The initial Olympics of the modern era was held in Athens in 1896. It had been revived by Pierre de Coubertin as a celebration of the Ancient Olympics held in Athens in antiquity.
Australia had one representative Edwin Flack who won two Gold Medals in Athletics. Australia, along with Greece, has been the only country to attend all the Modern Summer Olympics. After missing out on the Centenary Games to Atlanta in 1996 Athens was chosen as the city to host the 2004 Games.
As a celebration of the Athens Olympics three SES were issued to celebrate the period from the initial Athens Games to the present. A ‘The Early Years’ SSS was issued on the 23 June 2004. It is portrayed in the banner.
‘The Golden Era’ SSS, shown above, was issued on 21 July 2004. It showed Betty Cuthbert winning Gold at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics and the Australian Team entering the arena. The selvedge of three of the Pstamps showed the Melbourne poster, logo and torch.
‘The Modern Games’ SSS, shown above, was issued on 25 August 2004. A Set of the 3 sheets was available as a set in August. There were 10,000 sets. The sheet showed the Australian team entering Stadium Australia in 2000. The games were held from 13 to 29 August 2004.
First Class Collectables released a set of six covers celebrating the 1956 Melbourne and 2000 Sydney Games.
The Torch Relay
The 2004 Summer Olympics Torch Relay took the Olympic Flame across every habitable continent, returning to Athens, Greece. Every city which had hosted, will host, or coincidentally elected to host the Summer Olympics, the Winter Olympics and the Youth Olympics was revisited by the torch, as well as several other cities chosen for their international importance. The main reason why the torch relay went around the world was to highlight the fact that the Olympic Games were started in Greece (in ancient times) and in modern times have been held around the world and then took place in Greece in 2004.
The Torch on June 4: was in Sydney, Australia (host city of the 2000 Summer Olympics) and on June 5: was in Melbourne (host city of the 1956 Summer Olympics).
The Wesley Cover below shown the WCS proprietor, Michael Hudson (Deceased) on the selvedge of the 45c Handover Sydney to Athens with Flame, Flag and Parthenon postmarked Sydney 15 September 2000 and on the cachet of the cover showing the Athens Opening Ceremony in 2004. (the lite stadiums do look similar).