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Olympic turnaround by Michael Payne

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10. Coming home

2004 hindsight

At just after 8.30 pm on Sunday August 30th, 2004, Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, the President of the Athens Olympic Games Organizing Committee (ATHOC) strode out from underneath the newly constructed Calatrava roof, into the center of the main Olympic stadium to deliver her speech for the closing ceremony.

“We can fairly claim today that Greece and the Greek people have kept their promise. A promise made to the world and to ourselves. It was a promise of success, joy, celebration, peaceful coexistence and noble strife… And we can truthfully say that, with the Athens Olympic Games, the Olympic Movement and the Olympic ideal took a step forward.”

A crowd of 70,000 and more than a billion television viewers around ...

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