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13 Aug 2004
IOC News

Opening ceremony of the Games in Athens: "A triple homage to Greece"

During his opening speech, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge paid a triple homage to Greece, which created the Games 28 centuries ago, revived them in 1896 and was organising them in 2004. Furthermore, he launched an appeal to the athletes, asking them to refuse doping and respect fair play. Below is the President’s speech in full.

Triple homage
“Mr President of the Hellenic Republic,
Dear Greek Friends,

The whole world is paying a triple homage to Greece this evening.

Humanity owes you this marvellous adventure that is the Olympic Games, created by you 28 centuries ago in Olympia. The world is also honouring you for having revived these Games in 1896, here in Athens, heeding the call of Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Games. Above all, the world is honouring and thanking you this evening for the organisation of the Games, which are coming back to their roots.

Thank you to Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki and all her enthusiastic team, and thank you also to the Greek public authorities, who have created an urban legacy that has transformed Athens.
Thank you to everyone who has supported the Olympic Games, and special thanks to the wonderful volunteers, without whom nothing would be possible.

Appeal to the Athletes
Athletes, I am speaking to you, this is the moment you deserve to savour, the reward for your efforts and commitment. Through your conduct, give us reasons to believe in sport that is increasingly credible, by refusing doping and respecting fair play!

Peace, tolerance, brotherhood
Our world today is in need of peace, tolerance and brotherhood.

Athletes from 202 National Olympic Committees: show us that sport unites by overriding national, political, religious and language barriers. May the Games be held in peace, in the true spirit of the Olympic Truce that was created right here.

Thank you Athens! Thank you Greece!

I now have the honour of inviting the President of the Hellenic Republic to proclaim the opening of the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad of the modern era.”

Learn more on Athens 2004

Official website of Athens 2004
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