Apr. 15 2011
"Happy Birthday to you Panathenaic Stadium" sang this morning the pupils of the 1st Primary School of Vrilissia
“Happy Birthday to you Panathenaic Stadium” sang this morning the pupils of the 1st Primary School of Vrilissia who visited the Stadium for the Kids’ Athletics program.
Their visit coincided with the one-year anniversary since the re-opening to the public of the historic Stadium of Athens, having being closed for many years, with the efforts of the Hellenic Olympic Committee.
The children went to the Panathenaic Stadium with the gymnastics gold Olympic medalist Dimosthenis Tabakos and were welcomed by the HOC President Mr. Spyros Capralos who stated: “It is a great day for us as we are completing a year since the opening of the Panathenaic Stadium. It has been a dream that not only came true, but has proved to be particularly successful. Everyone who comes here learns the history of the country and the Olympic movement, while we are given the opportunity to promote the rich heritage of the country. The Stadium is now one of the most popular destinations in Athens; the visitors travel in time and the pupils of the elementary schools that come for the Kids’ Athletics program learn, play, get carried away and become the best ambassadors of the HOC effort”.
The gold Olympic medalist Dimosthenis Tabakos was delighted to receive in a special case the first ticket of the Stadium and the book with its history. “The re-opening of the Stadium is an excellent initiative as it gives everyone the important opportunity to see significant aspects of our history and civilization. Especially for the young children it is even more important as, in order to move forward as people, we need to look back in time and the Panathenaic Stadium teaches us that in the best way”.
The HOC President offered commemorative presents to the first visitors of the day, for the one-year anniversary since April 15, 2010 when it reopened to the public. They were two couples from England, Keith and Sylvia Davidson and Richard Right and Anna Newnan. They were particularly pleased with the surprise reserved by the HOC and spoke warmly of the Stadium: “It is a particularly important monument of Athens and everyone should visit it” said the four English visitors.
In this first year the Panathenaic Stadium have visited 81.000 Greek and foreign visitors who had the chance to learn the history as well as important information from the individual audio guide device, available in 11 languages. At the same time, the Kids’ Athletics program is taking place at the Stadium in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Lifelong Learning and Religious Affairs and the Hellenic Athletics Federation, under the auspices of the IOC sponsored by Paul & Alexandra Foundation and supported by the International Olympic Truce Centre. The program gives the opportunity to the children to get acquainted with the disciplines of classical sports and learn everything about the Stadium in which the Olympic Games were revived in 1896.