Days 9 & 10 – Athens & Travel Day

By Avery Van Reeth & Ross Wirthman

On our last day of the trip before heading home, we had a free day to explore some areas in Athens that we either didn’t get to see but wanted to, or saw and wanted to revisit. We met up with Dr. Turner and a group in the lobby in the morning because we all wanted to go see Acropolis, since it is known as the must-see sight in Athens, and we hadn’t gotten a chance to go up and see it from up close. We were going to start at the museum, but we didn’t think it was worth it; we just wanted to go up the hill to the real Acropolis. It was a little journey up the hills to get up to the top, but it was incredible to see. The amphitheater was really cool on the way up, because it used the original walls and new seating, but they still use it for concerts and events. After seeing it from a distance during our time in Athens, it was massive in person. The size of the columns and ruins were incredible, and we were greatly impressed on how intact it was, especially being an ancient citadel build on top of a huge hill. The Parthenon, dedicated to the goddess Athena whom the city is named after, was the biggest and most impressive building on top of the hill. We were very glad we had a chance to go see it. Acropolis was an important meeting place in ancient Athens. At its peak, it was the philosophical and cultural center of the ancient world. Today its monuments and structures stand as a tribute to the birthplace of democracy.
After that, we walked around the shopping area, just browsing to see if there was anything we wanted to take home with us. After browsing around and getting a couple items, we started heading back towards the hotel. We stopped for lunch at Atitapos, the same restaurant that some of us ate at on the first night in Athens. After our meal, we just hung out at the hotel until it was time for our big group dinner.
The group dinner was a great time, and it was great to get everyone together for one last meal before we headed home in the morning. They kept bringing out different types of starters for everyone to pass around and sample. It was almost like a full meal in the U.S, and we hadn’t even gotten to the main course yet! There was another large group of girls sitting in the same room who were from the U.S, so it got pretty loud, but it was still a great time. They had a DJ playing some music, and someone requested “Old Town Road”, which they played and everyone danced in their seat to. We took a group photo outside the restaurant before walking back to the hotel. After going back, some of us hung out on the rooftop patio for a while, soaking up the city lights and relaxing before having to get packed and going in a few hours. It was amazing to see the Acropolis buildings in the distance all lit up at night.
Then it was time for the longest day of the trip. Getting up at 3 AM in Greece and not getting to bed until close to 1 AM in the U.S. was quite the challenge, especially if you find it hard to sleep on flights. The first flight from Athens to Amsterdam was fairly easy. At the Amsterdam airport, some of us had the greatest breakfast of the trip at a market-type place, where they had things like eggs, sausage, bacon and toast. Even though it wasn’t free like the hotels we stayed at, it was great to eat things we had been used to before leaving. Then, when we landed in Minneapolis, it was time for the eight hour layover.
Some of us started it by enjoying a meal at Chili’s, to get back into the American food culture. Then, we just had to find other random things to do to help make the time go by quicker. One group went of to the Mall of America, since it was real close to the airport. Then it was finally time to get on the last flight to Columbus. We were all very excited to get home and sleep in our own beds. After an amazing trip, its safe to say that everyone was very tired and anxious to get back to Ohio.

Day 8 – Peloponnese

By Bredan Buckley

Today we woke up in the region of Peloponnese, the southern isthmus of Greece. We spent the night in Tripoli which is in the center of the region and about half way between Olympia, which we visited the day before and the north-east area of the region which we are scheduled to visit today. Our hotel in Tripoli was by far the most luxurious we stayed in yet and had the best selection of breakfast options as well.

Everyone grabbed all their bags and headed across the plaza to our tour bus, piled on and for the most part fell back asleep on the bus. We had a bit of a drive ahead of us, as well as a long day, so this was probably a good strategy.  After about two hours we arrived at our first stop, the ancient city of Mycenaean.

This city was the home of Agamemnon who was considered most famous for winning the Trojan war. This period and the stories of the Illiad and the Odyssey by Homer were generally considered fables or legend until the late 19thcentury when the ruins were found here and determined to be the actual home of Agamemnon and Helen of Troy.  The fact that the site was found so recently contributed to one grave site having over thirteen kilograms of gold still buried with the family which is now on display in the archeological museum in Athens.

