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alexaus

Athens Legacy?

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Okay, it's only 5 weeks till the 1 year anniversary of the Athens 2004 games, and of copurse in July 2004 we were all wondering how the games were going to run, if at all. Looking back, and building up to 13th August, what can you see as having been the legacy the Athens games have left behind (for Athens, for Greece, for sport, for the IOC...)?

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The fantastic Opening Ceremony.

The satisfaction that everything went as planed although the Kassandras predicted a chaos in Athens.

The fact that the Greeks for 2 weeks worked as a clock (although for 7 years we didn't).

The fantastic infrastructure that remained in Athens. From roads to metro and the best stadiums of the world.

That I was lucky to carry the Olympic Flame and keep the torch.

My visit to Athens.

The cost of the Games and what we should pay the next years, but it was our choice to do them the way we did.

The gold medal at the 20km walk women.

The match of Lena Daniilidou at tennis.

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The fantastic Opening Ceremony.

The satisfaction that everything went as planed although the Kassandras predicted a chaos in Athens.

The fact that the Greeks for 2 weeks worked as a clock (although for 7 years we didn't).

The fantastic infrastructure that remained in Athens. From roads to metro and the best stadiums of the world.

That I was lucky to carry the Olympic Flame and keep the torch.

My visit to Athens.

The cost of the Games and what we should pay the next years, but it was our choice to do them the way we did.

The gold medal at the 20km walk women.

The match of Lena Daniilidou at tennis.

My list

-The Massive Cost of Hosting

-The Excessive Heat

-The Bluest of Blue Skies

-The Scandal on the Day of the Opening Ceremonies

-The Beautiful Subway System

-The Empty Seats

-The Horrible and Limited Food Choices at the Venues.....(The IOC needs to sign deals with companies besides McDonald's.....You know, to mix it up a bit.)

-The Fact That I Would Go Back....

-The Boost in Image the city got...other then being a shuttle to the Islands.

-Beach Volleyball Cameltoe....lol haha

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Sure, I agree with all the above but the question for me is how are we going to utilize the 2004 legacy in Greece.

Sure, the stadia are going to be put in good use, the trasportation system is going to be expanded reaching cities outside Athens (Korinthos, Halkida), Eurovision, Champions League 2007 final in OAKA, a great chance for Euro 2012, the city looks great overall etc. . but its not enough.

The  cost is indeed tremendously high and preserving the Olympic heritage is assumed to cost more. Cant we find a "smart" and "clever" way to use the olympic heritage to produce income? I mean, one of the reason that the Greeks wanted the Games was to boost the country's productivity and reach new markets.

And, should I inform you, economy in Greece at this point is in an extremely bad shape! :(

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it's a year already? :help:

maybe you have 12 years, i mean if you dont know a year has 365 days..thats a year my little canadian friend :laughlong:

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I was reading in the newspaper yesterday an opinion saying that it's stupid every 4 years to build a canoeing stadium costing 25 million Euros.

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My list as follows:

Postives:

The wonderful opening ceremony- not overdone and full of history that has set a new benchmark for future ceremonies.

The revival of Olympic traditions - olive wreaths to medalists, shot put at Olympia, Marathon along original route, archery at the site of the first modern games.

Blue skies over the pool - why do you need a roof over it when you have sunshine all day?

Great athletic performances that will remain in history -

El Garrouj double gold, swimming showdowns Thorpe, Phelps and unexpected world records, Argentina's gold in basketball Chinese emergence, to name just a few.

The fact that Athens defied all by hosting an almost flawlessly organised and secure event under difficult circumstances being the first after 9/11, in excellent facilities.

The volunteers proved once again that they are the heart of the Games.

The wonderful nightlife that showcased a city that truly never sleeps.

Negatives

The high cost and delays - that should never have occured, and I strongly believe that the IOC should have worked more closely with organisers and not just watched as ambigious bystanders and made a concerted effort to achieve the end result with less angst.

The drug scandals. Although at least we can say for the first time that most athletes did not get away protecting the true winners.  I commend the IOC's heavy handed approach that will continue in the future.

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one year already, it just seems like yesterday!!!

Positives:

The awesome opening ceremony, the great new zealand results, revivial of history (the commoing home of the games), and the whole games ran like a dream

congratulations athens you got there in the end

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Athens Legacy?

40 pages of stadium roof photos on gamesbids  :laughlong:

That damn roof got far too much attention!!

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there was one negative thing which hasn´t been mentioned yet: the audience... in many cases the spectators really pissed me off. like:

leaving OAKA (thousands!) BEFORE the 100m women finals;

chearing for kenteris and disturbing the athletes in purpose before their start;

being ignorant many times towards amazing achievements of non-greek athletes.

in many cases i got the impression people were not really there for SPORTS. they were there to have a family event and to eat their sunday french fries. no real attention or "emotinal presence", no sensitivity for moments and drama. it seemed to me most of the people didn´t know anything about what was going on/about rules/about who is who etc. it was mostly about the greeks...

no offense. and i know that im generalizing. just my impression. and i was there. guess this was the biggest difference between athens and sydney. sydneysiders massively supported aussies AND all the other atheletes. and they showed strong interest in all kinds of sports.

