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Pot calling the Kettle Black


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To be fair the report is more about London not making the mistakes that Athens made. No one was accusing London slow off the mark, just warning it of the consequence. But then London tends to build things better and without so many delays that Athens got bogged down with. London is 3 years of Athens as things stand in any case.
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And as to their comment about 'Start planning now for the day after' - I think they'd find that London started planning for the day after last year....

One thing we're good at overhere is learning from our mistakes.  That's why Crossrail is having such a hard job getting approved - we're not going to go through with that what we did with the Jubilee Line extension.

And we've had the Dome fiasco since Dec 31st 2000 which is finally *finally* being resolved and should be up and running as an Indoor Arena within the next 3 years.  

We're not going to make that mistake again.  All the new permanent venues already have 25 year business plans.

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It is unfortunate, but I think that Athens was in exactly the same situation as Montreal was in after each one of them was awarded the Olympic Games.

Each city was very excited about getting the games, each city showed BIG plans on how this was going to be the BEST games ever in history.  However, once the games were awarded, the Governments and committees were at the mercy of the Unions of the people who were going to prepare the facilities and the cities for their games.  Lots of promises were made that this wouldn't be an issue in either Montreal or Athens's case.....but look at what happened.  The city of Montreal is still paying for the games many years later and the people of Athens will be doing the same thing.

Each city DID provide us with a great games.  This should not be forgotten.  There was doubt whether either city would be ready to "Welcome the World"  but each of them did!!!!  But at what cost to the taxpayer?

Now that London has been awarded the games of 2012.  I hope that they do not encounter the same problems that Montreal and Athens had when preparing for the game of 1976 and 2004.  I think that this would be unfair to the Olympic Movement.  I know, that I am tired of hearing that things might not be ready for the next games.(this makes major headlines all over the world)  I am glad to hear that the plans for Beijing are ahead of schedule!!!!

Let's hope that these problems don't come up in 2011 when the London games are a year away.

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Athens was where London is now three years after they were awarded the Olympics. As long as we don't sit on our arses doing nothing for three years there shouldn't be a problem.

Also, unlike Athens, London has a lot of venues already in place - Wimbledon, Wembley, the Royal Parks, Excel centre, Lords, Horse Guards, all the football grounds, the Dome, Eton Dorney and Weymouth. The biggest expense will be the stadium and the athletes village. The cost of the redevlopment of Statford would have gone to the taxpayer regardless of whether we won the bid.

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Interesting piece from Sports Illustrated

From the Greek horse's mouth...to London...plan NOW!!

baron...

Dude, there's no pot calling the kettle black!

It's a shame but one of the main reason's why Athens 2004 had a poorer attendance than expected was all the negative press (especially from british reporters) which was due to of course the delays of the venues, but more importantly the threat of terror and how poorly Greece was prepared for it (according to the press). They were just spitting out verbal diarhea about how unsafe Athens was.. hmmmm I won't continue on because it is currently a sensitive issue and out of respect to those who perished last week.

Athens 2004 had one of the safest Olympics.... Learn from those with experience and when Athens provides advice, you should listen and not be arogant or ignorant about it.

Thousands of years of experience !

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Interesting piece from Sports Illustrated

From the Greek horse's mouth...to London...plan NOW!!

baron...

Dude, there's no pot calling the kettle black!

It's a shame but one of the main reason's why Athens 2004 had a poorer attendance than expected was all the negative press (especially from british reporters) which was due to of course the delays of the venues, but more importantly the threat of terror and how poorly Greece was prepared for it (according to the press). They were just spitting out verbal diarhea about how unsafe Athens was.. hmmmm I won't continue on because it is currently a sensitive issue and out of respect to those who perished last week.

Athens 2004 had one of the safest Olympics.... Learn from those with experience and when Athens provides advice, you should listen and not be arogant or ignorant about it.

Thousands of years of experience !

Yianis..did you actually read the article Baron cites? I can't see any reference to the attendance problems that were experienced at Athens either from Baron's post or in the article. Here's the nub of the article:

"Don't miss a day, time is never enough," Fanni Palli Petralia, Alternate Culture Minister in charge of Olympic venues, told Reuters.

"Even one day is very precious. Plan, plan, plan, and have a post-Olympic plan from the first moment," she advises future host cities such as London.

Visiting the venues one year after the acclaimed Athens Games is depressing. A lonely wind blows through the dusty baseball stadium and seagulls perch on sports facilities.

Such sights have led to criticism that the government has not acted fast enough to cash in on the legacy of the Games.

"I think there were a lot of serious delays and I cannot find the cause for these delays. I think there is now confusion about the future," said opposition parliamentarian Nassos Alevras, who was responsible for Olympic works for the previous government ahead of the Games.

Petralia counters that her conservatives, who took office just five months before the Games started on August 13, were left with a blank sheet of paper because the previous Socialist government had done no planning for the aftermath.

Baron has every right to start off this thread in this context with the heading 'pot calling the kettle back', in that even now, almost a year after the successfully completed Athens games, the government parties involved with the 2004 Olympics are busier pointing the finger at each other and now trying to advise London, when it is demonstrable that (a) before the 2004 Olympics infrastructure and construction was delayed and hampered until it almost led to the games' switch from Athens, and now (B) there is no coherent and effective plan and use of the Athens 2004 infrastructure at OAKA et al.

I think it is a bit rich for the Greeks to be telling London how to organise the 2012 Olympics, aside from the day to day operation of the games itself. The development of the Athens 2004 games up to the actual opening ceremony was marked by the worst problems since Montreal 1976, and to argue that it wasn't is simply ostrich-like avoidance of the facts. Aside from Melbourne, no other post WW2 games have ever been threatened with withdrawal, and if anything London can take every lesson from Athens in not how to build up for the 2012 games.

If on the other hand Seb Coe and his fellow organisers want to take notes from ATHOC about day to day games operation, then they wont get much better advice. They've already got key Sydney 2000 people in their team, so I'm sure they are getting great information from them as well.

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Interesting piece from Sports Illustrated

From the Greek horse's mouth...to London...plan NOW!!

baron...

Dude, there's no pot calling the kettle black!

It's a shame but one of the main reason's why Athens 2004 had a poorer attendance than expected was all the negative press (especially from british reporters) which was due to of course the delays of the venues, but more importantly the threat of terror and how poorly Greece was prepared for it (according to the press). They were just spitting out verbal diarhea about how unsafe Athens was.. hmmmm I won't continue on because it is currently a sensitive issue and out of respect to those who perished last week.

Athens 2004 had one of the safest Olympics.... Learn from those with experience and when Athens provides advice, you should listen and not be arogant or ignorant about it.

Thousands of years of experience !

Yianis..did you actually read the article Baron cites? I can't see any reference to the attendance problems that were experienced at Athens either from Baron's post or in the article. Here's the nub of the article:

"Don't miss a day, time is never enough," Fanni Palli Petralia, Alternate Culture Minister in charge of Olympic venues, told Reuters.

"Even one day is very precious. Plan, plan, plan, and have a post-Olympic plan from the first moment," she advises future host cities such as London.

Visiting the venues one year after the acclaimed Athens Games is depressing. A lonely wind blows through the dusty baseball stadium and seagulls perch on sports facilities.

Such sights have led to criticism that the government has not acted fast enough to cash in on the legacy of the Games.

"I think there were a lot of serious delays and I cannot find the cause for these delays. I think there is now confusion about the future," said opposition parliamentarian Nassos Alevras, who was responsible for Olympic works for the previous government ahead of the Games.

Petralia counters that her conservatives, who took office just five months before the Games started on August 13, were left with a blank sheet of paper because the previous Socialist government had done no planning for the aftermath.

Baron has every right to start off this thread in this context with the heading 'pot calling the kettle back', in that even now, almost a year after the successfully completed Athens games, the government parties involved with the 2004 Olympics are busier pointing the finger at each other and now trying to advise London, when it is demonstrable that (a) before the 2004 Olympics infrastructure and construction was delayed and hampered until it almost led to the games' switch from Athens, and now (B) there is no coherent and effective plan and use of the Athens 2004 infrastructure at OAKA et al.

I think it is a bit rich for the Greeks to be telling London how to organise the 2012 Olympics, aside from the day to day operation of the games itself. The development of the Athens 2004 games up to the actual opening ceremony was marked by the worst problems since Montreal 1976, and to argue that it wasn't is simply ostrich-like avoidance of the facts. Aside from Melbourne, no other post WW2 games have ever been threatened with withdrawal, and if anything London can take every lesson from Athens in not how to build up for the 2012 games.

If on the other hand Seb Coe and his fellow organisers want to take notes from ATHOC about day to day games operation, then they wont get much better advice. They've already got key Sydney 2000 people in their team, so I'm sure they are getting great information from them as well.