What is generally believed to be the tomb of Agamemnon was not so fortunate and when archeologists entered, it was completely empty. Well mostly empty. In the tomb portion of the site there were bats. We also found out our tour guide Sjoerd is afraid of bats.


We met up with a group of Dutch senior citizens who were on a seven week RV tour of Europe. Meeting other travelers on our trip has been enjoyable and informative.

The gift shop was disappointing. The Greeks have a lot to learn from the Catholics. And Disneyland.

We were back on the bus around noon and heading toward Epidaurus. The real gem of Epidaurus is the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus which was built in the third century B.C. and the upper level was added in the second century B. C.

This theater is not the biggest example from ancient Greece, but it is the most well preserved. Even today there is an annual summer festival here and no audio enhancement is necessary because of the superior acoustics of the theater.

Our local guide had us clap from the center of the theater and we could hear the acoustics of the theater in action. Then Patch sang Maroon 5 “She Will Be Loved” from the center of the theater to test the acoustics. He did a great job.

An hour later and we were back on the bus to Corinth. The lack of sleep is catching up to many in the group. Every time we are on the bus, many people are asleep within 15 minutes.

They are missing some beautiful countryside and shore line views.

We stopped in Corinth for lunch.

At 3:00 we entered the ancient ruins, starting at the temple of Apollo.

It was unique because the columns are monolithic (made from one piece of marble) which we have not seen up until this point in the trip. Corinth was the first city in Greece to mint its own coins. Corinth has 2 ports, Agean sea and Ionian Sea. St Paul introduced Christianity to Greece. Paul stayed in Corinth for 18 months and wrote two letters, First and Second Corinthians in the Bible.

Because Corinth is an isthmus, creating a canal has long been a goal of the Greek people. Construction started on the canal in 1884 and finished ten years later in 1894. The Canal separates Peloponnesus from main land Greece.

The canal is 6.5 KM long, 30 meters deep, and has 900 meter walls down to the water. It cost 80 Euro to bungee jump from the bridge.

The ride back there was much discussion of everyone’s favorite part of the trip so far. Everyone was on their own for dinner. Several folks went up to the roof top terrace of our hotel to enjoy the evening and the views. Everyone is looking forward to our free day in Athens tomorrow.

Day 7 – Olympia

By Gabriela Paczko Bozko Cecchini & Nasra Hirsi

Hello everyone!

We started the day very early, as usual, so that we could have a good breakfast at the hotel in Athens and then take the bus to go to Olympia. The bus ride was about four hours, a fact that was very useful, because we could catch up on our sleep. We arrived at Olympia at around noon, and then had a quick lunch. The village was very charming, with many restaurants and souvenir shops. Most of us had a gyro, the famous Greek street food.

After lunch, we took the bus to the International Olympic Academy, which is the World Center for the Olympic Education. The institution, created in 1961 in a joint effort from the Hellenic Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee, is the true heart of the Olympic Movement, as it unites both its components of Philosophy and Education. Once there, we could walk for a little bit in the facilities of the IOA, which comprise multiple rooms to accommodate the students, a restaurant, conference rooms and multiple classrooms. We were very impressed with the size of the institution and the beautiful disposition of the buildings, in a semicircular fashion.

We then walked to the Archive of the 2004 Olympic Games, which is the only archive for an edition of the Olympic Games that exists in the world. There,  our guide George, showed us a video that detailed the story of the organization and its aims. In the video, we learned more about the conception of IOA by Pierre de Coubertin, the father of the Modern Olympic Games, who wanted to create an institution to support and encourage the development of the Olympic values around the world. Further, we could get more details about the current projects being held at IOA, like the Young Participants and the Masters Programme in Olympic Studies.

After the video, looked at the Archive for the 2004 Olympic Games. It had both a vastness of documents and publications about the event, and many original artifacts from it: posters, clothes worn by the volunteers, and even the Olympic medals! It was extremely special to be in that place and to be able to see objects from one edition of the biggest sports celebration of the world.

In the afternoon, we went to Olympia, the place where the Ancient Olympic Games were held. Having the opportunity to go to Olympia was an amazing experience. Olympia is as beautiful as we expected it to be and the people who reside there are really kind. During the tour of the archeological site and the museum it felt like we were transported back in time to the first Olympic games. The tour allowed us to get an in-depth idea into the rich history of Olympia and the games that occurred there. We were able to learn about the importance of sports during Olympia, and even how they were able to stop wars, due to a treaty created back then that prohibited all types of wars during the Olympic games.

