Welcome New User!

Registered Members
Please Login

Member ID:
Password:

Not a member?
 Click here for free registration.

DCGreeks.com is once again fielding a team of Greek and Philhellene kickballers from all over the DC Metro area to compete in the one-day Safe at Home kickball tournament at Congressional School in Falls Church, VA on Saturday 9/29/18 to benefit Bridges To Independence.  Kickballers wanted!  Click here for details!
LEFTERIS PANTAZIS Comes to Detroit on Friday 11/16/18, at The International Banquet & Conference Center in Greektown Detroit, with special guests Vasiliki Ntanta and Master Tempo, presented by Titan Productions!  Tickets on sale at DCGreeks.com. Click here for details!
Philoxenia House Presents Legendary Recording Artist LEFTERIS PANTAZIS Live in Baltimore on Thanksgiving Eve, Wednesday 11/21/18, at Greektown Square, with special guests Vasiliki Ntanta and Master Tempo!  Tickets on sale at DCGreeks.com. Click here for details!
DCGreeks.com, in association with local and national Hellenic organizations, invites Greek-American young adults from across the country to our Nation's Capital from November 1-4, 2018 for Pan-Hellenism Weekend 2018, featuring two Happy Hours, a Friday Greek Night, Saturday Late Night Bouzoukia, and Sunday afternoon event.  Click here for details!
What's New @ DCGreeks.com
09/22Byzantio Greek Dance & Cultural Arts Program invites you to a Greek Dance Workshop featuring Kyriakos Moisidis direct from Greece on Saturday, 9/29/18, at St. Katherine's Greek Orthodox Church in Falls Church, VA. Tickets are on sale!
09/18Titan Productions Presents Lefteris Pantazis in Detroit on Saturday 11/16/18, with special guests Vasiliki Ntanta and Master Tempo! Tickets now on sale!
09/11Philoxenia House Presents Legendary Recording Artist Lefteris Pantazis Live in Baltimore on Thanksgiving Eve, Wednesday 11/21/18, at Greektown Square, with special guests Vasiliki Ntanta and Master Tempo! Tickets on sale!
09/09
PHW 2018 Update: Ticket Packages now on sale! Save up to $53 off the price at the door (when factoring in discounts and two free drinks)!  Prices go up 0 to 75 cents a day starting 9/16/18!  PHW Quick Ticket Purchase Form (for single event purchases, individuals or in bulk) now online too!
09/03
DCGreeks.com Pan-Hellenism Weekend 2018 Update: $109/night Hotel block at The Wink Hotel now open! Details on Saturday Late Night Bouzoukia at The National Press Club announced!
08/27
DCGreeks.com Presents Pan-Hellenism Weekend 2018, November 1-4, 2018 in Washington, DC!  New 21+ format! New Saturday Night venue! New Sunday Afternoon Event! Details coming this week!
06/01Axion Charity Events Presents Peggy Zina Live in Baltimore on Sunday, 10/28/18!  Tickets now on sale!
DCGreeks.com
Upcoming Events
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

Byzantio Greek Dance & Cultural Arts Program invites you to a Greek Dance Workshop featuring Kyriakos Moisidis direct from Greece on Saturday, 9/29/18, at St. Katherine's Greek Orthodox Church in Falls Church, VA. Tickets are on sale at DCGreeks.com! Click here for details!

DCGreeks.com's Athens 2004
Summer Olympic Log
August 6th-7th

 

