Parasols, food out at Olympia

Spectators attending the August 18 shot-put event at the original Olympic venue in Olympia will enjoy a partial version of the ancient experience, with modern Spartan strictures thrown in, top archaeologists have decided. In a decision late yesterday approving use of the 2,800-year-old stadium for the one-day event, the Culture Ministry’s Central Archaeological Council (KAS) insisted that the 15,000 spectators expected at the event can bring no food or drink with them except for a single bottle of water – although size was not specified. Parasols will be strictly banned. Spectators will sit on the stadium’s original grassy banks, although VIPs may get seats. The tickets will be free. KAS provisionally approved the event last week, but without examining the details, which council members received yesterday. The qualifying rounds will be conducted from 8.30-11 a.m., and the finals from 4.30-7 p.m. There will be 143 male and female contestants, and 200 photographers and journalists, while nine TV cameras will be allowed in. The shot put was not part of the ancient Olympics.

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