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there was one negative thing which hasn´t been mentioned yet: the audience... in many cases the spectators really pissed me off. like:

leaving OAKA (thousands!) BEFORE the 100m women finals;

chearing for kenteris and disturbing the athletes in purpose before their start;

being ignorant many times towards amazing achievements of non-greek athletes.

in many cases i got the impression people were not really there for SPORTS. they were there to have a family event and to eat their sunday french fries. no real attention or "emotinal presence", no sensitivity for moments and drama. it seemed to me most of the people didn´t know anything about what was going on/about rules/about who is who etc. it was mostly about the greeks...

no offense. and i know that im generalizing. just my impression. and i was there. guess this was the biggest difference between athens and sydney. sydneysiders massively supported aussies AND all the other atheletes. and they showed strong interest in all kinds of sports.

they were there to have a family event andto eat their sunday french fries.
 

THAT'S A LIE!

We NEVER eat french fries on Sunday! :oh:

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Okay, here's what I believe are the legacies (i.e. those issues or aspects of the Athens games) that will become more and more apparent as the 2004 SOGs recede into history:

1. The incredible financial burden placed on Greece's economy: With the Athens games budget reaching about 5% of Greek GDP (8.5 billion pounds), plus the lack of income from the expensive permament venues focused at the OAKA, Athens 2004 will have to be seen as the worst economic result in Olympic history since Montreal. Yes, Athenian infrastructure was built or modified to make the city more capable for the future, but unlike Sydney or Atlanta the monies required have left a huge debt that a small economy will have years to pay back. Athens has shown how not to budget and develop an Olympics (I wonder if the London 2012 folk are pouring over Athen's accounts)

2. A Revival of Greek Pride I don't think anyone would argue that the Athens 2004 teetered on the precipice of collapse only months out from the opening ceremony, yet the actual games ran incredibly well. Having turned around a potentially disastrous situation and shown that Greece was capable of mounting successfully such a huge event, even if it cost the earth, certainly boosted Greek confidence. We all recall vividly some of the 'told you so' posts here in GamesBids, and perhaps this self-belief rubbed off on the Euro 2004 campaign and even Eurovision 2005. Even the Thanou/Kenderis saga couldn't dent this resurgance.

3. The campaign against drugs got more serious than ever before Up until 2004 the IOC and the IFs claimed a few key scalps in the war against drugs, with plenty of cheats beating or sliding under the radar. At Athens we saw numerous drug cheats caught, dealt with promptly and effectively, and whilst the games weren't clean the IOC and WADA finally loooked like it was actually doing something. As Churchill said about El Alamein, it may not be the beginning of the end of this war, but it may be the end of the beginning.

4. Security Went Beserk Whilst Olympic security has been a key component of every Olympics since Munich, Athens 2004 was undoubtedly the high water mark of how external and domestic terrorist threats were met by Olympic organisers. The $US1.4 billion spent on security at Athens certainly made the games safer than many may have reasonably expected in the post 9/11 world, and whether this serves as a benchmark or even low cost point for future games will depend on how new threats arise. Whether security concerns affected tourism and Olympic visitors is debatable, however in retrospect it would have to be argued that whilst pre-games fears were justifiable the actual games experience nullified any concerns.

5. The Emergence of Asia The three best performing Asian countries (China, Japan and South Korea) at Athens 2004 totalled 57 gold medals, which compares extremely favourably with the three best European countries' (Russia, Germany & France) performance of 52. Whilst Japan has been a strong performer at the Olympics since 1936, and South Korea began to get good results from Seoul onwards, the rise of China as a new dominating sports super power will have the likes of the USA, Russia, Germany and Australia wondering how they can keep pace. The next few Olympics will undoubtedly see China top the medal counts, and Japan, South Korea and even smaller countries like Thailand will probably continue to ride this new Asian Olympic success wave.

6. Multimedia changing the face of Olympic coverage Just as London 48 was the first games to have extensive TV coverage, and just as Atlanta 96 was the first games to see the internet drive media coverage and reporting, Athens 2004 will be considered in future as the games where multimedia came of age. Everything from mobile phones, DVDs, interenet, blogs etc etc came into play for Athens 2004, and these will be the games where the transition from TV and radio to converged media are first truly significant. Never before has a games been so widely reported by almost any and every media method.

7. Inadequate Spectator Support For whatever reason, whether it be security concerns, Greek public holidays, ticket issue problems...whatever, Athens 2004 were games where for most of the first week spectating interests were more diffuse and lower than expected. And even in the second week where crowds had built up there were moments such as the running of the mens 200 metres final that showed a distinctly 'un-Olympic' approach from the spectators. In future games organisers will want to make sure that empty stadia or booing crowds are less obvious or even eradicated.

8. Judging problems hit the IFs and the Games Athens 2004 will also be known for a long time as the games marred by officialdom. Obviously the most strident example is in the men's all round gymnastic event, and just like SLC 2002 the judging at Athens 2004 was at times woeful. Whether this is due to incompetence or corruption is up to others to say; however the IOC now has a whip hand when it comes to discussing the merits of sports in the games.

