2004 Summer Olympics

Games of the XXVIII Olympiad, held in Athens in 2004
Athens 2004
Games of the XXVIII Olympiad
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August 13, 2004
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August 29, 2004
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2004 Summer Olympics
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The 2004 Summer Olympics (Greek: Θερινοί Ολυμπιακοί Αγώνες 2004, Therinoí Olympiakoí Agónes 2004), officially known as the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad and commonly known as Athens 2004, was a premier international multi-sport event held in Athens, Greece, from 13 to 29 August 2004 with the motto Welcome Home. The Games saw 10,625 athletes compete, some 600 more than expected, accompanied by 5,501 team officials from 201 countries. There were 301 medal events in 28 different sports. Athens 2004 marked the first time since the 1996 Summer Olympics that all countries with a National Olympic Committee were in attendance. 2004 also marked the return of the Olympic Games to the city where they began. Having previously hosted the Olympics in 1896, Athens became one of only four cities to have hosted the Summer Olympic Games on two separate occasions at the time (together with Paris, London and Los Angeles). A new medal obverse was introduced at these Games, replacing the design by Giuseppe Cassioli that had been used since the 1928 Games. This rectified the long lasting mistake of using a depiction of the Roman Colosseum rather than a Greek venue. The new design features the Panathenaic Stadium. The 2004 Summer Games were hailed as "unforgettable, dream games" by IOC President Jacques Rogge, and left Athens with a significantly improved infrastructure, including a new airport, ring road, and subway system. There have been arguments (mostly in popular media) regarding the cost of the 2004 Athens Summer Games and their possible contribution to the Greek government-debt crisis, however, there is little or no evidence for such a correlation. The 2004 Olympics were generally deemed to be a success, with the rising standard of competition amongst nations across the world. The final medal tally was led by the United States, followed by China and Russia with the host Greece at 15th place. Several World and Olympic records were broken during these Games.
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