SPORTS

Coins commemorate 2004 Athens Olympics

A series of commemorative euro coins minted for the Athens 2004 Olympics were presented yesterday by the Bank of Greece at a launch attended by leading officials. The six-series set, each consisting of one gold and two silver coins, will be made available to collectors within the next few days, and right up until May 31, 2004. Athens 2004, the organizing committee for the upcoming Olympic Games, expects to raise 2.5 million euros from the issue. A total of 160,000 gold coins and 800,000 silver coins, all numbered by the Bank of Greece, will be offered. «It is obvious that whoever purchases coins from this commemorative series is not only enriching his or her collection but also helping and actively contributing to the organization of the Olympic Games in 2004,» noted Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, president of Athens 2004, the Olympiad’s organizing committee, at the launch. The Olympic euro coins, whose illustrations include ancient Greek monuments such as Crete’s Knossos Palace of the Minoan civilization and the entrance to ancient Olympia’s stadium, as well as modern and ancient sports, were designed by Panayiotis Gravalos and Costas Kazakos. Economy and Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis referred to the long tradition of Olympic coins, which date back to 687 BC. During antiquity, visitors to the ancient Olympics sold their coins for Olympic coins to facilitate exchange during their stays. «Nowadays, much has changed. Greece participates in a single currency, the euro, which is used by the European Union, and abroad at an increasing rate,» Christodoulakis said. Other leading officials in attendance at the launch included the governor of the Bank of Greece, Nicholas Garganas, as well as top-ranked Athens 2004 officials.