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Olympic Games closing ceremony

If the opening ceremony was all glitz and gizmos, the closing ceremony of the Athens' Olympic Games yesterday was one big party, where revellers did not want to call it a night.

There were cultural dances, video shows, medal presentations and speeches. But all the athletes packing the field wanted was to dance the night away.

And why not? The mood was right, the soothing voices of Greek singers George Dalaras, Haris Alexious and Dimitra Galani, inviting.

Despite initial misgivings, many had grown to love Athens over the past fortnight.

Their host lived up to the tag-line of the Games: Welcome Home! Thousands of volunteers sacrificed summer holidays - for just three T-shirts - to make the foreign visitors comfortable.

But darkness had to fall over the Olympic Stadium, and the 28th Olympiad close, according to the Straits Times.

Jacques Rogge of the International Olympic Committee raved about the Games on Sunday night but adhered to his policy of never granting the best-ever status that his predecessor, Juan Antonio Samaranch, used to toss around like souvenir Olympic pins.

"I don't think my smile shows any disappointment," Mrs. A said. "We overwhelmed the world." And in a real way they did, by making the events and the buses and the television feeds run on time.

More than anybody else in Greece, Angelopoulos-Daskakali was the symbol of these Games. She returned from London and prodded the mostly male world of business and government, presiding over Games that exceeded worldwide expectations. But there is no guarantee over how this dynamic and intelligent lawyer will be perceived in the capital in six months or five years. She is not an Athenian, having grown up in Crete, the daughter of a man who rose from working in a jelly factory to owning the factory, informs International Herald Tribune.

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