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AHI Executive Director Nick Larigakis Completes his Participation as a Volunteer for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games—Interviewed by NBC Washington, DC Affiliate
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: GEORGIA ECONOMOU
September 10, 2004—No.54 (202) 785-8430

AHI Executive Director Nick Larigakis Completes his Participation as a Volunteer for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games—Interviewed by NBC Washington, DC Affiliate

Washington, DC—AHI Executive Director Nick Larigakis just returned to Washington, DC this week from Athens where he participated as one of over 45,000 volunteers for the momentous 2004 Olympic games. Prior to his departure for Athens, he was interviewed at AHI headquarters by the local Washington, NBC News affiliate, WRC 4. Reporter Jim Handly who asked him to comment on his outlook and involvement in the Athens 2004 games conducted the interview which was aired on Friday, August 6, 2004. While in Athens, NBC 4 interviewed Mr. Larigakis once again, this time by telephone, during a live news broadcast to get his impressions on the games.

During Mr. Larigakis’ fourteen-day long experience of the 2004 Olympic games he not only served as a volunteer but also found the time to attend numerous athletic events. In addition to the extraordinary and touching opening and closing ceremonies, Mr. Larigakis attended the gold medal games of Softball and Men’s Soccer, not to mention four baseball games involving the Greek National Team. During the closing ceremonies he had the opportunity to be on the field with the athletes, an experience that he claims he will "never forget!"

His official volunteer title was "Protocol Venue Attendant" where he assisted with IOC (International Olympic Committee) relations and protocol. He worked in the Olympic Indoor Hall (OIH), which was located next to the Olympic Stadium. During his volunteer duties, he was in a unique position to witness first hand all the extraordinary gymnastics and basketball finals, including seeing the gold crowning of Greek gymnast Dimosthenis Tabakos on rings. "Just this one experience of being there to see Tabakos win the gold medal, to be ‘high-fiving’ Athens 2004 President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki at the conclusion of the victory, and to hear the Greek national anthem while sensing the energy of all the Greek fans in the stands was a remarkable feeling that is truly difficult to put into words," said Mr. Larigakis.

During the course of the two weeks at the OIH, Mr. Larigakis met and greeted various athletes and prominent guests, including: the legendary track star Carl Lewis; Romanian gymnast, Nadia Comenici; former Baseball Commissioner, Peter Uberoth; IOC President Jaques Rogge; heavyweight champion, Evander Holyfield; U.S. Soccer star Mia Hamm; Queen Sophia of Spain, former coach of the Washington Wizards, Doug Collins; NBA Commissioner David Stern; U.S. Ambassador Thomas Miller, Athens 2004 President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki; President of PASOK, George Papandreou; Alternate Cultural Minister Fani Palli-Petralia; Mayor of Athens Dora Bakoyianni; and many more.

"The memories will remain with me forever. And although the sporting events and the whole ambiance were extraordinary, for me, the one thing that will always stand out the most, was all the wonderful people that I met. Of these, none stand out more than the group of volunteers that I had the privilege of working with for two weeks. These young men and women were an integral part of the overall success of the games, and I feel especially proud to have been associated with them. I extend my best wishes, appreciation and respect to Yanni, Tasso, Maria, Annette, Christina, Sophia, Hara, and Dora and to all who made my presence at the Athens 2004 games an unbelievable experience." said Mr. Larigakis.

Attached you will find three photographs from Athens 2004.

Photograph 1: Executive Director Nick Larigakis with Athens 2004 President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki

Photograph 2: U.S. Ambassador and Mrs. Miller with Nick Larigakis at the Olympic Indoor Hall

Photograph 3: Nick Larigakis with former world-renown gymnast Nadia Comenici

Click here for more Athens Olympic photographs.

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For additional information, please contact Georgia Economou at (202) 785-8430 or at georgia@ahiworld.org. For general information about the activities of AHI, please see our Web site at http://www.ahiworld.org.