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March 13, 2005

Comments

Factory

There was talk some years ago of downsizing the olympics so that it could be held in smaller countries, I dunno what became of that.

Abiola Lapite

I doubt it will ever happen, as countries bidding for the Olympic Games will always try to outdo each other by showing how *they* are the ones who can host a full set of games, which is naturally very attractive to all sorts of sporting bodies, as well as the delegates in charge of making the decision.

hex

How about splitting the Olympic Games in two: one where performance-enhancing drugs would be banned, and one where such drugs would be mandatory? Just for added interest? By the by, Cape Town is still thanking its lucky stars, its bid to host 2004 having been turned down.

Abiola Lapite

"How about splitting the Olympic Games in two: one where performance-enhancing drugs would be banned, and one where such drugs would be mandatory?"

This gets to the heart of the matter: what exactly are these games *for* nowadays, anyway? Are they just a measure of national vanity and the quality of one's doping technology?

Pearsall Helms

"All very predictable, and yet the denizens of London and New York are bent on repeating the Greek error."

I think it's mostly local politicians who want the games, as opposed to yer actual denizen. When I've read polls they've only shown lukewarm support.

I certainly hope New York doesn't get the games.

costas

I don't know. I am Greek and don't agree with Helena Smith's hand wringing.

Look at this hyperbole: "Such a bill, say economists, will take at least two decades to pay off with Greeks as yet unborn footing most of it."

LOL. People outght to get out more. Please name a civic project, even one with limited use, that people "unborn" won't foot most of the bill for.

First Helena predicted the Greeks could never biuld these venues on time. next there were the predictions of terrorism.

Now that all that turned out to be bogus, there are the question about the utility of some of the venues?

Come on. these Olympics were worth more in PR, precisely because they disproved the prejudices by patronizing opinion gatekeepers like UK reporters in Greece.

Look the US space program the Apollo landings etc, could be characterized exactly the same way. yet they defined the nation, proved its worth, inspired the world i shared euphoria, that was in part ephemeral yet whose memory is not.


Abiola Lapite

"Come on. these Olympics were worth more in PR, precisely because they disproved the prejudices by patronizing opinion gatekeepers like UK reporters in Greece."

I don't see how that's so. The difficulty Greece is now having making its budget balance actually *confirms* all the worst stereotypes about a supposed inability to keep within budgets or plan carefully.

"Look the US space program the Apollo landings etc, could be characterized exactly the same way. yet they defined the nation, proved its worth, inspired the world i shared euphoria, that was in part ephemeral yet whose memory is not."

The difference between Greece's Olympics and the US Apollo program is that America could actually afford its grandiose project, while Greece cannot.

PS: You might want to read the following articles:
http://www.economist.com/research/articlesBySubject/displayStory.cfm?story_id=3151274&subject=Greece
http://home.aigonline.com/ceo/content/1,1111,17986-650,00.html

Neither the economists nor foreign investors seem to think the Olympics were the image-polishing wonder you make it out to be. On the contrary, Greek enthusiasm for such folly makes the country's citizens look incapable of sober assessments of what is truly in their interest, while the Government's lies about the size of the budget deficit have not only damaged relations with the ECB and other EU states, but have virtually guaranteed that future lenders will make Greece pay a penalty in higher interest rates.

David

The Olympics in Greece were quite inspiring. The Greeks pulled the Olympics from the morass of rampant cheapening commercialization and made it something beautiful again.

I am certain there were some whiners when the Acropolis was built: "Who will pay for this...What is its practical use?"

Athens reversed all the stereotypes about modern Greek inefficiency overnight with the Olympics and those were Drachmas/Euros quite well spent.

Someone made two links above that turn out to both be from the (same) Economist. The Economist spent years prediciting the Olympics would not actualy be held in Athens, or they would become a terror mecca. The EIU has actually beome a laughing stock in its reportage on Greece. If you want a real laugh look at their work on Central Asia (my own expdertise), it is perfect reverse of how events actually turned out.

You had essentially a generation of reporters who were told and who were repeating the mantra that the Olympics would never be held properly. They went to Greece and Greece how has the admiration of a generation of core opinion leaders who were wowed. If you have ever done corporate media relations, the Greeks came out winners big time.

Just getting at the meat of the Ecomist piece, they do have oene accrate line: "It would be very complacent to suggest that this is only a Greek problem, and that all other countries' accounts are reliable." No kidding.

Abiola Lapite

"I am certain there were some whiners when the Acropolis was built: "Who will pay for this...What is its practical use?""

No doubt those who had to starve to see it rise would have had a very different assessment of its merit if asked; the beauty of ancient monuments is that those who had to suffer to build them are no longer around to be weighed in the balance. This is, in short, a tremendously silly argument.

"Athens reversed all the stereotypes about modern Greek inefficiency overnight with the Olympics and those were Drachmas/Euros quite well spent."

Oh yeah? Then why are the world's newspapers full of negative reporting about the cost of the Olympics, and the white elephants left behind?

"Someone made two links above that turn out to both be from the (same) Economist."

So what? They have a lot more credibility than an anonymous poster on a blog does, and besides, do you dare dispute the truth of their reports about the Greek budget deficit?

"The Economist spent years prediciting the Olympics would not actualy be held in Athens, or they would become a terror mecca."

Proof? Cite one article saying so.

"The EIU has actually beome a laughing stock in its reportage on Greece."

Sez you. Please point out who's laughing, beyond nameless individuals of your alleged acquaintance.

"If you want a real laugh look at their work on Central Asia (my own expdertise), it is perfect reverse of how events actually turned out."

What a lot of nonsense. Anyone can claim to be anything on the internet. If your expertise is worth deferring to, why did you choose to list CNN as your URL, and why did you enter in a fake email address? Besides, you don't even bother to provide a single citation to show where they got it wrong in Central Asia, so why should I believe you?

"They went to Greece and Greece how has the admiration of a generation of core opinion leaders who were wowed."

Who are these "core" opinion leaders, who named them "core", and what criteria were used to make the decision? Care to provide a *single* name?

"If you have ever done corporate media relations, the Greeks came out winners big time."

Tell me again why I'm supposed to believe that you've "ever done corporate media relations", or anything to suggest you know what you're talking about? Sorry, but I don't grant nameless, faceless strangers credibility just on their say so, and nothing I've seen anywhere supports your fantastic claim.

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