was a beautiful gala, very atmospheric!
Music, dance and interviews alternated
and emphasized the Olympic idea
The gala was broadcast simultaneously
to Greece and Germany. It was presented
bilingual, in Greek and German,
by a Greek presentator and by Vicky
has always been a very popular pop
star over here since she started
her career in the '60s.
She was born on Corfu but grew up
and lives in Germany. Vicky is married
to Baron Enno Freiherr von Ruffin,
has three children and lives on
an estate in Schleswig-Holstein,
Vicky supports a charity project
of the Greek Orthodox Church for
children in Africa.
German sports reporter, Michael
Antwerpes, who will be one of the
TV commentators during the Olympic
Games, presented the beautiful ancient
and new venues in and around Athens.
He also introduced Yusuf as an interview
"With Vicky in Athen's Gate
there is a great star, who - for
decades - has supported peace, tolerance
and understanding, beyond all religious
He has founded the charity organization
Small Kindness, which, for example,
supports the fund for the victims
of September 11 with a large amount
- Yusuf Islam, who became world-famous
as Cat Stevens!"
Vicky asks Yusuf if he feels a relation
to his Greek heritage, he answers,
"Yes, very much! The background
of the Greek nationality and culture
has been a very strong influence,
especially in the early years. But
it's not only the blood that inspired
me but also the ideals of human
achievement, which Greece kind of
gave to the world."
He expresses that he identifies
very much with one of the Olympic
ideals, the endeavour for excellence.
"I think I picked up something
of that, you know, endeavour."
what he would wish for the Olympic
Games, Yusuf answers,
"Well, I think, the object
of competition is one wish, the
object of excellence is another
But he underlines that some people
are too much driven by the competitive
motivation and by excellence in
the sense of physical excellence.
"I would hope for more mental
or intellectual excellence."
Yusuf speaks about Small Kindness
and its projects, e.g., the educational
project for young ladies in Iraq,
the university in Baghdad and the
projects for orphans in Kosovo.
conclusion Yusuf emphasizes that
although the Olympic Games mean
noise, lights and excitement, there
are many people in this world who
"We should always keep our
minds on those people - and then
we would have a balance."