GOARCH - September 5, 1997

Archbishop Spyridon Praises Selection of Athens
to Host the Olympic Games in 2004

New York - His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon expressed great joy at the news that Athens has been selected by the International Olympic Committee to host the 2004 Olympics.

"This is indeed a victory for the Hellenic spirit," said the Archbishop. "It is only fitting that the Olympics should again be hosted by the land of their birth and also of their rebirth."

The city was among five contenders. The other candidates were Rome, Stockholm, Cape Town and Buenos Aires.

The ancient games got their start in 776 B.C. in Olympia (Greece), from which they derive their name. They continued uninterrupted for more than a thousand years until the 4th century AD.

It will be the first time in more than a century that the Olympics will be held in the land of their birth. Athens served as host for the first modern Games in 1896 when the Olympic Games were revived.

The Archbishop also expressed his confidence that the Athens Olympics "will be the most successful ever and that they will serve as the perfect showcase for the wonders of both ancient and modern Greece."

  September 5, 1997 ]