Sunday, August 29, 2004

The legacy of the 2004 Athens Olympics

Warrior Athena atop column in Athens. [Photo: A. Christiansen]

Once the Games finish Sunday night, the Greek people will be left with wider roads, better subways, a new tram line and a host of new stadiums and athletics fields that no one seems to know what to do with next.

The office buildings that have served as media centers will host conferences. Media housing developments will become a police academy, a location for the Ministry of Education and private homes.

View of the Acropolis. [Photo credit: unknown.]
But the sporting venues' future remains up in the air.

"The government has already announced a big commission with 33 members," said Serafin Notrotos, another ATHOC spokesman. "They will announce use of the venues the day after the Games."

Modern Athens from the Acropolis. 4.5 million people living in a city designed for 60,000. 2.06.0. [Photo: C.W. Blackwell, Furman University.]
Maybe the Greek population will learn to love softball, cycling and badminton, and maybe it will use the Olympic Softball Stadium, velodrome and Goudi Olympic Hall for their intended purposes.

The better bet is they won't.

Either way, the Greeks likely will see the people who once competed there again. Only the next time, the athletes will be tourists.
-- Jody Berger, Rocky Mountain News 8.28.04
Click to read more about the expected aftermath of the Athens Olympics.

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