I’m quite interested in the oncoming spectacle of the 2004 Olympics in Greece. Not so much for the sports (I can take it or leave it) but for the pageantry of the opening and closing ceremonies and other related events. It’s no secret that Greece is going to capitalize on it’s Hellenistic past, but it looks like things may be truly astounding.
“he opening and closing ceremonies will lean heavily on mythology with the premiere themed on Apollo, the god of intellect, the arts, prophecy, healing and light. The curtain will come down with a show inspired by Bacchus, the god of wine and revelry.” – Daniel Howden
“Olympic organizers have refused to offer details of the opening ceremony. But the stadium apparently will flooded to evoke images of Greece’s interplay of sea and land and possibly its ties to the ancient myths.” – Lisa Orkin (AP)
“Volos, one of four Greek cities hosting soccer matches, hopes to capitalize on its connection to one of antiquity’s best-known myths – the bloody deeds of Medea and the hunt for the golden fleece – with a new twist. The spectacle will try to promote the theory that Jason’s crew was composed of athletes who took part in games that were forerunners of the ancient Olympics.” – Lisa Orkin (AP)
and lets not forget the mascots!
“Even the mascots Athena and Phevos are a cartoon-style take on Olympian gods. Athena was the goddess of wisdom and patron of Athens, while Phevos was the alternative name for her brother Apollo.”
But it seems not all is well in mascot land!
“A group that preserves devotion to the ancient Greek gods is using a modern weapon ?? the lawsuit ?? against the mascots of the 2004 Olympics. Their claim is that naming the figures after ancient deities “savagely insults” their religion. The group wants 3 million euros and a possible ban on the figures.” – Kathimerini
But it looks like these litigation happy modern pagans may want to read up on their history.
“For me, the Olympic mascots are just plain misunderstood. If you look at the inspiration behind their design, you??ll realize that they are more than just commercial, big-footed, goofy-looking cartoons. [They are based on] one of the oldest ancient Greek toys found. It??s clear where Phevos and Athena get their bell shaped bodies and big feet from. This ancient Greek terracotta doll, is one of the oldest ancient Greek toys found, dating around the 7th century B.C. These types of toys, also known as ??daidala,?? usually had articulated legs, attached to the body by a wire. It??s the first posable action figure!” – Phoat.com