During the tour, we were able to get a better grasp on how sports shaped ancient Greece and its people. We learned that the Olympic games were religious and sacred, played to honor Zeus. Only non-slave men who were from Greece could participate in them. Because of that, at the time, women decided to create their own games, where they honored the goddess Hera. A second interesting fact about the ancient Greeks was the belief that training your body allowed a person to have self-control and was the only way a person could achieve physical perfection. Finally, we also learned that the Olympic Games were created in a moment when Greece was not an united country, but several city-states, so the Games served to unite all Greeks and make them realize that they were stronger together.

After the tour, we took the bus and drove to Tripoli, a small city where we are going to spend the night. It was definitely an unforgettable day, in which we were able to engage in a deeper level with the Olympic movement, both in its roots, when we visited Olympia, and in its current actions, in the OIA. We are very grateful for having had the opportunity to visit these places and to learn in locoabout the importance of sports for humankind, from the ancient Olympic Games to nowadays.

Day 6 – Athens

By Patrick Butler & Tad Bogielski

Our first full day in Athens, Greece started off with some very informational lectures. The first lecture was from Mike Argyris. Mike was the Race Director of the very first Ironman Greece. This specific Ironman took place in Peloponnese and was a ½ Ironman or an Ironman 70.3. Peloponnese is a peninsula located in southern Greece. The Ironman Greece is a ½ Triathlon which consists of a 2km swim in the ocean, a 90km bike ride, and a ½ marathon all together. Last year was the very first Ironman Greece and in that first year of the race there were 1500 participants from 62 different countries. With such a high volume of participants the race required 1000 people working, 650 were volunteers and 350 were paid workers. In total the Ironman Greece was 700,000 Euros to put on, or about $800,000. On top of the background knowledge, we were learned about the importance of a brand association. Many people around the world understand the amazing feat it is to complete an Ironman or a ½ Ironman. Thus the association of companies with the Ironman Brand have improved their value, and their perception to the public. Brand association is something that can be extremely influential to a company’s success.

The 2nd lecture was from Tota Golfinopoulou and Eleftheria Petrides who work as event managers for the Athens Marathon. Our lecture covered a lot of the great history that is associated with the Athens Marathon. It is called “The Authentic” because Athens is the birthplace of the very first Marathon. In ancient times Grigoris Lobrakis ran from the city Marathon to Athens to inform the Athenians they had won the Persian War. The Authentic Marathon starts in Marathon and ends at the Panathenaic Stadium, which was the location of the 1st modern Olympic Games. This distance from Marathon to Athens is what is used for today’s race distances.  In the past 10 years the race has increased its participants from 10,750 to 60,000+ registered for the 2019 race. With this exponential growth the race ranks 14th in the world in participants, as well as Top 5 in Europe. We also learned about the Marathon Flame that The Authentic Marathon created. This flame is lit before the Athens Marathon at the opening ceremony each year at the Marathon Tomb. The Marathon Tomb is the location of Athenians graves after the Persian war. The course is one of the most historic courses in the world and is a must run course that most marathon runners have on their bucket list.

The 3rd lecture was from Panthinaikos BC, a very well-known basketball team in Greece. The lecture was from the General Manager, Themistocles Karvountzis. Panthinaikos BC is a professional team in Greece that competes in the Euroleague, The Greek League and The Greek Cup. They have a very rich history, and are one of the most successful European teams of the last 100 years. Due to this success they have been able to regularly fill their 18.5k capacity stadium and average around 10,000 season tickets sold in recent years. On top of ticket sales they attract big name players to their team; they have featured many former NBA Players like Dominque Wilkins, Kosta Koufos and Kostas Antetokounmpo. The team is currently coached by former Louisville head coach, Rick Pitino. On top of being a very successful team Panthinaikos is doing amazing things for the city. They recently started an Autism Spectrum Disorder Program. This program allows for local children with ASD to come together to learn sport, be active and have fun.

After our speakers, we headed over to the site of the 2004 Olympics. It was a massive complex full of the stadiums used for the games. The first arena we visited with our tour guide was the Main Olympic Stadium. Events like Track and Field and Soccer were the main use of this stadium. This is also the location used for the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2004 Olympic Games. Our tour guide told us how the stadium’s roof was made, 25,000 square meters with a capacity of 72,000 seats.  Now, after the games are said and done, the stadium is used primarily for soccer games for AEK Athens and the Panathinaikos F.C.  She also stated how it is a great venue for concerts.