Themistocles' Log

Friday, August 6, 2004

ATHENS, GREECE  -- Having already secured tickets for a fantastic men's basketball preliminary match-up of Argentina vs. Spain followed by The Greek-American's "Can't Lose" Special of USA vs. Greece, courtesy of my friend Eleni, her lack of procrastination, and her luck in getting tickets for the highly sought-after Women's Gymnastics Finals and Medal Ceremony on the same night, I set out with my cousin and his wife with hopes of getting Olympic tickets for a number of events that as far as I knew weren't high up on most Greeks' "must see" list.  As I walked up to Korai Square next to the Panepistimio (University) Metro stop, I was greeting by two long lines, 30 people deep, of mostly Athenians waiting to purchase tickets.  I, too, joined the line at 8:30, thinking that there wouldn't be a problem getting served by 10 PM, the time when the kiosk theoretically closed.  Boy, was I wrong.  At 9:30 PM, my cousin gave me the obligatory, "Let's go.  It's impossible that you'll get to the window by 10, and the guy just said that they're shutting down at 10, 'cause they have to count the money before they come by to pick it up at 11," speech.  Having already made plans to meet up with some of my cousin's friends at Syntagma Square, we left.  If I wanted tickets, I was going to have to get up early the next morning and get in line again.

Not even one of the few stray dogs that remain in Athens could tolerate the wait for tickets.

Now, you may ask "how long does it take to process 30 ticket orders"?  Not very long at all, if you know what you want.  The problem with most of the Greeks in line was that not only are they waiting until the last minute to buy their tickets, they really aren't prepared with their orders; they sit there with the 1/2 inch thick Olympic schedule guide open while they're in line, and when they get to the window, they're leafing through it page by page asking if they've got any tickets left for a certain sport on a certain day at a certain time at a certain price, and when they find out they can't get that exact combination of sport, day, time, and price, they ask, "Well, what about the next day? No? How 'bout the day before?"  It was taking a good 15 minutes per person, and we're not talking about huge orders here.

Saturday, August 7, 2004

ATHENS, GREECE -- I woke up around 8:30 to catch a bus from the Athenian suburb of Haidari to downtown Athens.  The public transportation system in Athens has improved immensely in the four years since I've last been here.  Where the A15 bus used to leave you in an alley near Omonia, it now leaves you right outside the Metaxourgio Metro Station.  Two quick stops on the Red Line and I was at the Panepistimio station a couple of minutes after 10 AM, with it seems, the rest of Athens.  The line had doubled in size from the previous night, but I decided to stick it out.  (In retrospect, I should have gone to the Starbucks, yes Starbucks, for something Venti and iced first.)  

11:15 AM... 30 more minutes to go.

Anytime Greeks have to wait in line for something, it's national news, and during those two hours I saw at least three or four camera crews there.  MEGA was there asking people in line what events they were hoping to purchase ticket for, and when they asked the Harry Potter looking kid in front of me why he wanted to see Judo, I think part of my UVA t-shirt got on TV.  In addition to ΕΡΤ, I think there was a crew from a Chinese news station there as well.  (Listening to a Chinese-Greek interpreter translating the reporters questions in perfect Greek was mind-blowing.)  So around 10 minutes to noon, I finally hit the head of the line, and instead of leafing through the schedule book, I simply handed the guy behind the glass a spreadsheet printout of what I was hoping to buy:

 

 

Date

Time

Event

Price

Number of Tickets

Total Price

8/17/04

20:00

Basketball ARG vs. ESP; GRE vs. USA

0

2

0

8/18/04

18:30

Baseball GRE vs. CAN

10

2

20

8/19/04

9:30

Softball USA vs. GRE (+ two teams I could care less about)

10

2

20

8/19/04

19:30

Volleyball:  ARG vs. GRE; RUS vs. USA

10

2

20

8/21/04

14:30

Beach Volleyball Round of 16

20

2

40

8/23/04

9:00

Athletics (Opening Events for the Men's Decathlon)

10

4

40

8/23/04

19:30

Volleyball:  SCG vs. GRE; USA vs. BRA

10

2

20

8/24/04

18:00

Men's Soccer Semifinals

40

2

80

8/26/04

18:00

Women's Soccer Bronze and Gold Medal Matches

40

2

80

The man thanked me and within 5 or 6 minutes, I had my tickets in hand, and as I walked away, I saw the line that still remained.

Athenians lined up shortly before noon on Saturday, August 7th, 2004, with hopes of purchasing Olympic tickets.

Athenians lined up shortly before noon on Saturday, August 7th, 2004, with hopes of purchasing Olympic tickets.

 


Read past feature articles