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Why Some Still Believe That Greece’s Mount Olympus Is a Myth

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Mount Olympus from below. Credit: Christo Vlachos/Wikimedia Commons/ CC BY-SA 4.0

Many outside of Greece believe that Mount Olympus—like Atlantis—is a myth that exists only in Greek mythology, Greek journalist and director Athina Krikeli said recently.

Krikeli, who has lived in the United States for the past twenty-five years and has been working with National Geographic said there is a cloud of confusion about Mount Olympus.

“I have realized that Olympus is generally a very controversial subject around which there is a cloud of confusion,” she said. “Most believe it is a mythical mountain that does not exist. That it is something like Atlantis.”

Speaking recently about her experience on the subject to the Athens News Agency radio station she added: “After showing the first short documentary about Olympus, initially in New York and then in some universities in America, I realized that the reaction everywhere was the same: But does Olympus exist? Is it not a mythical mountain?”

Over the past decade, Krikeli has been working on a series of documentaries with the goal of making the famous mountain—the tallest in Greece—known worldwide.

The journalist and director and her associates in the production company “Ellopia Films USA” have completed six documentaries on Mt. Olympus three of which have won awards in international competitions.

“Our aim is to create a total of 12 documentaries, as many as the gods of Olympus,” Krikeli told the station. “In early July, the shooting of the sixth documentary called Mt. Olympus begins,” Krikeli told the station.

Video games and movies make people think that Mount Olympus is a myth

After extensive research on Olympus on the Internet, Krikeli said, “I found some video games, some Hollywood movies, some episodes of Xena, and so on. In fact, every man on the other side of the earth, seeing these things, believes that Olympus does not exist and that it is only a myth, like the ancient gods.”

The director/journalist took it upon herself to make Olympus known to more people across the world. “We decided to make a team of talented people, Greeks from Greece, Cyprus and America, who believe in the same vision,” she said.

“We are interested in Greece to be seen by non-Greeks, to people who live outside Greek borders,” Krikeli added. “That’s why all the documentaries are made in English with Greek subtitles. We have participated in all the festivals. We have been honored with world premieres. From Korea to Canada and from Australia to America, we won great awards.”

Mount Olympus is one of the great treasures of Greece. It is famous not only because of Greek mythology but because of its great beauty and the challenging climbs it offers to adventurers.

For untold thousands of years, it has inspired hundreds of stories and myths.

The peak of Olympus was reached for the first time on August 2, 1913 by the Swiss climbing team of Frédéric Boissonnas and Daniel Baud-Bovy, who were assisted by a mountain guide called Christos Kakkalos.

Kakkalos remained the official guide for Olympus until his death in 1976.

It is estimated that around ten thousand people climb Olympus every year with most of them only reaching as far as one of its secondary peaks called Skolio.

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