In the deep end
Without a doubt, the organization of the Olympic Games constituted a major undertaking from the outset. And certainly there were many instances of carelessness, but the great «miracle» was achieved – albeit at a significant cost. This is certainly a valid issue but not the most timely. Now, the most crucial concern is that there are no unwelcome surprises and complications, because not enough time was left over for testing most Olympic works so that necessary alterations could be carried out. We are jumping in at the deep end. Nevertheless, the legacy of the Olympics will not merely be one of massive debts. It will also leave us with an infrastructure which Athens would never have acquired were it not for the pressure of the Games. The crowning glory of this is an effective public transport network which citizens can use instead of their cars. Of course, a change in attitude will also be necessary, but at least an alternative solution is available now. As regards the sports venues, only a few of these will be useful after the Games. The other venues should be modified so that they can serve more permanent needs of citizens. Beyond the upgraded infrastructure however, the Olympics will leave us an exceptional legacy – the valuable experience of a large group of people who managed to organize such a major event. This process shaped exceptional individuals who will be a real asset to the economy if their skills are exploited.