ATHOC Executive Director Spyros Capralos believes that Athens will stage unique Olympic Games in 2004. At a press conference in Athens, Mr Capralos said "Almost from the first day that we started preparations for the 2004 Olympic Games, we have spoken about unique Games. Today, around 250 days before the Opening Ceremony, we can say with certainty that they will be unique, because the Stadium of Ancient Olympia, just like 2,700 years ago, when the Olympic Games began, will host an Olympic event: the shot put competition for men and women on 18 August 2004".
From the Tomb of Marathon
According to Capralo, two other events bear witness to the unique nature of these Games: the Marathon race will be run along the classic route, starting from the Tomb of Marathon, and the archery event will be held in the Panathinaiko Stadium, the same stadium where the revived Olympic Games were held in 1896. These three factors will make the Athens Games unique.
"Only we have Olympia"
"Everyone now believes that Olympia offers a unique opportunity for the Olympic Games and their history to become widely known, for them to be revived in the places where they were born", Capralos said at a press conference in Athens. "Olympic Games in Greece not involving Olympia would be inconceivable, because all host cities have and will have impressive stadiums. Only we have Ancient Olympia", he concluded.
Respect for the archeological site
Capralos also specified the way they want to proceed with respect to organising the event: "We have set very high requirements to respect the historical aspect of the site in Ancient Olympia. We are not going to create any adverse or hazardous conditions that might damage the archaeological site of Olympia. The shot put event will be held in Ancient Olympia without any visual alteration of the competition ground; without any, even prefabricated, temporary structures and grandstands; and without any electronic boards and artificial lighting. The number of spectators in the stadium will be limited to 15,000.
The programme of 8 August is as follows: At 8.30 a.m. the women’s qualifying event, at 10 a.m. the men’s qualifying event; at 4.15 p.m. the women's finals and at 6 p.m. the men’s finals. Medals will be awarded to both men and women on 20 August in the Olympic Stadium in Athens.
Official website of Athens 2004