Monday, August 16, 2004

Basketball report: Dream Team has a nightmare!

Robin with the Dream Team
Originally uploaded by athens2004blog.

Yes, last night we went to our second Olympic event - the basketball. It took place in a hall at the extremely impressive Helliniko Olympic Complex - where baseball, softball, handball and hockey are also taking place. The place looks like a cross between Disneyworld ('ooh look, the hockey zone!') and a top class sporting venue.

So, to the game. As you'll see from the pic, we managed to grab some empty seats right down by the court (think they may have been reserved for officials, but we stayed there the whole time).

The first game was Puerto Rico v USA and, as you may have heard, the USA got spanked 92-73! A 'huge shock' according to the BBC. It was amazing to see such big-name athletes as Iverson (number 4 behind Robin) so desperately trying to claw it back. They looked like they might do it too until a late burst by the amazing Puerto Ricans (who virtually the entire crowd were cheering for). Proper celebrations at the end. And, in fairness, the US players were very gracious in defeat.

During breaks in the games there was an amazing array of dancers (who were actually very good at dancing) and folks throwing out T-shirts (they had a massive catapult to fire them into the upper tier!). And at half time in the US game there was an amazing display with trampolines that combined acrobatics with basketball. The Greeks are proving they absolutely know how to put on a show.

And then the Greece game - which most of the crowd had come to see. The place was alive with singing and chanting and the Greeks didn't disappoint, easily beating Australia 76-54.

It was my first live basketball game and I must say I really enjoyed it. Greece play USA tomorrow night. Now that will be a game. We might see if this Visa programme we're on for a couple of days means we can get tickets!

For now, though, we're off to the archery in the old Panathinaiko Stadium which staged the 1896 Games...


Anonymous said...

I have returned to your blog after a weekend enjoying the Olypmics events via NBC coverage here in the States. Which for the record, is great coverage IF you don't watch anything Bob Costas related...

Can you answer a question -- how crowded is Athens?
The stadiums look empty on tv...
(I know its vacation season in Athens, especially with the holiday this past Sunday)

Thanks for the bronze!

Anonymous said...

Hi Kit and Robin.
Excellent coverage so far. Keep up the great work!
But I must say I was crushed not to win the gold. However, after some soul searching I realized that it is my very first Olympics and to pick up a silver first time out is brilliant! So I won't be calling the IOC to investigate. Congratulations to Vix and the rest of the medal winners!
I hope that you and Robin will be cheering on the Canadians in Beach Volleyball.

Bob from Calgary.

diegem said...

Hi Kit! continue giving us Robin's news: pix are just great! You're both so lucky!
I follow the OG on belgian TV, french TV and BBC. It's the only way to see more than the local sports. I just wish to see some Base-ball..

Like the other post: stadiums look sometimes empty: is it because there are events everywhere?

Anonymous said...

Some news outlets have reported that the IOC have demanded that ATHOC fill the stands to avoid embarassment - in the past when this has happened, they've given out tickets to soldiers and schoolchildren, and allowed free admission if that didn't work (i.e. Seoul in '88)... you might see more events yet! --- Are they counting Robin in the attendance figures? Keep up the great work! - Kyle

Carnival said...

Hello, Just wandering the blogosphere and happened on your blog. I like the way how you have put it all together. I'll be coming back again.


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