Athens to host 2004 Olympics

Athens Wins the 2004 Summer Games

01:21 p.m Sep 05, 1997 Eastern

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuter) - Athens, founder of the ancient and modern Olympics, was on Friday awarded the right to stage the 2004 Summer Games.

The Greeks, who failed in a bid eight years earlier when they applied to host the centennial Olympics in 1996, won in a five-way fight with Rome, Cape Town, Buenos Aires and Stockholm.

Rome, the eternal city, had been seen as favourite but most observers felt the decision was too close to call in the week leading up to Friday's vote by 107 International Olympic Committee (IOC) members.

When IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch announced the result at the Palais de Beaulieu, Greek bid leader Gianna Angelopoulos hugged members of her delegation and kissed them on the cheek while supporters chanted her name.

Athens, rejected in favour of Atlanta for the 1996 Games, won at the second attempt by adopting a totally different approach.

At the first attempt, they were criticized for acting as if they had a right to the Games, 100 years after Athens hosted the first modern Olympics.

This time the personable Angelopoulos wooed IOC members, convincing them of Athens's efforts to modernize its infrastructure and facilities.

Olympics-Athens defeat Rome in fifth round of voting

01:29 p.m Sep 05, 1997 Eastern

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, Sept 5 (Reuter) - Athens defeated favourites Rome in the fifth and final round of voting on Friday for the right to stage the 2004 Summer Olympics.

Athens was in front in each round of voting and almost clinched the verdict in the previous round, falling just two votes short of an absolute majority when Cape Town was still in the running.

The votes by 107 International Olympic Committee members were as follows (lowest vote in each round eliminated):

    First round:
 Athens        32
 Rome          23
 Stockholm     20
 Buenos Aires  16
 Cape Town     16
    Second round (tiebreak):
 Cape Town     62
 Buenos Aires  44 (eliminated)
    Third round:
 Athens        38
 Rome          28
 Cape Town     22
 Stockholm     19 (eliminated)
    Fourth round:
 Athens        52
 Rome          35
 Cape Town     20 (eliminated)
    Fifth round:
 Athens        66
 Rome          41 (eliminated) ^REUTER@

Naked support for Greece brings arrest warrant

01:31 p.m Sep 08, 1997 Eastern

ATHENS, Sept 8 (Reuter) - One man's support for Greece's Olympic bid was found on Monday to be too blatant even by patriotic Athenian standards.

Demosthenes Vergis, well-known for his political pranks, distributed posters of himself naked across the city, his private parts pointing at a photo of Primo Nebiolo, Italian head of the International Amateur Athletic Federation.

Athens won the right to host the 2004 Olympic Games on Friday, beating Rome, whose bid Nebiolo strongly backed.

Nebiolo publicly questioned Athens' ability to organise the Games and was accused of using the recent athletics world championships in the city to disparage Athens.

Greece's public prosecutor was not amused by the posters and ordered Vergis' arrest for indecency.

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