I think London can probably learn more relevant things from Athens about running a Games than Sydney. Correct me if I'm wrong but Sydney didn't have to, or for whatever reason just didn't invest billions in transport infrastructure in the run up to the Games. In this respect the scale of the London project as a whole is more akin to Athens than Sydney. Athens is a dense congested city, which is also more like London than Sydney which is a modern city with less congestion.

This artcle is just saying don't make the same mistakes we did. Frankly I respect them for being  honest and giving good advice. It would be weird if the most recent host city didn't have any comment or words of wisdom for London wouldn't it?

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Baron has every right to start off this thread in this context with the heading 'pot calling the kettle back', in that even now, almost a year after the successfully completed Athens games, the government parties involved with the 2004 Olympics are busier pointing the finger at each other and now trying to advise London, when it is demonstrable that (a) before the 2004 Olympics infrastructure and construction was delayed and hampered until it almost led to the games' switch from Athens, and now (B) there is no coherent and effective plan and use of the Athens 2004 infrastructure at OAKA et al.

I think it is a bit rich for the Greeks to be telling London how to organise the 2012 Olympics, aside from the day to day operation of the games itself. The development of the Athens 2004 games up to the actual opening ceremony was marked by the worst problems since Montreal 1976, and to argue that it wasn't is simply ostrich-like avoidance of the facts. Aside from Melbourne, no other post WW2 games have ever been threatened with withdrawal, and if anything London can take every lesson from Athens in not how to build up for the 2012 games.

Athens, like Montreal, both put on spectacular games.  The problem is that both cities with their grandiose plans and Greek/Quebecois governments constantly tying things up and massive amounts of overtime for the workers just to complete all venues in the building process led to embarressing legacies for both.

Add to that that both cities essentially had their budgets blown after terrorist attacks and you end up with a situation that will cost taxpayers for many years.  The reason that Salt Lake didn't have these problems is because the U.S. Military essentially took over security for the Games, which was impossible with the smaller Greek and Canadian military's.

I think it is great however that Athens is sharing with Bejing and now London their insight as to what went wrong.  It takes a lot of class to admit to your mistakes and it seems that Athens doesn't want to see any future hosts have the same problems they did.

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Baron has every right to start off this thread in this context with the heading 'pot calling the kettle back', in that even now, almost a year after the successfully completed Athens games, the government parties involved with the 2004 Olympics are busier pointing the finger at each other and now trying to advise London, when it is demonstrable that (a) before the 2004 Olympics infrastructure and construction was delayed and hampered until it almost led to the games' switch from Athens, and now (B) there is no coherent and effective plan and use of the Athens 2004 infrastructure at OAKA et al.

I think it is a bit rich for the Greeks to be telling London how to organise the 2012 Olympics, aside from the day to day operation of the games itself. The development of the Athens 2004 games up to the actual opening ceremony was marked by the worst problems since Montreal 1976, and to argue that it wasn't is simply ostrich-like avoidance of the facts. Aside from Melbourne, no other post WW2 games have ever been threatened with withdrawal, and if anything London can take every lesson from Athens in not how to build up for the 2012 games.

Athens, like Montreal, both put on spectacular games.  The problem is that both cities with their grandiose plans and Greek/Quebecois governments constantly tying things up and massive amounts of overtime for the workers just to complete all venues in the building process led to embarressing legacies for both.

Add to that that both cities essentially had their budgets blown after terrorist attacks and you end up with a situation that will cost taxpayers for many years.  The reason that Salt Lake didn't have these problems is because the U.S. Military essentially took over security for the Games, which was impossible with the smaller Greek and Canadian military's.

I think it is great however that Athens is sharing with Bejing and now London their insight as to what went wrong.  It takes a lot of class to admit to your mistakes and it seems that Athens doesn't want to see any future hosts have the same problems they did.

I agree with most points you raise LA84, and it is worthwhile (and in fact as every OCOG since Sydney creates a 'legacy' of organisational material which is then passed on as official IOC documentation) for ATHOC & the Greeks to give insight into how the games are organised. But I do raise issue with with your point as to the Greeks admitting their mistakes. They haven't, as per this quote:

"I think there were a lot of serious delays and I cannot find the cause for these delays. I think there is now confusion about the future," said opposition parliamentarian Nassos Alevras, who was responsible for Olympic works for the previous government ahead of the Games.

Petralia counters that her conservatives, who took office just five months before the Games started on August 13, were left with a blank sheet of paper because the previous Socialist government had done no planning for the aftermath.

