With 100 Days To Go, Athens Officials Scrambling To Get Ready For Olympics - TennisForum.com
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old May 4th, 2004, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
lizchris's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Bergen County
Posts: 20,954
Question With 100 Days To Go, Athens Officials Scrambling To Get Ready For Olympics

With 100 days to go, Greeks scrambling

Olympic stadium not done, and security budget bloated
Thanassis Stavrakis / AP
Construction crews are trying to fit a massive steel-and-glass structure over the main Olympic stadium.

Updated: 2:02 p.m. ET May 04, 2004
ATHENS, Greece - Greece starts a 100-day sprint on Wednesday to the opening ceremony of the Athens Olympics still without a roof over the main stadium and weighed down by crushing and expensive security demands.

Organizers, frantically rushing to complete building with just over three months to go to the August 13 start, insist that despite years of delays, the Greek capital will be ready.

“We will stage extraordinary, safe and successful Olympics,” deputy culture minister in charge of the Games, Fani Palli-Petralia, told Reuters on Tuesday. “We are working triple shifts everywhere and we will be ready.”

Petralia disclosed that the government had increased the Games security budget to one billion euros ($1.21 billion), up by more than 50 percent from the 650 million euros ($785 million) announced last October.

The hike is due to growing international concerns over safety at what will be the first summer Games since the September 11, 2001 attacks on U.S. cities.

On the construction front, organizers got a thumbs-up from the International Olympic Committee on Tuesday.

“All the reports I receive indicate how fast and how hard Greece is working to complete preparations,” IOC president Jacques Rogge said. “As we enter the final stretch together, most of the preparations are already complete.”

Games chief Gianna Angelopoulos told Reuters: “We believe the Athens Games will be symbolic because this is the country where they were born, where they were revived, and this is the country where the athletes decided to put down their arms during the Games so I think its a strong message going out.”

But a lot still needs to be done before August 13.

Of 39 key Olympic installations, organizers have so far completed construction work on only 18 projects.

Most others are near completion but with much-needed landscaping still to be done and key transport projects still under construction, Games organizers have their work cut out.

A new suburban railroad and tram line linking the city with the international airport and the southern coastline are far from ready although the government has pledged they will be delivered by the end of June.

But the biggest concern remains the steel dome above the main Olympic stadium, which organizers hope will become the Games architectural trademark.

Two huge steel arches that will carry the 18,000 ton roof are still not in place and organizers have repeatedly postponed the final assembly date, which is now set for the weekend.

The IOC has warned if the arches are not in position by May 20, the roof, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, must be scrapped.

Petralia said: “We are turning nighttime into day and I am convinced the project will be ready and will be magnificent.”

Greece is also fighting a public relations war after growing global security concerns prompted a flood of international media reports questioning the Games plans.

U.S., British and Australian media have harshly criticized security arrangements, saying that venues are currently left unguarded and overall safety plans have been compromised due to ongoing construction.

Despite putting together the most expensive security plan in Olympics history and deploying three times as many guards as in Sydney four years ago, organizers have so far failed to ease international safety concerns.

Greece will mobilize half of its military and security forces during the Games, putting more than 45,000 armed guards on the capital’s streets.

Organizers have also called on NATO to assist with air and sea patrols and a seven-nation Olympics advisory group comprising countries with extensive security experience has been set up.

Copyright 2004 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters.
lizchris is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old May 4th, 2004, 08:54 PM
Senior Member
BigB08822's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: L.S.U.
Posts: 4,245
They better finish, I've been waiting 4 yrs for the American women to take back the gold in gymnastics.
BigB08822 is offline  
post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old May 4th, 2004, 09:25 PM
Senior Member
flyingmachine's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 8,459


Smells like Kvitova spirit

Allez Forever!

Amelie Mauresmo: Wimbledon Champion 2006
flyingmachine is offline  
post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old May 4th, 2004, 09:33 PM
Senior Member
Smackie's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,430
yeah, it's, at the current pace, set to be one of the most disasterous (preparation wise) Games in recent history. A month ago, only 50% of the contruction was complete and with all the security requirements...I doubt it will be 80% complete by the start.

Maybe having the Games back in its original home is not afterall a good idea....

Justine Henin

Thank you.
Smackie is offline  
post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old May 4th, 2004, 09:48 PM
Team WTAworld
Senior Member
PointBlank's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Nine-Oh-One.
Posts: 16,162
Gianna Angelopoulos

gotta love the Greeks names

PointBlank is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the TennisForum.com forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome