Opening Ceremony of Athens 1997 the Panathenaic Stadium

Watch an excerpt from the Opening Ceremony of Athens 1997 for the 6th IAAF World Championships in Athletics in the Panathinaiko pragmatopoiithike stage digma what Do You parakoulothisetai Opening Ceremony of the XIII Special Olympics World Summer Game Athnes 2011.


The Panathenean Stadium (Panathinaiko Stadio) of Athens, a 90,000 spectator, ancient all-marble stadium, was the site of the Opening Ceremony of the 6th IAAF World Championships in Athletics of 1997 held in Athens.

The concept of the ceremony, the direction, the artistic and musical supervision was solely by Vangelis Papathanasiou.

The European News Channel Euronews airing long parts of the ceremony at the Panathenean Stadium, characterized the Opening Ceremony of the 6th World Championships in Athletics as magnificent and grandiose and added that this bravura was a clear message from Athens to the world for the claim of the 2004 Olympic Games.
At the beautiful all-marbled ancient stadium where Olympics Games were brought back to life in 1896, as Euronews journalist denotes, Vangelis Papathanasiou, the pope of electronic music as he calls him, did not only fascinate the spectators inside the stadium but the whole world who watched through satellite. Concluding, the journalist calls the ceremony a successful one, a high standard performance with music, dancers, lighting, lasers, graphics and projections on the terrain formed a visual feast of unseen beauty worthily only to the feasts of the ancients.

Vangelis did not only write the music for the opening ceremony but he was also involved in the general direction of all other artistic aspects. During his personal concert performance which was accompanied by Montserrat Caballe, the infamous Spanish (Catalan) Soprano and her daughter Montserrat-Marti for two new creations of his and ended the event.

Vangelis had also composed a new Anthem for the IAAF which was heard for the first time at the opening ceremony of the Panathenian Stadium.

As Reuters wrote in an interview of Vangelis, Whether it’s exploring space, conquering an athlete’s inner limits or discovering a new continent, Greek composer Vangelis has made the music to match.

The top-selling artist, who has an asteroid between Jupiter and Mars named after him, and his new choral symphony Mythodea, was chosen by NASA to accompany its Mars Odyssey mission and whose theme of “Chariots of Fire” won an Academy Award said that performing his work in Greece was “appropriate” as “They work more naturally here. They are a product of this country, the same way I am a product of this country”.

A record 200 countries participated in the event and was watched by 3.3 billion television viewers in 212 countries and many Greek officials believed helped give Greece the 2004 Olympic Games.

Many of the journalists present at the ceremony insisted that Vangelis ceremony was better than any prior Olympic Opening Ceremonies they watched.


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