The Olympic Games returned to Greece after 108 years and Athens hosted the world's top athletes from 13th to 29th August, 2004.
A total of 10,625 competitors participated from 201 countries and for the first time all countries that have a National Olympic Committee were present. 301 events were organized, one more than at the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000. The TV coverage set a new record as 3.9 billion viewers had access (compared with 3.6 billion in Sydney in 2000).
The Athens Olympic Sports Complex hosted a large number of sports, while the rest were held on the outskirts of the city and Attica. The Olympic football tournament was held in the cities of: Thessaloniki, Volos, Patras and Iraklion. The Mascots of the event were Phoebus and Athena, inspired by the ancient ‘daedala’, which were dolls, used for both ceremonial purposes and as toys.
The return of the Olympic Games to Athens could not be marked without organizing events in the Panathenaic Stadium, the place where the Olympic Games had been revived. So from 15th to 21st August it hosted the Archery competition, and was the finish venue for the women's Marathon on 22nd August, and, a week later, the men's.