Athens 2004: Fani Halkia’s Golden Lap

One of my most indelible memories of the 2004 Athens Olympics is Fani Halkia‘s gold medal-winning performance in the 400m low hurdles. With the suspension of Greece’s best medal hopes, Kostas Kenteris and Ekaterini Thanou, for faking a motorcycle accident to miss a drug test, Halkia’s golden lap was a welcome change from all the controversy. Never mind that Halkia failed a doping test in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, her victory in front of tens of thousands of Greeks is truly priceless.

I had goosebumps just listening to the cheers of “Hellas (Greece)! Hellas! Hellas!”

It’s remarkable to note that the Australian hurdler, Jana Pittman-Rawlinson, finished a respectable 3rd place despite having knee surgery weeks before the Olympics.

Additional links:

IAAF write-up

BBC News article on Halkia’s failed drug test

Photo credits:

IAAF

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