Sunday, August 15, 2004

Olympics news round-up...

Mornin'. Time for a quickfire round-up methinks...

As you've probably heard by now, Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou - the Greek sprinting heroes - were pulled out of the Olympics by Greek team bosses. Which is pretty much all any of the Greeks are talking about here - and they're not best pleased.'From hero to zero' seems to have become a popular phrase. Good follow-up piece to the one I posted earlier from the UK's Independent newspaper here.

We went past it on the Metro yesterday - you wouldn't believe the difference from March (building site) to now (stunning world class sporting venue). On the way back, we got off the train to have a look, but you can't get near the complex of venues without tickets. Which leads us to...

The Sunday Mirror is reporting that an undercover reporter of theirs was able to get a job at the Olympic stadium and plant suspect packages which weren't discovered. You can read about the story
here on BBC News. I know this is investigative journalism, but if they did really put suspicious packages in the stadium before the ceremony, that was hugely irresponsible. If they'd been discovered in the minutes before the ceremony, that would have caused chaos. From what I could tell when we looked at the stadium yesterday, security was very tight - each spectator was going through X-ray machines.

Vix (our chuffed competition winner) has written to ask if, at the Opening Ceremony, the athletes all had to stand in the middle of the stadium until everyone had paraded in. They certainly did - some of them were stood there for a couple of hours. But here's a fact for you - normally Greece are the first country in (cos they invented the Games). This time, though, they're hosts - who always come last. So they sent a weightlifter round with a Greek flag at the very start (to keep up that part of the tradition) and then sent their team round at the very end. How pleased must any Greek athlete who's been to a few Games have been not to have to come out first this time?!

Meanwhile Kyle - who's also from Philly and was very impressed with Robin's diving skills - has asked if there was a musical/theatrical spectactular AFTER the torch lighting, "i.e. Three Tenors in Barcelona, rock n blues fest in Atlanta, etc." No, don't think so Kyle. And was the Three Tenors concert really the same night as the flame lighting? Wouldn't that overshadow the ceremony a bit?

I stil don't quite understand how/why, but a friend of my fiance's dad has (very kindly) sorted us out with some places on the Visa hospitality programme. We'll be staying in a hotel in Athens for four days from tomorrow - will be interesting to see how the other half live! It also means we might get tickets to another event. I feel another competition coming on...


Anonymous said...

Looking forward to hearing more about the hotel life - but what about Robin, do they have suitable facilities for our Blog Super Star? Pictures please - how about in the dining room, what if Robin is evicted by Head Waiter? Has your fiancee prepared Robin's defence in Greek language?
Many thanks for your reports, much better sense of 'being there' than press coverage.
Sarah, Derby, England

Kelly said...

I do hope the tub was adequately filled for Robin's try at diving. I would hate for him to bump that cute little bird head. Perhaps there is a parakeet out there who would like to try synchronized diving with Robin?

I watched the USA basketball game today (moment of disgust for the USA team) and looked for Robin - alas, the cameras never found him. I will keep watching.

And thank you for the great blog!

KJ (I'm a "her", by the way) from the USA

Anonymous said...

Well done Puerto Rico. Can Robin tell us what was going on during the break after the 2nd quarter? People seemed to be using springboards to score baskets but the good old Beeb just went over and over the previous play and did not describe the half time entertainment.
Sarah, Derby