At the 106th session of the International Olympic Committee on 5 September 1997 in Lausanne, Athens was chosen to host the 2004 Olympic Games.
Athens had previously bid for the 1996 Games but lost out to Atlanta. The decision to award the 2004 Olympiad to the birthplace of the Olympic Games was based largely on the historic connections of the city with the Games, and the role that Athens and Greece could play in promoting the Olympic movement.
The other candidate cities were Rome, Cape Town, Stockholm and Buenos Aires.
Athens had previously hosted the very first Olympiad of the modern era, in 1896.