For thousands of years, the Greek experience of life has been captured and communicated through song and dance. Those were the recurring themes displayed Sunday night at the Closing Ceremony of the 2004 Olympics.
For 16 days a total of 201 teams and 10,500 athletes competed across 37 disciplines and 28 sports at the Summer Games. On Sunday night the Athens Games came to a close.
Nearly four years ago there was a rumble that Athens would not be ready as the host city of the 2004 Olympics and they may have to shift back to Sydney, site of the 2000 Games. But those estimates were far off, and Athens pulled off Games that were well organized and exciting. There were some controversies in judging and doping, but overall the Games were deemed a success.
On Sunday night Athens had its crowning moment with a spectacular performance from nearly 3,700 volunteers and more than 70,000 watched in awe at the spectacular fireworks show that highlighted the culmination of the Olympics, writes Houston Chronicle.
According to the San Diego Union Tribune, fireworks and spectacular lighting kicked off the closing ceremony Sunday night, a two-hour extravaganza of folk dancing and music in the Olympic tradition that summed up the glee and relief the games brought to Greece.
Afterward, thousands of athletes marched into Olympic stadium, waving their arms and flags, snapping photos of each other.
A full moon lit up the sky, adding an extra sparkle to the night. Not quite as high above the celebration was the white security blimp, keeping a watchful eye on the all the action – as it did throughout the games.
"You have won," International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge told the Greek people, who responded with a roar. "You have won by brilliantly meeting the tough challenge of holding the games.
"These were unforgettable, dream games."
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