I need to scream and shout and be proud for all the achievements of the Olympic Games and the tremendous joy and absolute bliss that we have experienced these past few weeks.
I need to say thank you to someone for what has been achieved.
I could send a congratulatory message to Mrs Angelopoulou but I think that she has praised herself enough. To Mr Simitis and the new government, the Mayor of Athens etc but this would be like shouting in the wilderness. They only listen to their own rhetoric and have praise only for what they consider to be their own single handed achievements, even though they will make it appear to be praising the volunteers and others.
In a little while they will credit themselves with the whole project and that is what will remain in the minds of the man in the street at the next election, local or national.
So finally I thought that I could say thank you to someone who was directly involved and who put so much effort and hard work to make this whole thing work.
So here I am, not having heard from me for such a long time I will make your day, I hope!
Thank you for all your hard work and commitment besides all the negative talk and criticism that you have had to bear, brush off and fight all these years. Thank you for making this city and its wonderful people find themselves and their spirit once again.
After 30 years back in Greece thank you for making me proud to be a Greek.
As the curtain goes up on the London 2012 Paralympic Games today, I can't help remembering that it is exactly eight years since 29 August 2004, when Athens' magical Olympics came to a close...
The day after the Closing Ceremony the world's press did a huge about-face, the apologies, and the praise, came rolling in, from every side...literally and figuratively! After the brickbats, the praise was so much sweeter!
Involved as I was with the organisation of the Games, I thought this would be a great moment to share with you all one of the many special letters I received from people who wrote to express their admiration and thanks....
It came from a fellow Global Greek, someone who knew that I had chosen to work for these Olympics, not for the money, which was actually less than I could have got in my field, but because I believed in Greece and wanted to give something back to the land of my birth... a decision I will never regret!
After all, There's NO Place like Home!
Spiros' letter touched me tremendously ... it is one that I cherish to this day. Thank you, dear friend...
On 29 August 2004, in a bursting-at-the-seams Olympic Stadium, sixteen days of sport, friendship and celebration would culminate in a wonderful, fun-filled, essentially Greek party.
A party which would feature most of Greece's top ranked performers, a party full of music and culture, a party for everyone - the athletes, the people of Greece and the world.
Under a brilliant full August Moon, we would hear that Greece had won the bet - 'KERDISATE', that Greece's Olympics were 'Unforgettable, Dream Olympics' and we rejoiced, because we knew that after all the brickbats and the criticism that we had endured in the previous years, Athens had pulled it off!
Greece was vindicated - Big Time!
Our Olympics proved to the world ' the great things Greeks can do' as ATHOC President Gianna Angelopoulos said that night!
The homecoming of the Olympic Games to the land of their Birth had given OUR Olympics that extra special dimension of meaning and authenticity... something no one else would ever be able to do!
For all those in Athens' Olympic Stadium that night, along with the millions around the world, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience...
Sit back and watch part of it in the video below... it was the biggest Greek party in history! OPA!