You have one ex-government member saying the socialist government has no idea why there were delays in Athens 2004's development and the conservative minister accusing their opposition with there were simply no coherent plans for the aftermath of the games. It all sounds to me like political breast-beating, when it is simple to idnetify why the lead up and aftermath of the Athens Olympics have had such difficulties. The Greek governments of whatever political shade were either incompetent or neglectful of the games requirements until almost the last moment, and the chaos of a city having to drastically overhaul infrastructure and build incredibly expensive Olympic venues in a short time led to huge mistakes which endangered the 2004 games up until about a year out, plus has left ordinary Greeks with a huge financial burden.
I think London can probably learn more relevant things from Athens about running a Games than Sydney. Correct me if I'm wrong but Sydney didn't have to, or for whatever reason just didn't invest billions in transport infrastructure in the run up to the Games. In this respect the scale of the London project as a whole is more akin to Athens than Sydney. Athens is a dense congested city, which is also more like London than Sydney which is a modern city with less congestion.

This artcle is just saying don't make the same mistakes we did. Frankly I respect them for being  honest and giving good advice. It would be weird if the most recent host city didn't have any comment or words of wisdom for London wouldn't it?

Ripley, I think you are correct in the overall object of London 2012 needing to understand the mistakes made by Athens when it comes to the problems re transport (Sydney's major transport changes were the extension of a train line to Olympic Park, added to timetabling and rolling stock changes). But the Sydney 2000 experience is a much more relevant model in that (a) generally Sydney got most things right and (B) the London 2012 Olympic Park at Stratford is virtually a reshaping of the Sydney Olympic Park at Homebush. Already London 2012 have got it right in starting work on their swimming venue, as had Sydney way back in 1993. Of course the Athens swimming venue was barely completed in time for 2004.

I'm sure that every recent Olympics will have instructional lessons for the London 2012 team, and the likes of Seb Coe etc will find ways to improve (and ways to stuff up) on previous models. From Sydney they should also learn to make the ticket process far more transparent and 'fair'; from Atlanta they will no doubt draw on the problems experienced with IT and over-commercialization of public areas near the Olympic venues. I honestly believe that London 2012 will be a great games, and if that means drawing oin the best and worst examples of Athens, Sydney, Atlanta etc etc then so it shall.

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I don't think this is a case of the pot calling the kettle black, this is more of a case of the old man with the lopped off leg and arm saying "Sonny, don't play with dynamite, I'll cost you an arm and a leg."

London has only been Olympic host for about 10 days...not enough time to make drastic errors.

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I don't think this is a case of the pot calling the kettle black, this is more of a case of the old man with the lopped off leg and arm saying "Sonny, don't play with dynamite, I'll cost you an arm and a leg."

London has only been Olympic host for about 10 days...not enough time to make drastic errors.

I agree with your analysis. Athens was not attempting to embarrass London or even make negative comments, it was simply saying that Athens left a lot of things too late and this cost them a lot of money and a lot of stress and meant they couldn't complete things as they would have wished. It also meant that the legacy element was largely forgotten in an attempt to make sure the Games went ahead.

I don't think for one minute that the bid team nor the government will allow London to get so far behind, but nonetheless, it's good that Athens passes on any expertise that it has acquired, just as it is that Sydney does so too.

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Athens 2004 had a poorer attendance than expected was all the negative press (especially from british reporters)

No.

This is what Greek people have convinced themselves.

They have made the Briitsh media the scapegoat, when in actual fact the Australian and American media were more to blame for Athens 2004 bad press. They don't want to point the finger at Australia, because so many Greek people live there.

Remember, the Australians and Americans wanted to send their own security forces to Athens to protect their teams. In contrast Britain helped Athens with security, and their was a public statement from a senior British person before the games started in August 2004, stating "we have every confidence in the Greek authorities."

Also, so many British fans travelled to Athens (apparently, the British crowd was the biggest, of all foreign nationals). So if the British media was so negative towards Athens, why did so many British  people travel there?

The British seem to get the blame for everything.......

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Athens 2004 had a poorer attendance than expected was all the negative press (especially from british reporters)

No.

This is what Greek people have convinced themselves.

They have made the Briitsh media the scapegoat, when in actual fact the Australian and American media were more to blame for Athens 2004 bad press. They don't want to point the finger at Australia, because so many Greek people live there.

Remember, the Australians and Americans wanted to send their own security forces to Athens to protect their teams. In contrast Britain helped Athens with security, and their was a public statement from a senior British person before the games started in August 2004, stating "we have every confidence in the Greek authorities."

Also, so many British fans travelled to Athens (apparently, the British crowd was the biggest, of all foreign nationals). So if the British media was so negative towards Athens, why did so many British  people travel there?

