I was watching my favorite morning show this morning, The Today Show, and they had a story about the lighting of the Olympic Torch at Olympia, Greece. I actually felt very proud at the moment they had the lighting, and the people around were clapping. I’d love to have been there and would LOVE to be at the Olympic Games this August, but it’s just not feasible, and I’m sure it’ll be very crazy there. TONS OF PEOPLE. At my age, that starts to get kind of old…big crowds and the link.
They were talking about a number of things that are way behind schedule or just won’t get done (already decided). One of them is a roof for the Olympic Swimming Pool. This is a problem for FINA (the group that overseas swimming) and for media. For swimmers, it exposes them to heat that is upwards of 100 degrees Fahrenheit and for the film crews, it makes it hard to get the type of footage cameras can grab indoors. The sun makes it hard to get good shots, from what I understand. Also, the roof for the Olympic Stadium, itself, is months behind schedule. When interviewing Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, president of the Athens organizing committee, she said that Greece would rise to the occasion and complete everything as planned. She also broke away from the questions of delays by ranting about Greece’s pride, heritage, blah blah blah. I didn’t appreciate that. She needed to answer the question more head-on and get away from the Greek pride-Olympic thing. It was this Greek pride that didn’t get them the Olympics in 1996, which was the 100th anniversary of the modern games.
Many of the delays are caused by the nearly $1B being spent on securing the games, which is over 4x the cost of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. Much has happened in the last four years, though, to warrant such an expense. The CIA and FBI are heading up the intelligence gathering. I just hope they gather enough intelligence so something like 9/11 doesn’t happen in Greece. Also, for the first time, spectators will be forced to go through metal detectors. That’s cool, but I’m sure it’s going to be a mess, long lines, etc.
From a story at MSNBC.COM:
Bill Martin, acting president of the U.S. Olympic Committee, recently returned from a trip to Athens and reported that 80 percent of the preparation appears to be completed. If the Greeks fail to finish their signature dome atop the Olympic Stadium, only NBC Sports will be terribly disappointed. And NBC still has a little something called the Acropolis to exploit as a backdrop. (NBC Sports is a partner in the joint venture that runs NBCSports.com.)