Athens Is a Terrible Place to Hold the Olympics This Year--But If All Goes Well, It Could Be the Best Place
Christine Brennan, in USA Today (March 18, 2004):
The timing and the location of the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, could not be more ominous. Never has there been a modern Olympic Games situated in a worse spot at a worse time in history. There have been sadly ironic locations, such as Hitler's Berlin in 1936. There have been tragic locations, such as Munich in 1972. There have been controversial locations, such as Mexico City in 1968 and Moscow in 1980.
But thanks to al-Qaeda and friends, there has never been an Olympic location fraught with the potential for more terrible things to happen than Athens in August 2004.
It's sad but true: The upcoming Olympics are a home game for the terrorists.
Which means, of course, that these Summer Olympic Games, should they be held without incident, potentially could become the most meaningful sports event ever held on the planet.
"A journalist looking back on this 50 years from now might very correctly make such a defensible statement," said John Lucas, a noted Olympic historian and professor emeritus at Penn State. "For sporting reasons, for political reasons, (a successful Olympics in Athens) would be extraordinary."
For the leaders of the Athens Olympic effort -- the dedicated men and women who are furiously throwing brick upon mortar, figuratively if not literally, preparing for the event known as the largest peaceful gathering of the world -- the stakes have never been higher. They are racing against time just to make sure their earnest nation is ready for its grand moment on the world stage, then they get to hold their collective breath for 17 days as the best security detail nearly $ 1 billion can buy tries to prevent one nut, or a collection of nuts, from ruining the whole thing.
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rodger ani-okoye - 8/18/2007
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