Associated Press Online
:smileani:Greece proved the big winner in international sports in 2004, with two great triumphs few expected.
The country's stunning run to the title in the European soccer championship and the overwhelming success of the Athens Olympics a month later finished Nos. 1 and 2 in a poll of the top sports stories, voted on by Associated Press members outside the United States.
The Greeks, coached by 65-year-old German Otto Rehhagel, upset defending champion France in the quarterfinals and beat host Portugal in the final.
The soccer title received 10 first-place votes and a total of 444 points in the AP poll.
The Athens Games went off without a hitch. At the closing ceremony, IOC president Jacques Rogge thanked Greece for putting on "unforgettable, dream games."