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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-08-04

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] The passion for the Olympic Games in a collection
  • [02] Boat with migrants and refugees capsizes off the coast of Mytilene

  • [01] The passion for the Olympic Games in a collection

    The passion for the Olympic Games to some people is not exhausted merely in the excitement the sports induce to the people. To them, it is the spirit and the wholesome halo of the endeavour of the competition both in body and spirit, the general ambience and what remains of it, which inspires the passion for the multitude of the moments and the singular items, the stuff that makes the dream of the Olympics to stay in our memory.

    For that reason, these passionate persons, who do not regard the Games piecemeal and like to recollect the history, are prone to collect anything that has to do with all the editions of the Olympiads, not just the present, both in forms of the official memorabilia and the personal effects of the athletes as well as the general literature that envelops the events.

    Stylianos family belongs to that particular genre of 'hidalgos' who turned their vivid interest in the Olympic Games into a lifelong family pursue for passion and inspiration. Dedicated to their cause for many years, they have managed to build up an impressive collection of more than 6,700 items, some of them unique in their kind, since the first Olympics Games in Athens in 1896. The first catalogue of the events, Olympic medals of these Games, photos and literature. And not just that: their collection goes even earlier, to the preparations of the Olympic movement and to the personal history of its leading figures. Also, the often ignored Mid-Olympiade, has its own place in this collection.

    "The philosophy behind the creation of this collection is to preserve the historic prestige of fair competition through the athletes' efforts and to shed light on little-known personal details / aspects of the participants in this global event that unites the nations of the world", underline the collectors on the essence of their initiative "which has direct educational effect on the younger generations and preserves the memories of those who experienced – either as athletes or as fans – specific highlights of the games."

    The most salient exhibits of this collection are the torches of the Olympic flame since the beginning of the ceremony in 1936 and what goes with it: the uniforms of the bearers, the photos of the ceremony and the relevant literature. Even the dresses of the priestesses, or the ceremonial urn of the 2004 Olympics which marked the return of the Games to their homeland, are part of Stylianos collection.

    Another significant part of the collection are the imposing singular items of the Berlin Olympics: one of the first torches in the history and the authentic carriers uniform, the impressive posters of the Nazist propaganda for the Games, the very same measuring tape that marked the historic record of Jesse Owens in the long jump-- one of this legend's four victories that forced Adolf Hitler to abandon the stadium in order to avoid giving him the gold medal and honour a coloured athlete. A Jesse Owens handwritten dedication can be seen on his photograph included in the Stylianos collection. But even more impressive is the unique film Leni Riffenstal, the famous director and photographer, the avant-guard artist and one of the spearheads of Hitler's propaganda, had prepared for the 1936 Olympics and is considered as one of the gems of the collection.

    But of equal importance are also some other items of the collection. For example, 110 m hurdles winner Colin Jackson's training suit, or the superathlete of our times Usain Bolt's shoes (both of them with a dedication by his own hand) are among the more important exhibits. Numerous other autographs from epic athletes, who excelled both in Summer and Winter Olympics and wrote the History of the Games.

    Also the Greeks and their achievements in the Olympic athletic field occupy a significant part of the collection.

    "I spent a lifetime and, I admit it, much of my family's money to make my dream true and fulfil my passion", stated to AMNA the collector, proud of the volume and the significance of his achievement. "It's like another child to me", he added.

    Nevertheless, the efforts to maintain the precious, but vulnerable to time and the atmospheric conditions, pieces of his collection in good situation must be constant and endless and the cost insurmountable. The specific attention and the money an individual collector has to spend to safeguard this important part of the universal history is huge and overimposing to the limited budget of a person, who is not endowed with the fortune of a magnate.

    The complete coverage of the time period from the Olympiads (1859-1889) to the present day, the complete collection of (45) authentic torches with torchbearers' outfits, the priestess' outfit as worn at the Olympic Flame Lighting Ceremony in the 1950's, the original ceramic bowl/"urn" used in the lighting ceremony with which the High Priestess gave the Light during the opening ceremony in Olympia are part of the more than 6,700 memorabilia. Also unpublished photos, official reports, diplomas, audiovisual materials, documents and more than 700 authentic autographs, a complete set of mascots, banners and pins.

    Regretfully, this precious collection remains unknown to the public and within the limited grounds of the private premises of its owner, lacking an appropriate and more accessible space for the 'aficionados' of the Olympic Games to enjoy the history and to admire these unique items. Until then, AMNA's website is always available....

    George -Byron Davos

    [02] Boat with migrants and refugees capsizes off the coast of Mytilene

    A dinghy carrying migrants and refugees capsized on Thursday morning two miles off the coast of Mytilene.

    Coast Guard rescued 50 persons while according to witnesses two or three persons are missing.

    A rescued operation is underway while the rescued are being transferred to the port of Mytilene.

    Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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