Home ] Up ] Kilometer Result ] Day before the Kilometer ] Men's Tandem Sprint Qualifying ] Matt & Eric Tandem Sprints from Kim ] [ Opening Ceremonies ] US Paralympic Cyclists ] We Are in Athens ] Dulles from Eric ] Roadies on the Track ] Cycling Feature - Olympian Magazine ] Spreading the Word ] Send off Celebration ] May 30 Camp - Eric ] Back in Wisconsin ] Blaine MN - August 5 ] Another day in life ] Mid-July in Wisconsin ] San Diego - July 6 ]

Check out (official website) or to read about the Paralympic Games Opening Ceremonies!.  Right now they have some great pictures there of the opening ceremony.  70,000 attended. - sold out!   The word here in Athens is that the day pass tickets for the entire Paralympics have also sold out!! Yippee!  Good stuff!  GO TEAM USA - go the GOLD!

This article was copied from the

U.S. Athletes Enjoy the Moment as Opening Ceremonies Kick-Off 2004 Paralympic Games

by Kevin Neuendorf - U.S. Olympic Committee (Greece: 693-678-1478, U.S.: 719-866-4786)

U.S. Athletes Enjoy the Moment As Opening Ceremonies Kick-Off 2004 Paralympic Games

The XII Paralympic Games have officially begun in Athens, as they got underway with a rousing Opening Ceremony Friday evening with athletes from a Paralympic record 136 nations marching into a sold-out Olympic Stadium.

Following the entrance by the U.S Team ― led in by flagbearer Kevin Szott. ― and the other 135 nations, the President of the Greek Republic, Costis Stephanopoulos, declared the Games open. And with that, the Paralympic Flag circled the stadium and the Paralympic Flame was lit.

The show centered on a huge life-like tree in the middle of the stadium that was 85-foot-tall, weighed 35 tons, and symbolized life. A ceremony guide pointed out that in ancient times the "sick used to lie down under plane trees and hope for a cure simply by touching this incarnation of strength and longevity."
Always one of the highlights of any Paralympic or Olympic experience, Friday’s Opening Ceremony was well received by the U.S. contingent.

Flagbearer Kevin Szott (Judo/Clifton, N.J.)
"It was awesome. Just walking out there with tens of thousands of people in the stands -- it gives you chills to know that you're coming out and representing not just your country, but your fellow athletes. It was a great opening; a really entertaining show and I think it's a prelude to how well the rest of the Games will go.”

Jermell Pennie (Wheelchair Basketball/Houston, Texas)
"Tonight was an eye-opening experience - I had butterflies in my stomch the whole time. I came into Athens looking at it like it was any other competition, but after tonight, it really sunk in that this is the real deal."

Julia Dorsett (Wheelchair Tennis/Boca Raton, Fla.)
"I really didn't know what to expect, but to come out and see all of those people, it was fantastic. It just felt so right. To be surrounded by my teammates with all those people here just to see us, it was like we totally deserved it."

Deb Vosler (Sitting Volleyball/Eyota, Minn.)
“[Tonight was] very emotional. It was the neatest experience of my life. My heart was pumping and I was smiling from ear to ear and still am. Before we entered the stadium they stopped us and gave the flagbearer the flag. That was emotional. It was all finally happening after all the hard work.

On tap for Team USA tomorrow is action in blind judo, fencing, table tennis, cycling, sailing while the men’s wheelchair basketball team takes on Japan.

For a larger image of the photos below click on the photo. 1st photo is of Kevin Szott, judo, carrying the flag and the 2nd photo below is of Team USA!



Team King
Telephone: 719.339.1557

updated 09/18/2004
Copyright © 2000 Team King All Rights Reserved

US Paralympics

US Paralympics