The British seem to get the blame for everything.......

Yes they do.  America gets blamed for all the worldwide problems and Britain gets blamed for everything that goes wrong in Europe. :rolleyes:  

I agree with a lot of what you said but the fact is that Athens requested help from NATO for security.

Yes, blaming the press for their shortcomings is becoming quite old.  I recall leading up to Montreal there also was a lot of stories about problems completing venues and the extra security that was being required with predictions of a potential mess once the games started, yet Montreal did not have an attendance problem. In the end they went off quite well, as Athens did too.

The fact is druing the time of the Olympics it was apparently holiday time and a lot of people in Europe went elsewhere besides the Games.

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I don't think that the comments from the Greek olympic authorities is anything more than good intentioned advice for anybody wanting to host the Games.  So I think "the pot calling the kettle black" comment is a little over the top.

As for the press coverage in the lead up to the Games.. I can tell you that the Australian media here was very negative toward the Athens Games - infact there was almost a hopeful anticipation that they would not go well... this negativity  however dissapated as they became Australia's most succesful Games ever on the medal tally.

In the end, the world wide negative press coverage of the Athens games only served to highlight the Games successful orgranisation and left everyone in awe instead of wondering what went wrong. The same can be said of Beijing where everyone is expecting a flawless performance by organisers with expectations very high. With the bar of expectation so high it will be very easy for the press to knock it down if there are problems along the way.

It is a tribute to Athens organisers and especially the volunteers that these Games ran so smoothly despite all the doomsayers reports.

In terms of attendance, they may not have matched Sydney but I read somewhere that the attendance was actually higher than Seoul and Barcelona. Also some of the attendance's were actually quite high for some events.

Given the turmoil that the world was in leading up to the event it is quite amazing really.  

In any case the whole "will Athens be ready" ordeal prior to the Games gave the event a hightened sense of theatre worthy of an ancient greek drama that Euripides would have been proud of.

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I don't think this is a case of the pot calling the kettle black, this is more of a case of the old man with the lopped off leg and arm saying "Sonny, don't play with dynamite, I'll cost you an arm and a leg."

Yeah, I know -- but that doesn't make an eye-catching headline.  You have to use 'tabloid-ese' here to get so much into the little boxes.  Also, kinda prepares people on the wicked world out there... :wink:

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Athens 2004 had a poorer attendance than expected was all the negative press (especially from british reporters)

No.

This is what Greek people have convinced themselves.

They have made the Briitsh media the scapegoat, when in actual fact the Australian and American media were more to blame for Athens 2004 bad press. They don't want to point the finger at Australia, because so many Greek people live there.

Remember, the Australians and Americans wanted to send their own security forces to Athens to protect their teams. In contrast Britain helped Athens with security, and their was a public statement from a senior British person before the games started in August 2004, stating "we have every confidence in the Greek authorities."

Also, so many British fans travelled to Athens (apparently, the British crowd was the biggest, of all foreign nationals). So if the British media was so negative towards Athens, why did so many British  people travel there?

The British seem to get the blame for everything.......

Small correction Suit me old china...Australian security officials, including ex head of the NSW Police force during the Sydney Olympics Peter Ryan, all had an active role in Athens' security plans, at both the IOC and ATHOC levels. There was therefore an Australian security presence in Athens which was separate to that reviewed by the AOC and Australian government immediately before the games for our own athletes. So none of this Britain alone stuff okay  :)

But I wholeheartedly agree with you comment about certain comments blaming poor spectator levels during the first days of the Athens Games on the media in general or specific countries in individual cases....islondon and LA84 have made just as many pertinent points.

And London's already looking at Sydney 2000's experiences as per this BBC article:

London wins Australian support

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So none of this Britain alone stuff okay  :)

Precisely - I agree, if were talking about "Britain alone," then:

Greek people need to get one thing clear, "stop blaming Britain alone for the bad press Athens 2004 recieved."

Also, the people of Greece need to be told "If you don't like Britain/ British people, then don't send your team to London in 2012- keep your athletes at home."

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So none of this Britain alone stuff okay  :)

Precisely - I agree, if were talking about "Britain alone," then:

Greek people need to get one thing clear, "stop blaming Britain alone for the bad press Athens 2004 recieved."

Also, the people of Greece need to be told "If you don't like Britain/ British people, then don't send your team to London in 2012- keep your athletes at home."

No one said they don't like Britain or the people of Britain..even though they have bad teeth ;-)

(according to Austin Powers).

Cheers !

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