Olympics return to antiquity at the 2004 Athens Games
FILE - In this Aug. 13, 2004, file photo, the Olympic Rings are shown in flames in a pool of water during the Opening Ceremony of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File)When the Olympics returned to Athens in 2004, they also returned to antiquity. They finished in central Athens at the Panathenian Stadium, the marble venue used for the opening and closing ceremonies of the inaugural 1896 Games. Irina Korzhanenko of Russia became the first woman to win a gold medal at the ancient site that birthed the Olympics. The gold medal instead went to Argentina, a team led by Manu Ginobili.
Bird's Nest and Water Cube: Beijing venues were stars, too
That was true in Beijing in 2008, and the stars were Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt. But Beijing is also storied for its signature venues like the Bird's Nest stadium, and the Water Cube swimming venue. Here are some of the highlights of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. That was true in Beijing in 2008, when the stars were Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt. But Beijing is also storied for its signature venues like the the 91,000-seat Bird's Nest stadium, and the nearby swimming venue called the Water Cube.No games before or since have impacted a city the way the Olympics did Beijing.