Our next stop was the indoor and outdoor swimming pools used for the games. The bleacher seats used for the outdoor pool looked to be a little run down and not in use. However, the outdoor pool is used daily! Adults like to use the pool for recreational swimming. On the inside, the pool is always busy with action. The indoor facility receives 60,000 swimmers annually and the ages range from 6 months old all they way into older adults.  After the non-permanent seating for the Olympics was removed, the stands can fill an audience of 5,506.  This indoor stadium is also the home of where Michael Phelps broke and set the Olympic Record.

We ended our day with a bike tour around the city center of Athens. The big group split into two smaller ones, however, we received the same tour. One group set off going clockwise around the Acropolis why the other group went counterclockwise.  The first stop on the tour was atop the Filopappou Hill.  It is a park within the city limit where you can get a fantastic view of the Parthenon and the rest of the Acropolis. The hill is about the same height as the Acropolis so you are able to take in all its glory from afar before visiting the Acropolis itself.  The word “acropolis” comes from “acro” and “polis” which translates to “high or heights” and “city.” Most Greek city-states have their own acropolis but this is the most famous one.  The Parthenon was an important temple to the ancient Athenians since it was dedicated to the Greek Goddess Athena, who is their patron. Unfortunately we were not able to make it atop the Acropolis by bike so we are climbing the hill Sunday.

Later in the tour we visited the first stadium of the modern Olympics, the Panathenaic Stadium.  It is here where the events of the 1896 Summer Olympics were held.  The stadium is shaped similarly to that of an amphitheater. It is completely made out of marble and when it was created it held 50,000 spectators. Due to erosion, it has lost 5,000 seats over the course of time but it is still quite impressive for being built in the 6th century B.C. Today, the stadium is the finish point for the Athens Marathon (which starts in Marathon Town). Marathon Town is a small city outside of Athens which is exactly 42.2 km away.

