Greece’s lifelong dream. It came true for my country and I was lucky enough to have it come true for me.
Olympic Games Athens 2004
Wondrous moments. For 2 years and particularly the last six months we lived through an unbelievable experience. A different Greece. A proud Greece. Spirits uplifted and goals set high and miraculously our tiny Mediterranean country achieved them.
Everything changed. Roads, transport, parks, stadiums, Calatrava came by, bringing us his roof. We were clean, smart, happy, optimistically facing the future.
I presented two programmes, the «official» one of the Athens 2004 Organizing Committee entitled «Olympiada oli I Ellada (Olympiad throughout Greece)», co-presented by Babis Papapanagiotou, producer Fanis Synadinos, chief editor the untiring, super-conscientious Lili Alexaki, directed by my sweet Tasos, the famous director and lovely man, Tasos Birsim, and with guest stars Michalis Mavromatis and Lambis Tagmatarhis.
The second was called “Celebrating Cultural Olympiad”. It was broadcast on Eurosport and I presented it entirely in English. A marvellous time, a great honour, work from morn till night, I never felt tired, being filled with a sense of satisfaction. My producer was once again the indefatigable but always cool-headed Fanis Synadinos, director Giorgos Bisias, young and talented, and editor in chief, a remarkable and educated journalist, Ilias Vergitsis. The most wonderful, unforgettable moment was when I was asked to host the opening ceremony of the Olympic year in Irakleio, Crete. Alkistis Protopsalti was guest singer and the squares and the harbour were overflowing with people. 13 August 2003, a fairytale evening. We were linked simultaneously to Patras where Stamatis Kraounakis, Speira Speira and Kostas Makedonas were singing, to Thessaloniki with Dimitra Galani and Melina Aslanidou, to Volos with Lavrentis Mahairitsas and Dimitris Starovas.
"Celebrating Cultural Olympiad"
Torch Relay: I ran in one of the most beautiful places on earth, the coastal road in Myconos, side by side with my daughter Elena and I handed over the torch to the real Myconian Yiannis Zouganelis.
Paralympic Games: I made friends and saw the strength of truly courageous men, such as Simos Paltsanitidis, President of athletes with disabilities, Sakis Kostaris, the Aegeathlon athlete, the Paralympic athletics champion Giorgos Karaminas, Kyriakos Griveas, Thanasis Barakos.