Athens 2004 - Series C coins
In August 2004, the Olympic Games returned to the country where they were born over 2,500 years ago, and to
Athens the city of their revival in 1896. Within the framework of the Olympic Coin Program, the Greek Mint
issued a series of commemorative coins, Gold and Silver, on which Greek history and heritage were engraved.
The total collection includes 18 coins (6 Gold and 12 Silver) which were released in 6 quarterly issues, each
consisting of 1 Gold and 2 Silver coins. The themes were selected by the Minister for the National Economy and
the Governor of the Bank of Greece, from a set of proposals presented
by a national technical and artistic committee.
||Series A||Series B||Series C
||Series D||Series E||Series F
The third series of the Official Coins of the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games was issued on September 1, 2003. The
coins can be purchased individually, in sets of two silver coins and a complete set including all three
coins, the gold and the two silver ones. The collection will be completed with 3 more series.
The Panathenean stadium is a beautiful marble stadium (Kallimarmaron) located
on the Ardettos hill in Athens, where once stood the ancient stadium which is believed to have been built
around 330 B.C and was used for the Panathinean games. In 1896, when the first Olympic Games of the modern
era were to be held, it was proposed to the Greek public benefactor George Averof that he undertake the
expenses for the restoration of the stadium and its fitting with new marble seats, a task which he willingly
undertook. Architect Anastasios Metaxas was placed in charge of the works, and the inauguration of the stadium
was celebrated on March 25 1896, (Greece's national day), together with the opening of the first Olympic Games
Equestrian or Horse Riding is a noble sport of great tradition, always
reminding us of the unbreakable relation between human beings and horses. Since prehistoric times, people
have been riding horses and two Equestrian events, chariot races and horses races, were first included in
the 25th ancient Olympic Games competition schedule, in 680 BC. Equestrian events developed primary from
training horses for war and many reports point to the fact that ancient Greeks used exercises similar to
the modern Dressage events, in order to train their horses to move accurately and precisely in the
battlefields. Many Olympic coins were struck in antiquity on the occasion of victories in equestrian
events. On this composition of the coin, the modern horseman is pictured as he jumps over an obstacle,
while in the background the ancient horseman is inspired by a representation on a black-figure vase of the
5th century B.C.
Relay races can be traced to the ancient custom of sending messages via a
series of couriers (skytalodromoi or "runners with a message stick"). Each courier handed the stick over
to the next until its destination was safely reached. At present the relay race has completely changed
character and has become an important official sport of the Olympic Games. In the relay race there are
four runners from each country. Each runner covers a quarter of the distance, called a leg, then passes
a rigid hollow tube called a baton to the succeeding team member. Changeovers must be accomplished within
a zone extending 18 m (20 yd) at the beginning of each baton exchange. In the composition three modern
athletes run, holding their batons while in the background three ancient athletes are shown running a race
known as the dolichos (a semi-endurance race of approximately 3,800 meters distance).