(nil): Karasardelis Kostas (karasardelis(@)zortal.gr)
Ημερομηνία: Δευ 30 Αυγ 2004 - 00:28:59 EEST
Το μεγάλο συγνώμη που δίνει επίσημα το CNN μέσα από το Sports Illustrated.
Διαβάστε το και στην συνέχεια βγάλτε μόνοι σας τα δικά σας συμπεράσματα...
Στο τέλος το σχετικό link
Well, we feel bad. We really owe you an apology.
So, sygnomi, as you would say. Sorry.
Sorry the way we acted. We were paranoid and stupid and just flat out wrong.
Our bad. If you want, we'll sleep on the couch.
We mocked you, ridiculed you, figured you wouldn't be ready. We envisioned
you as a bunch of lazy, swarthy guys in wife-beater T-shirts chugging ouzo
instead of finishing the baseball dugouts. We were sure steeplechasers would
have to jump over drying cement, pole vaulters over tractors, divers into 3
feet of water.
We were wrong. It was all done and it was beautiful. OK, so the swimming
stadium never got a roof. Big freaking deal. Imagine: having to swim in an
outdoor pool. Let's all sue. Besides, you know what? It was more fun that
way. Michael Phelps was out there so much he ended up with raccoon eyes from
his goggles. He looked like a snowboarder. "Cool!" he said.
We predicted women madly weaving olive wreaths next to the podiums as the
national anthems started up. We foresaw painters sprinting along painting
stripes just yards ahead of 400-meter runners. We figured beams would be
falling on people's heads. Who knew Wrigley Field would be a lot more
We were sure every street corner would have three or four terrorists, just
kind of killing time, looking for somebody to kidnap. Some bozo said, "The
only place worse to hold an Olympics would be Baghdad." Please. I guarantee
you, we felt a helluva lot safer these three weeks in Athens than we do in
L.A. Or Detroit. Or the Republican National Convention.
We insisted you spend 1.2 billion euros on security. You had to put up
blimps and cameras all over the city. You couldn't throw a bucket of grapes
anywhere and not hit a soldier with a rifle. And nothing happened. Zero. The
only incident was when our Secretary of State said he was coming to visit.
In other words, if Colin Powell would've just been happy with his remote,
you wouldn't have had a single problem.
Why you had to pay for our paranoia, I'll never know. It's the world's
problem, the world should have to pay for it. What small country is going to
be able to afford to host the Olympics anymore with these insane security
demands? From now on, if a country wants to send a team to the Games, it
pays its share of security, based on its share of the gross world product.
In other words, it's our war, we should have to pay for it.
And our ignorance cost you more than just the billion or so Euros. Our
Edvard Munch screams leading up to these games kept millions of people away.
Corporations bailed on you. Fans chickened out. I know burly journalists who
were too scared to come.
Sygnomi. Really. You did such a beautiful job on all the venues, arenas and
stadiums and yet most of them were so empty you would've thought you'd
stumbled upon a goiter seminar. At one basketball game, we counted: There
were 307 people. One women's soccer game involving the U.S. started with
fewer than 50 people. I had a friend call one night and say, "You better get
over to gymnastics, quick. There's only 15,000 seats left."
The shopkeepers told us, "We've never seen it so dead in August." Hotels
came down on their prices by three-quarters. Shirt stores lost their shirts.
It's too bad. It was a glorious Olympics. It really was. The opening
ceremonies were fabulous. The nightlife was amazing. Even the stray dogs and
cats couldn't have been friendlier. I got lost once and had to hitchhike out
of nowhere, and a motorcyclist not only picked me up but drove for miles
until he found me a cab. So, efharisto, as you say. Thanks.
Somebody did a poll and found that 97 percent of fans were "satisfied" with
safety and security, 95 percent appreciated the job the volunteers did and
98 percent had a favorable impression of Greece. The other two percent were
Paul Hamm's family.
And what did you get for all your trouble? Nothing but heartache. With
9,000-plus Greeks about to go delirious, our men's volleyball team handed
you a giant buzzkill --- coming back from eight points down to win the
fourth set and then the fifth to advance to the semifinals. The only really
good game our men's basketball team played the whole time was against
It was Greek Tragedy Fortnight on TBS. It started even before the Games with
your heartbroken judoka jumping from a balcony, followed two days later by
her distraught boyfriend. Your two best sprinters turned in their
credentials to end a doping/conspiracy/motorcycle wreck soap opera that tore
the nation up. One of your favorite weightlifters had to give up a medal for
a failed drug test, then wept in front of the world protesting his
And now you're stuck with about $8.5 billion in debt, a bunch of huge,
expensive stadiums you'll never use (Hey, kids, who's ready to synchronized
dive?!) and a whole lot of "Get Your Butt to Team Handball!" shorts nobody
was around to buy. Other than that, Mrs. Kennedy, how did you enjoy Dallas?
So, really, we're sorry. If it makes you feel any better, we all feel a lot
more Greek now. We're all coming back to the States telling the wife, "OK,
you be Athena and I'll be Zeus!", demanding our favorite restaurants reserve
us a table about 1 a.m. under the moon, right near a 2,500 year-old ruin. We
keep spitting in people's hair for good luck, crushing plates for no reason
and hollering "opa!" in the shower.
No idea how to make this right for you, except this: We vow, here and now,
we'll never make you host us again.
See you in Baghdad, 2016.
Sports Illustrated -> http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2004/olympics/2004/writers/08/29/reilly.letter/index.html?cnn=yes
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