Tuesday, March 30, 2021 - 10:55
The inauguration of the renewed lighting of the Panathenaic Stadium took place on the evening of Monday, March 29, in a simple but emblematic ceremony attended by the President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou and the President of the Hellenic Olympic Committee Spyros Capralos.
The decision to renew the lighting of the Panathenaic Stadium was taken by the Hellenic Olympic Committee, giving the opportunity to Kallimarmaro to shine even more brightly in its long journey through time and the history of Athens.
The well-known and talented singer Monica opened the ceremony by performing the song "Saving the world" while playing the piano. The performance was followed by the introduction of the renewed lighting with President Thomas Bach announcing the words of Pierre de Coubertin "Olympism calls for light".
The event, which was organized with full compliance of the safety and health regulations, without the presence of the public, was also attended by the Minister of Culture Lina Mendoni, the Mayor of Athens Kostas Bakogiannis, the Deputy Minister of Sports Lefteris Avgenakis, the President of the Olympics and Legacies Committee Chrysanthi Vagena and representing the Hellenic Olympic Committee, the Vice President Stelios Angeloudis, the General Secretary Manolis Kolymbadis, the Dean of Panathenaic Stadium Antonis Nikolopoulos and the President of the International Olympic Academy Isidoros Kouvelos.
In his speech, the President of the Hellenic Olympic Committee Spyros Capralos said: "This historic stadium stands as a bridge uniting the ancient games with the modern Olympic Games while maintaining their timelessness and universality in the eternal journey of time.
Therefore, the legacy that Zappas entrusted to the Hellenic Olympic Committee is of great value and we, the younger ones, have the duty to preserve it. At the same time, it is our duty to continue to highlight the legacy of the Stadium, its role, its importance and the incomparable beauty it reflects.
The renewed lighting that was inaugurated just a few moments ago, offers even more light to our historical monument and to the heart of Athens. I would like to thank all my colleagues at the Hellenic Olympic Committee for the decision to revive the lighting of the Kallimarmaro Stadium, and all those who contributed to the implementation of this idea that fills us with pride. Not only because this historic monument is emerging again, but also because, in that way, we contribute to a sustainable environment by reducing both energy consumption and light pollution.
I strongly believe that the new lights will accompany the journey of the Panathenaic Stadium through time, enlightening more glorious moments in the future, not only for Greek Sports, but also for the city of Athens and our homeland ».
President Bach said: "Greece gave birth to the Olympic Games twice, once in Ancient Olympia and once here, at the Panathenaic Stadium in 1896. Greeks gave to humanity the gift of the Olympic Games and also the gift of Democracy. With the new lighting of the Panathenaic Stadium, this heritage will become even more brilliant and will enlighten the entire world. In this emblematic place, culture, history, and tradition blends with the modern era and the mission of the modern Olympic movement. This mission is to make the world a better place through Sports. In addition to the glow, with the new lighting you also set the example for technology that remains inseparably linked to sustainability. We are proud that the United Nations consider Sports and the Olympic movement as important factors for a sustainable development.
Starting from today, the Panathenaic Stadium will not only stand as a symbol for the Olympic history but also as a commitment, for a better future, with sustainable expansion, with more peace and with greater solidarity in Sports. Let the Panathenaic Stadium shine in the new spirit of Olympism ".
Then, Mr. Spyros Capralos escorted the President of the Hellenic Republic and the President of the International Olympic Committee to the Hall featuring the torches and posters from the modern Olympic Games, located at the back section of the Panathenaic Stadium.
The implementation of the renewed lighting was conducted by George Tellos.