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MAJOR EVENTS  >  Opening and Closing Ceremonies of Olympic Games Athens 2004 Executive production

Games of the XXVIII Olympiad: Athens 2004


Opening date:
13 August 2004

Closing date:
29 August 2004

Country of the host city:

Candidate cities:
Buenos Aires (Argentina)
Cape Town (South Africa)
Rome (Italy)
Stockholm (Sweden)


The 2004 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad, were celebrated in Athens, Greece, from August 13 to August 29, 2004. It was the year where the Olympic Games returned to Greece, the home of both the ancient Olympics and the first modern Olympics.

11,099 athletes competed, some 600 more than expected, accompanied by 5,501 team officials from 202 countries. Athens 2004 marked the first time since the 1996 Summer Olympics that all countries with a National Olympic Committee were in attendance (201 NOCs). There were 301 medal events in 28 different sports. The overall tally for events on the programme was 301 (one more than in Sydney 2000). Popularity in the Games reached soared to new highs as 3.9 billion people had access to the television coverage compared to 3.6 billion for Sydney 2000.

Opening and Closing Ceremonies of Olympic Games Athens 2004


The widely praised Opening Ceremony by avant garde choreographer Dimitris Papaioannou held on August 13, 2004 began with a twenty eight (the number of the Olympiads up to then) second countdown paced by the sounds of an amplified heartbeat. The Opening Ceremony was mainly a pageant of traditional Greek culture and history hearkening back to its mythological beginnings chronicling Greek history from the ancient Minoan civilization to modern times.


The Games were concluded on August 29, 2004. The closing ceremony was held at the Athens Olympic Stadium, where the Games had been opened 16 days earlier. Around 70,000 people gathered in the stadium to watch the ceremony. The event was meant to highlight the pride of the Greeks in their culture and country for the world to see.

Executive production in the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of Olympic Games 2004 in Athens: CL Productions

The Athens 2004 Olympic Summer Games opening ceremony in numbers

  • 1982: Construction year of the Olympic Stadium, which was reconstructed for the Olympic Games
  • 201 NOCs (Nations)
  • 10,625 athletes (4,329 women, 6,296 men)
  • 301 events
  • 45,000 volunteers
  • 21,500 media
  • 2,162 cubic meters of water were used to fill the main performance area, with the water covering some 9,600 square meters of the stadium floor's surface
  • Organizers said it took 6 hours to fill the space with water, but only 3 minutes to drain via 10 high-speed drainage valves, half a meter diameter each. An underground reservoir was holding 2.3 million liters of water.
  • 18,700: The weight of the Calatrava shelter in tones
  • 37: The kilometers of wire rope (!) used to cover the cable network
  • 72: The computer-controlled pulleys used to move the settings
  • 22,500: The total weight that the cables on the pulleys could pull
  • 58: The diameter in meters of each Olympic circle formed on the water
  • 450: The meters of natural gas used to create the fiery circles
  • 4,648: The volunteers who participated in the opening ceremony
  • 75: The age of the oldest volunteer
  • 7: The age of the youngest volunteer
  • 31: The countries from which the volunteers were from (among others there were volunteers from Norway, Sweden, Spain, Hong Kong and Austria)
  • 700,000: The bottles of water used during the test ceremonies
  • 320: The hours of recorded music
  • 370: The speakers covering the stadium
  • 480: The amplifiers
  • Some 10,000 meters of fabric have been used for the 2,428 volunteer performers


  • 7,152: Pairs of socks
  • 4,000: Pairs of shoes
  • 2,500: Hangers
  • 15: Kilometers of thread

Watch a video from the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of Olympic Games ATHENS 2004

More Photos from the Ceremonies of Olympic Games Athens 2004 « View this part