25 August, 2004
The Athens 2004 Olympic Summer Games have revived one of the most ancient sports practices, the roots of which reaches deep into Greek mythology - the adorning of the three winners with a Cretan olive leaf crown.
In making the wreaths, olive branches from some of the oldest trees in Greece, found in Crete, were used. According to legend, the founder of the Olympic Games, Idaios Hercules, brought a wild olive tree from Crete and planted it at Olympia.
For the women's marathon winners, olive branches from Ierapetra were used, while for the men's marathon the branches were brought from Kolymbari in Chania.
However, many crowns presented at the award ceremonies are made of olive branches from the "Immortals' Park" in Elaionas, planted by IOC members themselves.
By the end of the Olympics and Special Olympics, a total of 5,513 bouquets and crowns will be used, donated by Interflora Hellas S.A.
The bouquets will be created in the central manufacturing workshop that has been formed specifically for this reason by Interflora. The main production group comprises florists, members of Interflora, as well as graduates of the Institute of Agricultural Studies, with the final supervision carried out by certified flower arrangers.
Interflora Hellas S.A. decided to create and donate all the bouquets that will be presented at the medals ceremonies as a way of participating in the national endeavor of the Athens 2004 Games.
The colorful bouquets presented to the winners are bursting with blue amaranths, orange gerberas, red roses, and yellow solidaster and chrysanthemums, hugged in olive tree and tied to form a round-shaped arrangement.
Greek and foreign media have praised the adorning of winners with crowns and the presentation of bouquets.
Source: Athens News Agency