OPINION

Smells like team spirit?

Once upon time, sports such as soccer, basketball and volleyball were somewhat neglected in the Olympics compared to favorites such as track events, swimming and gymnastics. This has balanced out over recent years, however. In particular, basketball has become an incredibly popular Olympic sport since US professionals were permitted to participate. In any case, one thing which is always true of the Olympic Games is that the host country – which has the advantage of not having to compete in qualifiers – always comes up with very strong teams… This is the first time that Greece will be participating in all sports, except for hockey, and as a result there is a significant level of interest in all events, and there is a good chance that we will see more than two of our teams in the quarter- or semifinals. It is undeniable that athletes are more inspired by crowd support when they are competing within a team rather than as individuals. And, as we have the advantage of playing at home, all of our teams should enjoy this advantage. We should ensure they are aware of it from the qualifying rounds until the knockout phase. Greece has never won a medal in a team sport. Now we have a great chance to change this. A bit of help from the referee and crowd support, and one of our teams might lift Greece to the level it reached at the Euro 2004 soccer championships…