Greece played host in August and September 2004 to the world's biggest sporting and entertainment spectaculars, the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Both Games were a great success, while the flawless and glittering Olympics were declared as “Dream Games” by International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge.
With the signs of the “new Greece” quite visible, the country has set an Olympic seal on its transformation over the past years. A tangible legacy of the Games is the impressive range of infrastructure projects that have changed the face of Athens and other parts of the country, ranging from the dramatic Rion-Antirion Bridge linking the western Greek mainland to the Peloponnese – the longest cable-suspended bridge in the world – to eleven new sports facilities, a five-stadium complex, an Olympic village and an integrated multi-modal transport system comprising a new metro line, a new tram line and a new international airport in Athens.
Moreover, an excess of $910 million was spent for sport and transportation infrastructure and development projects in the Olympic cities of Thessaloniki – northern Greece – Patras – in Peloponnese – Heraklion – on the island of Crete – and Volos – in central Greece, including improvement projects at 123 cargo and passenger Greek ports with great emphasis on the ports of the five Olympic cities and Piraeus.
The 2004 Olympic Games were a catalyst for the development of athletic tourism in Greece, since the country now possesses a state-of-the-art infrastructure for sport-related technology, entertainment, transportation and security, with emphasis on the quality of provided services, having proved its logistical capacity to organise major sport events and projects.
The Media Villages, Rowing Centre, Canoe-Slalom Centre, Beach Volleyball courts, Yachting Centre, Olympic Equestrian Centre, Shooting Centre, basketball courts and training facilities of Olympic calibre, are only part of the legacy left behind by the Games.
Furthermore, the Games contributed to the creation of a skilled work force in the organisation, funding and management sectors for hosting major sport events.
With its superb climate and Olympic infrastructure, Greece is the ideal place for the organisation of any type of participative or not athletic events, as well as special “Olympic” excursions that include all historical areas associated with athletics in ancient Greece.