Day 5 – Rome

By Brennon Davis & Dan Frank

The day began with an early alarm as we all packed up our belongings and new souvenirs we found during our time in Rome. Bound to fit as much as we can into our trip, we bused to the AS Roma training grounds before our flight to Athens.
AS Roma was an amazing experience. We had lecture there where we were lucky enough to hear from the Chief of Staff, a Manager of the Youth Coaches and Players, a Licensing Manager, the Chief Media Director, and the Chief Financial Officer. AS Roma is a soccer team in the top soccer league of Italy, Serie A. They have a first team that we were able to watch win over Juventus a couple days ago, but they also have a second professional team and a youth development program for kids aged 10-19. This is a large part of the growing organization that is traded publicly and owned by a company based out of Boston. Inside the organization they have their own radio and tv channels. We toured their training facility that came equipped with a world class training facility with over 9 pristine fields, living quarters for both their first teams and youth players, as well as a newly updated workout and rehab center.
As mentioned, after a quick introduction to AS Roma, the Manager of the youth teams came to explain more about the structure of the youth group and how they have managed to become so successful. AS Roma is one of the best clubs at developing youth players into impactful professional players they told us. They start at the age of 10 and even sign their youth to contracts. Over 20 scouts are in charge of finding the best talent from all over the world for these youth teams. Once at the facility there are able to stay there as long as they maintain their contract. In total, there are 558 players, 61 coaches, and 39 managers. Recently the soccer clubs have added a girls program and AS Roma has decided to do the same. They currently have 145 women players in the club. Throughout all the teams a similar playing style is coached and psychologists and both mental and physical therapists are on call to help with player recover. With all day soccer, we found out that the club signed a deal with a local school system to get them to come to the facilities to teach their boarding kids so they can still get a formal education. This system is undoubtedly well thought out and should have no issues in continuing to produce quality players both to represent their club and to sell to other clubs for revenue.
Our next speaker was Stefana, the Head of Licensing for the club. She was very insightful and knowledgable about how licensing really is the ground work for the financial aspect of a soccer club outside of selling tickets. She talked about partnerships and collaborations with other companies that hep boost market share and appeal. She used the main stream clubs as examples, Paris Saint Germain’s collaboration with the Jordan brand through connections made with Neymar and Michael Jordan. Or Liverpool’s collaboration with Vans, and AS Roma with formal wear brands. She stated that total revenue was about 15 – 20 million euros. She explained that within AS Roma, there is a lot of tradition and to use that within marketing and licensing, her team decided to introduce a new Heritage Logo. As a wrap up she talked about how advantageous it was to have an incredible licensing team on staff and how licensing was used as a strategic tool. With brand elevation, increased brand presence, the expansion of international pretense, setting up stores in the U.S. markets and Asian markets. This was our personal favorite speaker because of the financial insight and how much one collaboration and/or brand deal impacts the club.
After a short break filled with juices and snacks we did our best to stay awake for the rest of the lectures. We did a few stretches and then the Media Director came into speak with us. This was very interesting for many of the students on our trip that are studying respected fields. His entire talk was about how fast the winds change in the field of media and social perception of clubs and players. It was very interesting to hear about the drastic changes that were made when ownership changed hands. As we enter the social media age, everything has to adapt, even sports. AS Roma became the first club to start its own radio station, and is the 3rd fastest growing media company and center. It was particularly interesting to hear about how media centers handle the rumors and fake news put out by rival fanatic supporters. This system is well organized and incredibly ingenious with how fast it can adapt to stay up to date with technological revolution in todays world.
Before our last lecture we went to tour the facility. It was here that we saw a couple of their practice fields, their rehab/weight room, their residential area and lastly their media room. This was all very cool to see and the athletes that our on our trip had fun comparing it to our facilities back at OSU. We definitely all agreed that we are very fortunate to say ours are better.
Last, but not least was their Chief Financial Officer. He was a very good speaker and made it interesting by talking mostly about the transfer window and buying players, but also talked a lot about the club and their status compared to other soccer clubs around the world. This is where they talked about the new $1.1-1.2 Billion stadium, business, and residential district that they are finalizing approval for currently. He said that currently their clubs revenue from the first team is about $200-$250 million per season based off their performance during that year. With the new stadium however they are hoping to increase revenues by almost double that, $200 million for a total of $400 million per year. Currently they are renting a stadium for their game days and they feel that it is not suitable for bringing in as many fans as possible. Overall this lecture was very interesting and it was great to hear from multiple people in different divisions of the club.

After finishing our tour, we headed back to the hotel because of a late check out time. People were scrambling trying to get packed but were locked out because we missed our check out window. Immediately after we headed to the airport to hop on a flight to Athens, Greece. After waiting for about an hour to board, we finally took off and headed to our second country, Greece. We met our guide and hopped on the bus to finally check into the hotel and complete our long and adventurous day. We cannot wait to explore the city tomorrow!

Day 4 – Rome

By Lexi Miller & Lauren Tischer

We began our day early as we left the hotel around 8:00 am for our lecture of the day. After two bus rides we arrived at CONI, the Italian National Olympic Committee, where we heard our speaker Giovanni Malagò, the president of CONI.

During our lecture Giovanni Malagò discussed the Milano and Cortina Olympic candidacy for the 2026 Winter Olympic Games. These two cities offer such different advantages for the games, they are both being bidded, which is the first time ever for this to happen. Milano is a more modern capital which is better for hosting families, and its location is better suited for the necessary indoor facilities. While, Cortina on the other hand is made up of mountains and what not which makes it better suited for the outdoor events such as snowboarding and alpine skiing. He also mentioned that there was going to be a large focus on their values which included flexibility, efficiency and sustainability.

After this lecture, we all made our way back to the hotel to grab lunch. We had to fuel up in order to make it through the bike tour we had coming up. The other day we did a city bike tour of Rome, while this time was a country-side bike tour of the outskirts of Rome, more specifically along the ancient Appian Way. Let me just say, this was an adventure. Definitley not what anyone was expecting and completley different from the previous bike tour. So the Appian Way is one of Romes ancient roads that connected Rome to Brindisis, southeast Italy, consturcted about 2000 years ago. Along this trail we saw several historical sights including the Villa Di Massenzio, Mausoleum of Romulus, Mausoleum of Cecillia Metellia and lastly Capo di Bove.

