From the Brainroom: 2004 Olympic Facts

• Greece is slightly smaller in area than Alabama.

• More than 90 heads of government are expected to stay on luxury liners.

• About 15,000 visitors will be housed aboard at least 8 cruise ships, including the Queen Mary 2.

• A record 202 nations will compete in the 2004 Summer Olympic Games.

• Greece’s costs for the Olympics will top $7.2 billion.

• Athens hosted the first Summer Olympic games of the modern era in 1896.

• Greek Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis: Total cost of the 2004 Summer Olympic Games is over $11.1 billion.

• The 2004 Summer Olympic Games has 5.3 million ticketed spectators.

• Phevos and Athena are the official mascots of the 2004 Summer Olympic Games.

• NBC paid  $793 million for the 2004 Summer Games in Athens, Greece. 

Olympic Firsts

• Women's wrestling makes its debut at the 2004 Summer Olympic Games.

• The 2004 Summer Olympics are the first games to allow transsexuals to compete.

• Greece is the smallest nation to host the summer Olympics since Finland hosted the games in 1952.

The Athens 2004 Olympic Torch Relay has several firsts including: For the first time the Olympic torch will visit Africa (Cairo, Egypt and Cape Town, South Africa) and South America (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) It is also the first time the Olympic torch will visit all land masses represented by the Olympic rings and all the former host cities of the Olympic Summer Games.

• Telemundo's Spanish-language broadcast will provide the first exclusively non-English language Olympic broadcast in U.S. television history.


• Greece is spending $1.5 billion on security for the 2004 Summer Olympic Games.

• $1.5 billion is more than three times the amount spent to defend Sydney in 2000.

• Official Olympic vehicles will be equipped with GPS systems that can track every move or stop and how fast it is going.

• Patriot, Stinger and Hawk missile batteries will protect Athens against terrorism during the Olympic Games.

• The U.S. is sending about 100 agents from the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security to Athens.

• Spy planes from U.S. Navy base at Souda Bay are feeding Greek authorities information about any potential threats.

• Anti-U.S. terrorist attacks in Greece declined from a high of 20 in 1999 to only three in 2001. The number of anti-US terrorist attacks in Greece — all nonlethal — rose from 2001's low of three to seven in 2002.

Competing Nations

• Afghanistan made its Olympic debut in 1936. Afghanistan is expected to compete in wrestling and track and field at the Athens Games.

• Afghanistan is sending a team of five athletes to the 2004 Athens Summer Olympic games.The Afghan team consists of two women and three men. The Afghan team trained in Greece for the 2004 Olympic Games.

Afghanistan was banned from the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney because the Taliban regime outlawed women from sports.

Iraq has not competed at the Games since 1992. Iraq is expected to compete in wrestling, track and field, weightlifting, and boxing. Iraq’s men's soccer team will also compete.

• Most of Iraq's Olympic athletes have been given financial assistance by other sports groups and have been training outside the country. Iraqi boxer Najah Ali Salah trained in the United States.

U.S. Athletes

• 15-year-old Katie Hoff is the youngest member of the 2004 U.S. Olympic team. Katie Hoff is on the swimming team.

• 52-year-old Elizabeth Callahan is the oldest member of the 2004 U.S. Olympic team. Elizabeth Callahan is on the shooting team.

• Softball player Jennie Finch was named one of People magazine’s 50 most beautiful people. Swimmer Amanda Beard has posed for Maxim and FHM. High jumper Amy Acuff has posed for Playboy.

• Sprinter Shawn Crawford raced a giraffe and a zebra on FOX’s Man vs. Beast in January 2003.

• Gymnast Mohini Bhardwaj received $20,000 in training funds from Pamela Anderson.

• In July, Kansas City radio station Mix 93.3 FM raised enough money to ensure that U.S. gymnast Courtney McCool’s family could watch her compete in Athens. The radio station played Billy Ray Cyrus' "Achy Breaky Heart" over and over until listeners pledged its goal of $14,000. It took listeners 4 hours and 48 repeats of the song to raise the money.

• At the 2000 Olympics, Morgan and Paul Hamm became the first set of twins ever to make the U.S. gymnastics team. Morgan and Paul used makeshift equipment to train. Their father built a pommel horse from an old maple tree and foam and leather from automobile upholstery.

• U.S. sprinter Maurice Greene won $125,000 on ABC's "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" and donated half his winnings to the United Negro College Fund.