The Historical Archive of the ATHENS 2004 Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games

The International Olympic Academy, the Hellenic Olympic Committee and the non-profit organisation “Historic Archive ATHENS 2004”, presented in Ancient Olympia the exposition and the Historic Archive of the ATHENS 2004 Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games with the presence of politicians and municipal authorities as well as many friends of Olympism.

This precious and unique archive is hosted in the 420 m2 “Otto Szymiczek” room of the International Olympic Academy which was divided and transformed into a conference room for 110 people that was fully equipped from the afore-mentioned organisation and a room of 195 m2 for the archive, comprising of an exposition room, hosting the authentic archival objects, and a room for study and research.

This Archive was created with the initiative of the “Historic Archive ATHENS 2004” and was entirely financed by the donation of the International Olympic Committee. It includes a great number of documents and reports of the Organizing Committee, videos and photographs from the preparation and the execution of the Games as well as every kind of material which is directly or indirectly related with the organization of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

At the same time, the non-profit organisation “Historic Archive ATHENS 2004”, after the relevant approval of the IOC, undertook and completed at the same time the creation of a separate library in the Conference Hall of the IOA premises that will host 5.350 new titles of Olympic content, offered by “Athens 2004” Organizing Committee, increasing the total number of the IOA titles to approximately 22.000. Moreover, the WCs of the premises were renovated, a system of filter for water softening was established and the existing network (internet) was upgraded in order to cover the needs of the Academy.

The President of the International Olympic Academy as well as of the Hellenic Olympic Academy, Mr Isidoros Kouvelos, the President of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, Mr Spyros Capralos, the Secretary General of the HOC, Mr Manolis Katsiadakis, the Members of the Parliament, Mrs Dora Bakoyiannis, Mr Kostas Tzavaras, Mr George Kontoyiannis and Mr Yannis Koutsoukos, the Mayor of Ancient Olympia, Mr Thymios Kotzas and of course Mr Marton Simitsek, who was responsible for the project and the utilization of the archive, were present at the event.

The President of the International Olympic Academy, Mr Isidoros Kouvelos, underlined that: “From now on the educational and research material of the IOA is enriched with an important study tool for those who look for information related with the bidding procedure, the preparation and the organization of the greatest athletic and cultural event that our country experienced in its current history.

From now on a big part of the legacy that the Olympic Games left us is at the disposal of every person interested, here, in the “Otto Szymiczek” room in the IOA premises. In the beginning of 2010, when we discussed with Marton Simitsek the possibility for the IOA to host and manage the digital historic Archive of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, I knew that such a possibility would ensure an additional tool for the reinforcement of the IOA presence in the Olympic Movement.

Thus, I addressed a letter to President Rogge and to the person who was responsible for this issue, Mr Gilbert Felli, informing them that the Academy would be happy to host the Archive after its completion. In 2013, with the approval of the HOC President, Mr Spyros Capralos, I asked for the authorization of the HOC Plenary Session regarding the granting of this room in order to host the Archive. The Plenary Session unanimously approved of my proposition and therefore, the works that the “Historic Archive ATHENS 2004” and Mr Simitsek personally were in charge of, began and were concluded within the time limit that was set, completing the project”.

In his address, the HOC President, Mr Spyros Capralos, stressed among other things that: “The content of the Archive was something necessary so as to complete the idea of the perfect organization of the greatest athletic and cultural event that our country has ever hosted. All those who experienced the enormous effort that was made by the executives of the Athens 2004 Organizing Committee in the four years of the preparation of the Games, among who I had the honour to be, feel totally justified for the work they offered. The Games of Athens were “dream Games” as the then IOC President, Dr Rogge stated after their completion. The legacy that the Athens 2004 Olympic Games left was great, not only in the organizing sector but also in their cultural and athletic dimension. All these gathered together and in a user-friendly way for research, are found documented in this room that causes emotion and brings to our mind a lot of memories. I would like to thank Mr Simitsek whole-heartedly, on behalf of the HOC Plenary Session but also personally, for this project that he hands over today to the International Olympic Academy.
At the same time, I would like to thank him for his initiative to use part of the money that the IOC offered for the organization of the Archive, after its relevant approval, in order to create a new library in the Conference Hall, to rainproof the biggest part of the roof of the building, to establish an upgraded network to access the internet and a complete system of filter for the desalinization of drinking water”.

The project began in May 2013 and was completed in June 2014. The selected material was organized, digitized where necessary and saved in electronic or/and physical format, so as to be protected from any damage and become easily accessible for future use.

After the completion of the project, the amount that remained from the initial budgeting is used, after the authorization of the International Olympic Committee, for the amelioration of the premises and the infrastructures of the International Olympic Academy.

Thematic units of the exhibits:

Olympic Torch and Torch Relay with relevant material of pictures, photos and posters.
Olympic Medals with relevant pictures and photos.
Opening and Closing Ceremony with photos and material.
Presentation of an archive with representative Operational Planning of the venues, architectural plans but also full electronic series with the use of Panel TV.
Selected authentic Olympic merchandise.
Selected collectable memorabilia, with characteristic pins and other objects.
Mascots and pictograms of sports.
Exposition/promotion of archival material of communication, image and identity (official posters, messages of the Games, pictograms, image of the Games etc).
Presentation of the paid and volunteer staff uniform.
Panel TV with selected audiovisual material.
These documents form only a part of an extremely vast archival material. Thus, the archival material that was digitized came out of a selection.

Infrastructure – Premises – Support

In the archive room there is a study room which has 4 places for PCs through which up to 4 individual users/researchers may have simultaneous access to the digitized archive.
There is also a connection with a wall screen, in case the user wishes to watch something on a big scale (for example a video) or in case a group of users wish to watch something. In case of group projections, there are seats for at least 12 more people.

Close to the seats for the electronic view, there is a library which includes all the original editions and the documents of the ATHENS 2004 Organizing Committee, which are also digitized. This spacing allows the simultaneous view/study/identification of the same material in a digitized – electronic format as well as in its physical original format.

In the room there are also two desks with eight (8) places in total for view/study of the original authentic editions and the rest of the documents.