The bike tour started out pretty slow as it took us a decent amount of time to bike out of the city and get to the backroads. By the time we got to backroads, we immediately began biking up long steep hills that would eventually lead us to where we were going (which coincidently, incorporated only more hills to bike up). The beginning of the bike tour was made up of beautiful picture taking, historical sight-seeing, great city views; meanwhile the end was more so revolved around dodging large rocks and riding bumpy gravel roads attempting to not fly off the bike just to make it out alive.  Safe to say, it was not easy – but we did indeed make it!

Once we reached about half way through the bike trip, we landed at this stone water hole that allowed us to refresh and quench our thirst with fresh spring water from the castle. Here is a picture of the stone watering fountain along with the two tour guides who led us around.

Getting to this point seemed like it was a lot simpler than getting back from this spot. The tour guide even said, “don’t ride on this part of the street because it’s not healthy because how bumpy it is,” which should have been the firest warning sign! The way back seemed to be steeper, bumpier and filled with more rocks and ditches. After being brutually tortured by these gravel roads and bumps, we thought we were close to th end. But next thing we knew we are sprinting across the road to get to a grassy area, with again, more hills. Another warning sign we should have taken in to account was then the guide warned us about making sure we stay single file in order to make it up the hill and emphasizing the idea of a need for speed. Here is a picture of the trail we began blazing at this time.

At this point, everyone was already wondreing how we got on this bike tour in the first place and questioned if we are going to make it out alive. Chains were falling off, people were falling off, there were overgrown plants, gravel, mud, sandy paths and who knows what else; we even passed a chicken coup.

Even though everyone emerged unscathed, everyone experienced sour bums, tired legs and scratches and bruises, but all of that came along with good pictures, fun stories and memories (and a different view on country bike tours) which made all the troubles worth it.

By this time, everyone was a little hangry. It’s been a while since we last ate and we just biked through rocks and gravel, so everyone was ready to settle down. When we landed at the bike stop everyone eargerly dispursed to different places for food. Before we got food, we stopped by Vaticain City to see the St. Peters Square. The building and area were gorgeous and we couldn’t help but capture the moment. Here is what we got.

We carried on with more picture taking and slowly made our way to a highly recommended pizza place, PizzaZizza. This has to be my favorite restaurant thus far. The atmosphere was so enjoyable and the pizza was even more enjoyable. They serve you a platter of several different pizzas for you to “sample”. Along with the pizza, we all got drinks that we desperately needed after the long bike ride we participated in.

After enjoying the end of our day at this cute little place, we made our back to the hotel. This was not as easy as we planned and took us quite some time to figure out. But all is good cause we made it back alive and well and continued to carry on with the rest of our night. When we got back to the hotel we all joined in one room and hung out for the rest of the night.  Times like these are what we will appreciate coming out of the trip as these are friendships we will cherish forever.


Day 3 – Rome

By Jyvel Tolbert & Frank Liu

Day 3 was a busy day for our group. Over the course of the day we attended the Italian Open (a.k.a., The Internazionali BNL d’Italia) at the Foro Italico venue, had free time, attended our first lecture on the trip, and attended the AS Roma vs. Juventus soccer match.

Our day began with a 9am breakfast at the hotel, then we left the hotel and made our way to the Foro Italico venue for the Italian Open. Upon arrival, people were just beginning to file in. We received our tickets, checked in, and began to explore. As a group we went to the first court and took a glimpse at the match that was going on. One thing that surprised me about the courts is that most of the seats are made of marble. It was pretty cool. After we took a glimpse of the match that was going on, we split our different ways and explored the venue. Some people went to get food, while others went and checked out the apparel stores. Sadly, we didn’t get to see any big name tennis players while we were there, but we all had fun, took some great pictures, and enjoyed our time there!

After we left the Italian Open, we went back to the hotel and relaxed until we had lecture. Our lecture went over the European Multi Sport Club Association and within this association, we focused on the Lazio SS organization. This lecture was given by Gabriella Bascelli. Through the lecture we learned some important facts about Lazio SS and the European Multi Sport Club Association. We learned when they were founded (Lazio SS:Jan. 9th, 1900, European Multi Sport Club Association: Jan. 8th, 2013), we learned that Lazio SS has over 70 clubs ranging from Ballet to Soccer to Cricket. We also learned that athletes start club sports around the age of 3 and they could potentially go professional around the age of 14 to 15 years of age. The lecture was very informative. Overall, we learned a great deal about Lazio SS and the European Multi Sport Club Association.

