Runner’s wrong should be righted

We all feel terrible about what happened to Vanderlei de Lima 3 miles from the finish of the marathon. The IOC has done something about it by awarding a little medal. But isn’t it clear that Athens should recognize him as well? When Solon was asked which city he thought was best governed, he replied, «That city where those who have not been wronged take up the cause of the one who has, and prosecute the case as earnestly as if the wrong had been done to themselves.» Should we not all take up the cause of Mr de Lima? Why shouldn’t Athens give him a special gold medal for «winning» at 37 kilometers? After all it was the city and state that failed him, first in letting a convicted prior offender into the country, and secondly in not protecting the right of way of even the lead runner. If something is not done, Athens will leave a bad taste in the mouth of the Brazilians for the next 100 years. And it will leave a permanent stain on Games that were otherwise brilliantly organized and executed by the Greek people, and Games that could well be remembered as the best modern Olympics yet. The Olympics were a Greek creation, and the marathon as well. Greece above all others should defend the integrity of an Olympic marathon run on its soil.

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