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06 Aug 2004
IOC News

President Rogge inaugurates museum in Thessalonica

The day after his arrival in Greece, IOC President Jacques Rogge went to Thessalonica, the second city of the country, in the company of Lambis V. Nikolaou, IOC Executive Board member, for the inauguration of the Sports Museum and the brand new exhibition on football.

Thessalonica, cultural and sporting city
Thessalonica is Greece’s second largest city and one the most important cultural sites in Europe. For President Rogge, “this new Sports Museum marks a new era for Thessalonica and the sports movement in Greece. As Olympism binds together sports with culture and education, Thessalonica is the ideal place for such a museum.” This is also because, during the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad, Thessalonica is going to host not only cultural events, but also football tournament matches.

Greece-Korea opening match
Thessalonica is one of five cities, with Athens, Volos, Heraklion and Patras, which will organise matches for the Olympic football tournament. The most anticipated match for the Greek people is the opening match between the host nation, Greece, and Korea, which will take place on 11 August, two days before the start of the Games.
In all, eight matches will be held in the Kaftanzoglio Stadium in Thessalonica, which has been renovated specially for the Games. Thessalonica is also the city with the oldest sports club in Greece, Iraklis FC, created in 1899 and originally aimed at literature- and music-lovers before becoming a football club.

Football honoured
For its first exhibition, the Thessalonica Museum could not offer a better gift to Greece than an exhibition on football, the sport which, for President Rogge, “brings together and unites nations and peoples worldwide, thus symbolising the same universality as the Olympic Games”. President Rogge recalled the fantastic victory of the Greek team in Euro 2004 in Portugal, welcoming the presence of the coach, Otto Rehhagel, and European champion player Stylianos Giannakopoulos.

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Official website of Athens 2004
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