CULTURE

Another IOC checkup over; 293 days to go

For the International Olympic Committee’s Coordination Commission, whose members are making their final visit to Athens to inspect preparations, there was no question, naturally, of a helicopter ride. They made on-site inspections of the various Olympic venue construction sites, but were not at all pleased with the rate of progress of the roof of the main stadium designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, which is developing into an outrageously expensive and persistent headache for the Greeks and the IOC. Apparently the IOC has suggested to the government that it might be a good idea to leave the roof for later and to move faster on the stadium itself. After the winds that swamped the rowing trials at Schinias in August, we might have to worry about rain falling in August 2004. At least we won’t be at risk from strikes and protest marches. An Olympic truce has been declared on that front, to be signed by Athens 2004 president Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki.