Since April 1995
Committee Chair: Dr. Margo Alexander
Olympia is one of the most popular and visited destinations in the Peloponnese, as this was where the ancient Olympic Games were held. It was a festivity, important not only to this region, but the rest of Greece, and the entire world. The historic site is situated in an area surrounded by hills and mountains in such a way that they provide a very peculiar and interesting background to this ancient spot.
The modern history of Olympia began with the rediscovery of the ancient city in 1766. But it was not until 1829 that the first scientific excavations were begun in the vast field of majestic ruins that dot the landscape where the ancient city of Olympia Greece once thrived.
Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Archaeologists from Germany became responsible for excavation and preservation in the 1970s, and it is still the German Archaeological Institute at Athens that oversees the site. The city of Olympia is famous for its impressive statue of Zeus, a statue of great size made of gold and ivory, within a temple built in honor of the deity.
Olympia is one of the most popular destinations for tourists in Greece. Cruise ships dock at the nearby port of Katakolo and bus visitors the site. The village of Olympia itself is a collection of tourist shops, cafes, restaurants and a historical museum of the Olympic Games.
In 2004 Olympia completed development of roadwork, museum renovations and sports facilities for Athens’ hosting of the Olympic Games. The men's and women's shot put competition were held at the restored stadium in Olympia.
About the Partnership
The Atlanta-Ancient Olympia Greece relationship has its origins in a vision by Mayor Maynard Jackson and Mr. Louis Zakas in 1992 after the City of Atlanta was awarded the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. The cities of Atlanta and Ancient Olympia formed their sister city relationship by 1994. The purpose was to promote good relations between the two countries during the Centennial Games. The Atlanta Ancient Olympia Sister City Committee maintains connections with the city and organizations in each location.
In November 1992, an "Olympic" olive tree was presented by the Citizens of Olympia, Greece in honor of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta. It resides in the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.
Ancient Olympia commemorated the 2020 New Year with the annual cutting of the Vasilopita, a traditional holiday celebration. The Hon. Emmanuil Androulakis, Consul General of Greece in Atlanta, was a guest speaker at the event.
In February 2020 The Atlanta Greek Film Expo, sponsored by Ancient Olympia, was hosted at Tara Theatre in Atlanta. It featured Greece’s 2020 Oscar entry, When Tomatoes Met Wagner. In July, a virtual film festival was hosted for the Atlanta Greek community, showing Greek movies in the United States.
The Ancient Olympia Sister City Commission sponsored a travel presentation by the Honorary Consul of Cyprus, Mrs. Polyxeni Potter in March 2020.
In celebration of the beginning of the New Year 2016, the Atlanta-Olympia Sister Cities Committee hosted a “Vasilopita Celebration” for all its committee members in January. Dr. Louis Ruprecht, Director, Hellenic Studies Program at Georgia State University spoke on the “Strange Journey of Greek Statues- How Sixteen Statues Went From Aegina and Athens, to Rome and Munich…and Why Hitler Wanted to Be Buried With Them.” The Consul General of Greece in Atlanta Mr. Giorgios Panaviotidis, Vice Consul Spyros Vourtsis and Honorary Consul of Cyprus Polyxeni Potter also joined event.
In February, Atlanta-Olympia Sister Cities Committee sponsored a lecture by the Consul General of Greece in Atlanta Giorgos Panagiotidis and the Honorary Consul of Cyprus Polyxeni Potter at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Consul Panagiotidis discussed recent developments in Greece and Honorary Consul Potter talked about the prospects for a solution to the Cyprus problem.
With the Olympia Committee’s mission to preserve our tradition and culture as well as show unity, the Committee commemorated the Greek Independence Day during a celebration on March 25th.
The Olympia Committee co-sponsored the regional premiere of the newly restored “Zorba the Greek” movie. Katherine Quinn introduced the film and discussed her late husband's inspiring life and Zorba's impact on audiences worldwide.
To support the Lykion ton Ellinidon’s exhibit “Music is Timeless: Greek Music through the Ages” at the Atlanta Greek Festival in September, the Olympia Committee assisted with this wonderful display and information on the ever-evolving story of music from antiquity to the present.
The 3rd Annual “Best of the NYC Greek Film Festival in Atlanta” was held on November 3rd at the Atlanta History Center’s McElreath Hall. As in previous years, the festival carefully selects and brings the best of current Greek films to US audiences. This year, six current feature films were brought to the festival, which will truly represent "The Best" of the NYC Greek Film Festival.