chapter  3
Celebration capitalism clicks into gear: the 2004 Athens Olympics and the 2008 Beijing Games
Pages 24

Greece is the birthplace of the ancient Olympics, and the Games have long held a

rm foothold in Greek national identity. Many expected the IOC to award the

1996 Olympics to Athens to mark the 100-year anniversary of the Games’ revival

in the Greek city. But to the bitter chagrin of many in Greece, the IOC picked

Atlanta, leading Greek actress and former minister of culture Melina Mercouri to

remark caustically, “Coca Cola won over the Parthenon.” Coca-Cola is head-

quartered in Atlanta and has been a longtime corporate sponsor of the Games.