Athens 2004

Commentary & Perspective

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Mike Lopresti

Gannett News Service


Olympics 2004 were games of education, enlightenment

August 29, 2004 | Aristotle would have been proud ... the Greeks pulled it off. They can take a rightful bow, and would probably appreciate an apology.

All around Athens, life continues

August 28, 2004 | The Olympics are nearly done but daily routine goes on in Athens, so we take the normal life tour.

Americans face Olympic double standard

August 27, 2004 | It is the American dilemma in every Olympic Games, to be strong, but not overbearing, to win, but not annoy the rest of the planet - and to understand there is a double standard that will grow by the end, by which time the host city usually wants the Yankees to go home, anyway.

Dream Team no longer feared, respected

August 26, 2004 | The Dream Teamers once came to the Olympics to be held in awe, reverence, and adulation but it was clear in multiple languages Thursday how times have changed.

Smiles, tears as Israelis embrace first gold medalist

August 25, 2004 | As dusk fell in Greece, beside a Seronic Gulf calmer than any day in the Mideast, the national anthem of Israel came to the Olympics where on the award podium stood a timid windsurfer, draped in a flag, the Olympic hero his nation has waited a blood-soaked lifetime to find.

This Olympics is a chauvinist’s nightmare

August 24, 2004 | Here at the Olympics, it's a chauvinist's worst nightmare; the American women are on a roll, especially in team sports.

Coach travels from devastation to gold

August 23, 2004 | The USA softball players knew. They understood they had become not only one of the finest teams ever assembled but also one man's life preserver.

Life changes in 10 seconds

August 22, 2004 | Ten seconds is barely time enough to tie a shoe, wash a glass, get the paper off the porch, but when the moment comes, and eight men kneel at their blocks and peer down the empty, waiting track, it is as if the entire Olympics stop to watch.

Crash course on Athens' marathon route

August 21, 2004 | It's too far to walk and too confusing to drive, so the question was how to travel the 26-mile rout of the Olympic marathon, following in the footsteps of that legendary messenger Pheidippides - and the answer was - a scooter.

A father's love knows no limits

August 20, 2004 | The leukemia is back and the kidney failure means dialysis every other day, so David Williams should be home in Pennsylvania, but what do you do when your little girl's an Olympian, and your heart says go while your body says stay?

Patterson becomes queen of gymnastics

August 19, 2004 | Come the Summer Olympics, the quickest way to America's heart is through the floor exercise mat, which is why so many little girls went to bed Thursday night wanting to wake up as Carly Patterson.

Sprinter's first step is giant leap for tiny nation

August 19, 2004 | Back home in the mid-Pacific nation of Kiribati, most will not see what happens. There is one TV for every 43 people, and the nearest station is 600 miles away. Many will wait to watch tapes in their local meeting houses, gazing at a billion-dollar event beneath a thatch roof.

Great Zeus! The Olympics have returned

August 18, 2004 | The Olympics are back in town after an absence of 1,611 years - talk about your long road trips - and someone came up with the nifty idea of holding the shot put in the ancient stadium.

Afghan women making Olympic history

August 17, 2004 | The two queens of Afghanistan sport, scarred by the past and eager for the future, hope the girls back home are watching, because they have never seen an Afghan woman in the Olympics - and now there are two.

Phelps suffers inevitable defeat against hype machine

August 16, 2004 | Michael Phelps' quest for eight gold medals — passing Mark Spitz' record haul of seven — was an impossible dream, Don Quixote chasing after windmills.

U.S. basketball supremacy is ancient history

August 15, 2004 | Today, the United States men's basketball team is 0-1 in the Olympics, cannon fodder for the Puerto Rico history books.

Events of Atlanta still haunt Jewell

August 15, 2004 | At night, each summer when July 27 draws near, Richard Jewell closes his eyes and still sees the bomb go off and when he passes by Atlanta's Centennial Park, the scene of the crime, he still smells the gunpowder and hears the screams.

Shooter comes back from dead with clearer view

August 14, 2004 | While this hearty man who is hardly ever sick was running in a training session back, his heart thought it was being told to stop. So it did.

Timely tribute to timeless tradition

August 13, 2004 | Alexander the Great dropped in on the Olympics Friday night, along with the goddess Nike, Hercules and Pegasus - plus 72,000 mortals who waved their keychain flashlights exactly when they were supposed to, including British prime minister Tony Blair.

A game is won, but the war continues

August 13, 2004 | The soccer team from Iraq had just scored the go-ahead goal, and in section 108, they were bouncing up and down to celebrate. Back home, the killing goes on.

Modern, ancient Greece on display

August 11, 2004 | As these Olympic Summer Games begin, it is Athens' split personality that is their fundamental theme.

The games are worth all the trouble

August 11, 2004 | The modern Olympics may not be perfect, but they must go on.



11:32 pm | August 29, 2004

Jamaican bobsledders race to find sponsors

11:30 pm | August 29, 2004

NBC Universal's gamble on Olympics pays off

9:32 pm | August 29, 2004

Young Chinese team exerts its strength

7:39 pm | August 29, 2004

Boxer ends drought, earns gold for USA

7:22 pm | August 29, 2004

Security issues fade as Games roll smoothly to close

6:59 pm | August 29, 2004

USA surpasses its medals goal

6:43 pm | August 29, 2004

South Korean gymnast appeals to arbitrator

2:30 pm | August 29, 2004

Athens games heralded as success

1:39 pm | August 29, 2004

Deposed USOC chief feels pride from a distance

12:47 pm | August 29, 2004

Medal try slips away from wrestler Williams


MIKE LOPRESTI | Gannett News Service

Olympics 2004 were games of education, enlightenment

More columns by this writer

IAN O'CONNOR | The (Westchester, N.Y.) Journal News

Biggest winner of 2004 Olympics: Greece

More columns by this writer


Athens scores satisfying win

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DAN BICKLEY | The Arizona Republic

Some U.S. women's teams put on best show in Athens

More columns by this writer

LYNN HENNING | The Detroit News

U.S. basketball team has gone from stars to targets

More columns by this writer

BOB KRAVITZ | The Indianapolis Star

It was Black Friday for U.S.

More columns by this writer


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Related story: Judges, technology team to guard sports from scandal

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Related story: Drug allegations shadow U.S. track team














Results, medal count


Team USA roster


TV schedule


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