An Olympian dream for 2004

In a surprise move 10 months before the start of the summer Olympics, Athens 2004 officials yesterday leaked a proposal to relocate a track-and-field event from the capital to ancient Olympia, where the Games were held in antiquity. Athens 2004 organizing committee sources said an approach had been made to the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) for a contest to be held in what remains of the ancient stadium at Olympia – which was built in the fourth century BC, replacing a smaller predecessor. The event is thought to be the shot put, which was not included in the ancient Games, or the discus, which was. Athens 2004 officials are expected to discuss the matter with the IAAF during meetings next week at the federation’s Monte Carlo headquarters. A last-moment venue shift – both the shot put and the discus are two-day events – to Olympia would involve massive rescheduling of current building and security planning, and would have to be approved by notoriously conservative Culture Ministry archaeologists.