Sunday was the first official day and it was great to see everybody and meet so many more people from so many different countries. Unfortunately, the way Saturday night ended, was pretty much how it started again. It was raining really bad… and our plan to go see the Acropolis and the Panathenaic stadium had to be cancelled. Instead we did a bus tour through Athens and went to the Acropolis Museum.
We were out and about in Athens City until approximately 2pm. We then had lunch and some time to rest and get ready for the big opening ceremony on the beautiful Hill of the Pnyx.
We were incredibly lucky as the opening ceremony was outside and the sun started showing. We had a short walk up to the hill where we had an incredible view on the Acropolis. It was a great opening ceremony with speakers such as the President of the International Olympic Academy Mr Michael Fysentzidis, IOC Honorary Member Lambis V. Nikolaou, the President of the Hellenic Olympic Committee Mr Spyros Capralos and the Deputy Minister of Culture and Sports Mr Georgios Vasileiadis. Additionally to the speakers, we had musical intervals and a little concert at the end.
It was a beautiful ceremony and an even more beautiful place to be holding such a ceremony. Once the IOA session has been declared open, we walked back to the buses where we received a police escort (!!!) all the way back to the hotel.
A gala dinner was awaiting us at the hotel where all the participants were split onto different tables of 10s to get to know each other better. It was a fantastic evening, so much eating and talking and eventually dancing until the early morning hour.
This was our last day/night in Athens before we will move to Olympia on Monday morning…