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ATHENA 2004: THE 28TH OLYMPIC GAMES
A Brief History of Ancient Olympic Games.
The decision to select Athens as the host city of the 2004 Olympic Games has brought the Olympiads back to their ancient birthplace. It is recorded that the sporting festival dedicated to Zeus every four years began to take place in Olympia in 776 B.C. The Olympic games were celebrated almost 1,200 years continuously. Situated in the northern part of Greece, Olympia was not actually a town but a grouping of temples and arenas in the fields. Known as the most important Panhellenic festival, the Olympic Games were attended not only by athletes but also by leaders, politicians, artists, poets, and dealers from every part of Greece. In praise of the glory of the festival Pindar, a Greece poet living 518-438 B.C., fervently wrote a poem:
"No celestial body is warmer and brighter than the sun during daylight, as no sporting event is greater than the Olympic Games."
In ancient Greece the athletes competed as individuals, not as teams, on amateur basis. They competed in boxing, wrestling, jumping, disc and spear throwing, running and four-horse chariot race. The winners received only garlands of wild olive leaves put on their heads as crowns and were glorified as heroes for life. Besides, they deserved some privileges such as exemption from taxation and front row seats to all public spectacles. In their hometowns statues were erected in honor of the victors. Unfortunately in 393 A.D. the Roman Empire Theodosius declared the Olympic Games corrupt and put an end to them.
Modern Olympic Games
Untill German excavations of the 1870's Olympia was buried owing to earthquakes and floods. Fascinated by the cultural beauty of Greek found in the sacred ground of Olympia, Baron Pierre de couberti, a young Frenchman, conceived the idea of Modern Olympic Games, as the world's greatest sporting event that would be held in different capital cities throughout the world every four years. In 1896 the first modern Olympic Games were staged in Athens ruled by new regulations in acccordance with the need of modern time. The motto of the modern Olympic Games is "Citius-Altius-Fortius" which means "Faster-Higher-Stronger". Due to two World Wars the Olympic Movement failed to stage the greatest world sportig event in 1916, 1940 and 1944. From time to time the number of countries participating in the Olympic games is growing steadily. In 1952 for the first time Indonesia took part in Fifteenth Olympiads held in Helsinki where 69 different countries joined the sporting event. Mr. Coubertin and his colleagues like their heirs in the Modern Olympic Movement believed that global sport could become a global platform for peace.
The 28th Olympic games will be held on August 13-29, 2004 in the Panathinaic Marble Stadium in Athens where the first Olympiads took place. The reconstructions of the historic building hs been done under the control of Ministry of Ecology and Public Work. More than 200 countries, including Irak and Afghanistan, will take part in the world sporting competition. In Observance of the 28th Olympic Games in the Directorate General of Posts and Telecommunication of theRepublic Indonesia issue a series of special stamps.
Classification Stamp : Special Stamp
Product code : 041006
Issue Date : 5 May 2004
design & Denomination : 1/3 Swimming Rp 2,500.00
2/3 High jump Rp 2,500.00
3/3 Hurdle race Rp 2,500.00
Shape & Size : Rectangle, diameter 31.96 mm
Perforations : 12.75 x 13.50
Colour : 5 colours + 1 logo
Printing Process : Offset & Rotogravure
Printing quantity : 360,000 sets
Sheet composition : 18 pieces (6x3)
Printer : Perum Peruri
Illustration by Winners 2003 Nationals Postage Stamp Design Contest:
I. Joko Suharbowo, lari gawang/hurdle race
II. Edi Jatmiko, Renang/Swimming
III. Ardian Syaf, Lompat tinggi/high jump.
FIRST DAY COVER (FDC)
Product code : 042006
Price : Rp 9,500.00
Printing quantity : 5,000 sets
Designer : Tata Sugiarta
Stamp Sales Period : 5 May 2004 - 31 December 2007
Period of Validity For Postage : 5 May 2004 - 31 December 2009
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