- 27 Aug 2004
- IOC News
Olympic fans are loving it!
They came, they saw and they loved it ! Fans from all over the world have flocked to Athens for the Olympic Games - and nearly all of them are having the time of their lives. One typical example is British sports fan Kathryn Essex. Her story of commitment to being in Athens is an extraordinary, but true, tale of how real supporters travel and live at such a fabulous major event.
Long route from Coventry to Athens
Kathryn came the long route… went from Coventry airport, flew for £8.99 to Rome, one-way, picked up a camper-van and drove down the coast to Bari and then got on a ferry to Patras. "Then we arrived to stay a couple of nights with friends here in the city of Athens before we moved down the coast south of Athens and parked up in a marina, where there are loads of camper vans and people are parked.
“Everyone mixes so well”
"There are loads of other fans here and it is fun. Everyone mixes so well. The Dutch are brilliant - and they are massive! They are everywhere. You can always see them, too, because they are all in orange. And the Australians are here, too, obviously. There's a lot of German fans and Brazilians as well. And quite a few French. It has been such a great experience. Really cool and good”, Kathryn concluded.
Orange crew in town
Further south, down in Vouliagmeni, they still talk of the day the Orange crew came into town. It was Day Five of the Olympic Games. The occasion was the women's road cycling time-trial. The peace and quiet was shattered by the event as thousands of brightly-coloured, orange-clad Dutch supporters arrived, enjoyed and celebrated.
“Most impressive Games I can remember”
At their heart was a woman of substantial size and personality. She was Erica Terpstra, President of the Dutch Olympic Committee, who revelled in the victory of one of her compatriots, Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel. It was a great day for the Dutch, but also a great day for the Olympic Games.
Erica explained: "I am what you might call a veteran of going to the Olympic Games and I must say these are just about the most impressive I can remember. I think these are the most surprising Olympics I have ever attended. Nobody thought it would be so marvellous as it is now."
“All is right”
Terpstra added: "I think the venues are superb and the traffic and everything else, in terms of the infrastructure, is all right, too. It has been a thrill just to be here. Even the climate has been marvellous for us. And the Greek people, especially the volunteers, are so friendly and helpful.
Learn more on Athens 2004
Official website of Athens 2004