia. With difficulties, France win by 3/1.
2nd match: Russia/Italia, Russia have 2/0 when I go out for tennis table.
1pm: tennis table at Galatsi Olympic Hall
1st match for bronze medal between chinese Ligin Wang and swedish Jan-Ove Waldner who lost by 1/4.
2nd match for gold medal between chinese Hao Wang and korean Seung Min Ryu who won by 4/2.
Day 11 – August 24
10am: collector’s meeting with Olympic Museum Lausanne. A very interesting moment. We hope that it’s the start of a good cooperation between serious collectors and Olympic Museum. I go to MPC/IBC and I find some pins collectors. later, I go to Olympic Complex and I find many pins collectors too and many peoples.
7.30pm: athletics at Olympic stadium, Men’s Decathlon Javelin Throw, after a good 1500 m, french Laurent Hernu is 7th.
Men’s Long Jump Qualifying Rounds, french Salim Sdiri is qualified with 8,08 m.
Women’s Pole Vault Final, french Vanessa Boslak is 6th, russian Yelena Isinbayeva win the gold medal and the world record with 4,91 m.
Men’s 3000m Steeplechase Final, 3 kenyans are winners
Men’s 1500m Final, Hicham El Guerrouj win the gold medal.
Day 12 – August 25
We go to supermarket.
7pm: some pin trades inside olympic park near olympic stadium. After, I go to stadium to see the contests.
Qualifying for men pole vault with french unqualified Nicolas Guigon, 5,40 m and Romain Mesnil, 5,65 m.
Women long jump, Marion Jones, 6,70 m and Carolina Kluft, 6,73 m are qualified. French Eunice Barber is unqualified with 6,37 m.
Women 400 m Hurdles is won by Fani Halkia, greek.
Women hammer throw final, the russian Kuzenkova is the winner.
Men 200 m semifinals with Frankie Fredericks qualification.
Women 200 m final, jamaican Campbell is the winner.
Day 13 – August 26
Nothing particular. In the end of afternoon, I go to MPC for trading pins, many medias are here. I finish by a short meeting in Gobi restaurant where the american collectors are staying.
Day 14 – August 27
I go to stadium of 2004 Athens to make some trade of pins. I meet my canadian friends Jean-Paul et Lucile. Later, one of my pin friend, Pablo, a pin soccer collector and journalist at AFP, join us to speak about pin collection. We are stopped by some volunters qui ask to Jean-Paul to store his pins because some of other collectors sold them. After a hard debate, they accept that Jean-Paul trade. Later, a civilian, maybe a policeman (Dimitri Dan..), give the order to close. Lucile try to discuss with, but no success. We renounce, but 1 h later, Jean-paul comeback and trade again without problem. I stay with him and I meet a french athlet, laurence Brize who compete in shooting. We trade some pins, I ask her an autograph, also to her friend Valerie Bellenoue, after I go to stadium.
8pm: athletics at Olympic Stadium, Men’s Pole Vault Final, american Timothy Mack is the winner with 5,95 m, new olympic record.
Women’s Long Jump Final, 3 russians are medalist
Men’s 50km Race Walk Medal Ceremony, Robert Korzeniowski (Poland) is the winner.
Women’s Javelin Throw Final, Osleidys Menendez (71,53 m) from Cuba is the winner.
Men’s 4 x 400m Relay Round 1, a bad relay and the France lost all her chances.
Men’s 110m Hurdles Medal Ceremony, a chinese win the gold medal
Women’s 4 x 100m Relay Final, french team is bronze medal after Jamaican and US teams.
Day 15 – August 28
3.30pm: taekwondo at Faliro Sports Pavilion, Women’s Under 67kg Preliminaries, Repechage, finals, Men’s Under 80kg Preliminaries, Repechage, finals. I start before the end to be in time at stadium.
8pm: athletics at Olympic Stadium, Women’s High Jump Final, Yelena Slesarenko, Russia, win the gold medal avec a jump at 2,06 m, the African South Hestrie Cloete win the silver medal with 2,02 m and ukrainian Viktoriya Styopina the bronze medal with 2,02 m.
Women’s 1500m Final, english Kelly Holmes win the gold medal, then russian Tatyana Tomashova for silver medal and Romanian Maria Cioncan
Men’s Javelin Throw Final, norvegian Andreas Thorkildsen, outsider, win the gold medal with 86,50 m, then Vadims Vasilevskis for silver medal and russian Sergey Makarov for bronze medal
Men’s 800m Final, winner is russian Yuriy Borzakovskiy, then south african Mbulaeni Mulaudzi and danish Wilson Kipketer.
Men’s 5000m Final with a fantastic winner as Hicham El Guerrouj, then ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele and kenian Eliud Kipchoge.
Men’s 4 x 100m Relay Final won by british team then USA and Nigeria
Women’s 4 x 400m Relay Final won by USA, then Russia and Jamaica
Men’s 4 x 400m Relay Final won by USA then Australia and Nigeria.
Day 16 – Closing Ceremony – August 29
Meeting with a french volunter who participate for the first time to Olympic Games. No communication with foreign volunters, the instruction were no given in english but only in greek. Not easy to understand!
9pm: Closing Ceremony of 2004 Athens in Olympic Stadium. It’s my last pins trading before the start of Closing Ceremony. I go to Stadium, the volunters give us a bag with a balloon, a white scarf, a light and the official program.
See you in Beijing 2008!