As night falls we began to make our way back to the Foro Italico, where the city turns its focus on the marquee matchup between AS Roma and Juventus. Roma was struggling for a champions league spot so this match had great importance, especially because Juventus is dominating league performance.

Our gameday experience started with a long bus ride. There were countless fans waiting at almost every stop since we got on and unfortunately for them, we filled up the entire bus.

Stadio Olimpico, the home stadium for AS Roma, also did not disappoint. The fans built up a great atmosphere from miles away from the stadium right up to the gate itself. Our tickets were also at the very top of the stadium so the view was also stunning.

The game itself was full of excitements and had all the elements of a great soccer game. Juventus came out strong in the first half and controlled most possessions. Even without half of their normal starting lineup, they still managed to create many lethal chances. However, Roma goalkeeper Mirante was actually having his game of the season and saved three one on one attempts that would have put Juventus ahead. Roma being dominated by Juventus helped build up this tension for most of the game that actually made the game so much more interesting. In fact, it wasn’t until the 79th minute that Roma finally capitalized on a Juventus turnover and captain Alessandro Florenzi managed to chip it over Juventus Goalkeeper Szczesny to take the lead in the game. From that point Juventus started to panic a bit and eventually gave up a second goal to another Roma counter attack in the 92nd minute. Overall, it was just a great experience as Roma is one of the world’s most famous soccer clubs and has that rich history. It was such a great evening to witness top tier European soccer inside this amazing venue.

Edin Dzeko last minute goal from the stands

Days 1 & 2 – Travel Day & Athens

By Caroline Rice & Kylie Sturgill

Day One: Friday- Travel Day




We all arrived at the Columbus airport on Friday at 11:15 AM. We met under the big arrivals and departures sign and we were all very excited for the trip to begin.
We made it through security…everyone’s bags were under 50 pounds. We had some time to kill before our flight departed at 2:24 PM so we spent the time getting to know each other and hanging out at the terminal and grabbing food. The flight to Atlanta was a quick one hour and five minutes.
Upon arrival at ATL, we all dispersed in the different food courts in the terminals to eat before the nine hour flight.


Everyone was super anxious to board the plane. It was really starting to set in that we would be waking up in Rome, Italy the next morning. When we got on the plane, it was packed and we all filed in to our seats to get situated and look for movies. A few hours into the flight, we were given a menu to choose our meal for dinner. We each watched two movies and ate dinner before attempting to fall asleep. The dinners were full course meals, and were surprisingly very good. We tried to get a lot of sleep on this flight because Rome is six hours ahead of Columbus, and we were arriving in Rome at 11:00 AM, which was 4:00 AM Columbus time. Although we didn’t get a lot of sleep, our adrenaline was running high and everyone was excited
to wake up in Rome. We were given breakfast on the plane shortly before landing.


Day Two: Saturday- Bike Tours of Rome and Lunch


Upon arrrival, we exited the plane to go through customs and pick up our luggage and then meet our tour guide Sjoerd.


He guided us out of the airport and onto the train that would be taking us 30 minutes to our hotel.
We were able to check out our hotel and hotel rooms before quickly meeting up to head to the City Center for Lunch and the Bike Tour.
We took the Bus to the City Center and ate lunch with Sjoerd at Trattoria Pizzeria. They even had gluten free pasta for Caroline!
From there we walked to pick up our bikes to begin the tour. We split up into two groups, each with their own tour guide.


Throughout the tour, we made stops at The Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Imperial Forum, Piazza Di Spagna, Campo Marzio, Piazza Navona, The Pantheon, and The Holy Center.

The biking was a lot of fun, but it was quite the experience. We were riding on the bumpy cobblestone roads and it was really hard weaving through all of the crowds on the thin streets. We saw lots of vendors trying to sell selfies sticks and phone charges to all of the tourists. But riding the bikes gave us such a cool experience, being able to see eveyrthing in such a short amout of time and really feeling the wind blow as we flew around the historic city.

Both groups met back up to drop off their bikes and we were planning on taking the bus back but there was a demonstration that was occurring that shut down a lot of the busses, so we made the three mile hike back to the hotel.

After arrriving at the hotel, everyone was ready for a break and another meal. We grabbed a quick dinner down the street and hit the hay to rest up for our longest and busiest day tomorrow.