Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Wrestling: it's baffling but fun!

Wrestling in rings that are ring shaped
Originally uploaded by athens2004blog.

So, this morning - once we'd got the tickets from the bank - we went to the wrestling.

Frankly, it was baffling, even after a couple of hours watching I wasn't exactly sure who got points or why. But, still, it was really enjoyable. The great thing about the Games is that wherever you go, there's someone sat around you who really, really *cares* (and knows) about that particular sport. The Poles were out in force today, supporting their wrestlers, so were the Azerbajahn (spelling?) fans, and (as ever) the Greeks - and the three Hungarians sitting behind us were almost unfeasibly excited to see their men grappling away. Not sure I'd make a regular thing of wrestling, but it was really fun to try it.

While we were there I read a thing in the paper about a survey of just over 1,000 people at the Games. Here are the results:

- 97.3% are satisfied with security. So am I. They are thorough with metal detectors and bag x-rays at every venue.

- 95% are satisfied with service of personnel and volunteers (the other 5% may have come across the ones who try to stop you waving your flag or give you wrong information!).

- 93.8% are happy with the facilities and events (but, 6.2% are asking, where are cricket and dragon boat racing?!)

- And 81.8% are happy with public transport. This is a little harsh - I think the other 18.2% are probably more annoyed that things are quite far apart than they are about the transport getting them there. The buses, trains, trams and metro we've used (for free as ticket holders) have all been quick and easy. I've been very impressed.

I was also thinking at the wrestling, why is the Former Republic Of Macdeonia called the Former Republic Of Macedonia? Wouldn't it be easier to tell us what they're called now?


Anonymous said...

It's Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia, not Former Republic! They didn't get a king or anything, they are still a republic. It pains me to say that this is largely Greece's fault. There is a dispute over the name Macedonia between Greece and this country as the ancient Macedonia comprised of both that country's territory and the Greek region Macedonia that is just below it. When Yugoslavia collapsed in the early 90s, Macedonia (until then a constituent state in the Yugoslavian federation) broke away and declared independence as Republic of Macedonia. It was then that ultranationalist Greek Macedonians started seeing red causing a similar effect to their Slav Macedonian counterparts which led to a diplomatic dispute (over the intellectual property rights of the name Macedonia!) that is yet to be resolved. Well the good news is that now Greek-Macedonian relations are excellent and an agreement should be forthcoming. I suppose a compromise name like Slavonic Macedonia could be the outcome of this but I think we have already lost the moral argument by being mean to a country that was just coming out of a war. Besides nobody cares to say the whole FYROM anyway name, so almost everyone (outside Greece) refers to the country simply as Macedonia.
Anyway, I believe we have no right telling a nation how they should call their country. Fortunately the cooler heads have prevailed.
Dennis, UK (not London but Coventry. Sadly)

Anonymous said...

Great Blog!! Just a comment about FYROM: they have claims about being the decendents of Alexander the Great and all that stuff...This annoys alot the Greek people.After all they
arrived at the Balkans at least 600 years after Alexander's death. OK, Away from politics.Any more pictures of Athens
at night???

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