OPINION

It’s the taking part…

Every day that goes by, bringing us closer to the launch of the Olympics, citizens are showing greater interest in watching the Games. At least this is what has been revealed in a study commissioned by the Athens 2004 organizing committee. Well, we Greeks have always been accustomed to leaving things until the last minute. But it’s not just that. We all want to see Costas Kenteris in the 200-meter finals, to watch the weightlifting and gymnastics – that is, we are only really interested in the sports we are likely to get a medal in. But it’s not as if the competitors in other sports haven’t strived to do their very best. And most of them will be performing in the knowledge that they have no chance of a medal, but going for it anyway so they can say that they took part in the Olympics when they were organized in their homeland. They shouldn’t have to face empty stadiums. So those of us who can should attend these events, especially as tickets are affordable. We should follow the example of the French, British, Dutch and Germans at the recent Euro 2004 soccer championship, who kept attending matches even after their teams had been excluded because their love of sport was stronger than their loyalty to their nations. This is not traditionally a strong point for us Greeks but something we now have the opportunity to develop…