Greece may not have Kylie or the thong, but it has the Acropolis, Socrates, Souvlaki and Vissi.. Things may take a little longer here, but eventually Athens Olympics will compete with the best.  They have the Will of the people behind them.

Summer on Ithaca  -  Festivals  -  Dances  -  Concerts  -  Performances

The Olympic Flame comes to Ithaki

Thursday 5th August 2004

Vathy, Ithaca Greece

Vathy stood proud and tall today as the Olympic Flame came into Vathy.  The Police Force and Army were in Vathy  town since early morning diverting traffic and keeping order for the big event.  The Flame will make its' way around all the 49 or so Provinces of Greece before it finally ends up in Athens, but  today it  was Ithakis turn. The community and tourists on the island turned out in great force.  It is indeed a rare occasion to see the streets of Vathy this full and swarming with faces, colour and excitement.  The Keepers of Order had their work cut out for them as the

thousands who turned out for the event converged into the Square to get a good look and a good picture. With criticism coming from various corners of the world, the Greeks stand united in showing that they too can present successful Olympics to the world. 


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School children wait patiently for the proceedings to start.

It's a hot day and the long  hours in the sun do nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of the

children who will present dances for this big day.















The time is now.  The flame comes to Ithaki by helicopter.

As the Helicopter lands, it stirs dust from the beach which billows into the sky

Ithakis Brass Band circumnavigates Vathy Bay while playing celebratory tunes to

welcome the flame and Olympic officials to the island.




In the months prior to the Flame

coming to Ithaca, local men and women applied to the Council to run with the Flame. 17 individuals were selected from the hundreds who

applied.  16 men and 1 woman.  They were chosen on the basis of

being good

representatives for Ithaki by Council Members.  For 360 euro, you could buy a flame

receptacle and have front row views at the


While getting photos of this event for the

Web site, I was ousted and threatened

numerous times by

Gestapo like figures, stood in the midday sun for 2 hours and risked life and limb.

It was worth it...kinda 

All the boats in the harbor sounded their whistles, cheers and

applause  echoed through the streets from the massive crowd that filled

central Vathy as the escorted Flame Runner made her way to the Podium. Vathy roared with

excitement and then ...everyone charged the sealed off area for their digital pics. It was mayhem,


The Winner is...

A momentous occasion for the community of Ithaki.  For one of the smallest

islands in the Heptanes, it  accomplished one of the  biggest  welcomes to the Olympic Flame

The momentous lighting of the Flame was followed by speeches by Ithaki Officials.

For us on Ithaca, this amount of people is so very unusual.  It is worth remembering that other islands in Greece  have their streets full like this every year for no bigger occasion that just Summer.

The lighting of the Olympic Flame was an emotionally charged ceremony for all Ithacans.  People from all over Greece and the world  with their roots on the

Island were here to witness this especially

sentimental event. Something they will hold dear in their hearts and remember forever.

The Athens Olympics

The Olympic Flame comes to Ithaki

Wherever you wanted to go, there was a police finger pointing you in the opposite direction. Ithacas' police have had little occasion to

assert authority over its'

community until today. Over all they weren't too harsh.

Proud young Ithacans stand tall behind the Olympic Flame now burning in the heart of Vathy.

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