9. Rogge delivers against all expectations Whilst Gianna and the ATHOC team were the ones who organised the Athens 2004 games, these Olympics were even more crucial to Jacques Rogge. After the rise and fall of the wily old falangists regime in Lausanne, the IOC needed a win with Athens 2004 to both convince itself and the world that the Olympics weren't an expensive disaster waiting to happen, and the the Rogge presidency would be a success. And Athens helped deliver a 'dream games' that gave Rogge more confidence and capability in guiding the IOC to where it is now.

In retrospect, the Athens 2004 games will probably regarded as a great games marred by some unique and atypical problems. Maybe not as successful as Sydney nor Barcelona, but certainly not as ill-regarded as Montreal or Atlanta.

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2. A Revival of Greek Pride I don't think anyone would argue that the Athens 2004 teetered on the precipice of collapse only months out from the opening ceremony, yet the actual games ran incredibly well. Having turned around a potentially disastrous situation and shown that Greece was capable of mounting successfully such a huge event, even if it cost the earth, certainly boosted Greek confidence. We all recall vividly some of the 'told you so' posts here in GamesBids, and perhaps this self-belief rubbed off on the Euro 2004 campaign and even Eurovision 2005. Even the Thanou/Kenderis saga couldn't dent this resurgance.

In retrospect, the Athens 2004 games will probably regarded as a great games marred by some unique and atypical problems. Maybe not as successful as Sydney nor Barcelona, but certainly not as ill-regarded as Montreal or Atlanta.

Primarily, I would argue that Athens teetered on the precipice of collapse. Of course it didn't.  I find it incredible that many forumers who are members of the triad of media and press partiality (US, Australia and UK), still believe the nonsense that Athens was never going to make it. Of course everyone new that there were delays, however, to suggest that they were on the verge of collapse is absolutely ridiculous.  That sentiment counld not have been further from the truth in Greece.  Everyone was confident that everyhting would get done, and of course, it did.

Let me also clarify that greek pride had neither vanished nor dissappeared and hence it did not need any revival. Greece won the Euro 2004 in June (prior to the Olympic games) which actually acted as a secret source of confidence for eveyone other that greece.

I personally think that Athens was better than both Sydney and Barcelona.  Please do not forget that Sydney had her fair share of problems too (between Gosper and tickets etc) and her Olympics lacked personality.  As I am sure that London will in 2012.

And finally, as for Athens being a games 'that tried too hard' by the always intelligent Baron, is it really possible for an Olympic city to try to hard? You can certainly, however, not try hard enough, and I think Baron's comments, as always, stem from the ineptitude he feels whenever he thinks of Atlanta.  'How Y'all doin' Baron?

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We'll see on that legacy, if Athens was successful in getting the 2009 FINA World Championships or not.

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 Please do not forget that Sydney had her fair share of problems too (between Gosper and tickets etc) and her Olympics lacked personality.  As I am sure that London will in 2012.

LOL

Stupid comment

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Please do not forget that Sydney had her fair share of problems too (between Gosper and tickets etc) and her Olympics lacked personality.  As I am sure that London will in 2012.

Jonno's right. Stupid comment. Stupid because Sydney was fantastic, and stupid because London is seven years away and if you can claim this from looking at what is, at the moment, a patch of muddy grass in East London you're a genius! Also, if you think our world famous existing venues (Wimbledon, Wembley, Lords, Horseguards, the Royal Parks, the Dome, Old Trafford etc.) and passionate and knowledgable sports fans won't lend the games a unique personality, then your definition of "personality" differs to mine.

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Primarily, I would argue that Athens teetered on the precipice of collapse. Of course it didn't.  I find it incredible that many forumers who are members of the triad of media and press partiality (US, Australia and UK), still believe the nonsense that Athens was never going to make it. Of course everyone new that there were delays, however, to suggest that they were on the verge of collapse is absolutely ridiculous.  That sentiment counld not have been further from the truth in Greece.  Everyone was confident that everyhting would get done, and of course, it did.

I totally agree with your analysis eusebius65.  You should be a sportswriter  :cool:

The thing that people seem to forget when defending the preparations for the games and the news that it generated is that there is a reason for it.  Athens is only the second city (Melbourne the first) that was threatened with the removal of the games to either Los Angeles or Seoul.  Even Montreal with all their preparation problems was never publicly threatened with this to my knowledge.  So when the IOC makes such statements I think it is reasonable to be concerned that they could pull it off in time.

And like Montreal and Melbourne, Athens did pull it off quite well.  A few unfinished venues yes but overall the games were ran quite smoothly.

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Yes, Athens made it in the end, and they were great.  Of course they will go down as being the games that just made it but I would have to say I enjoied them far better than Sydney with all it's outlandish extravagence.  

As with all post games trauma, it's sad to see many of Athen's facilities in a run down state.  Homebush wnet through the same thing but not as bad as that.  London will not have the same problem as it's facilities are aready spoken for.

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