------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Greece overcame the world's paranoia to stage a glorious Games -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Well, we feel bad. We really owe you an apology.
So, sygnomi, as you would say. Sorry.
Sorry the way we acted. We were paranoid and stupid and just flat out wrong. Our bad. If you want, we'll sleep on the couch.
We mocked you, ridiculed you, figured you wouldn't be ready. We envisioned you as a bunch of lazy, swarthy guys in wife-beater T-shirts chugging ouzo instead of finishing the baseball dugouts. We were sure steeplechasers would have to jump over drying cement, pole vaulters over tractors, divers into 3 feet of water.
We were wrong. It was all done and it was beautiful. OK, so the swimming stadium never got a roof. Big freaking deal. Imagine: having to swim in an outdoor pool. Let's all sue. Besides, you know what? It was more fun that way. Michael Phelps was out there so much he ended up with raccoon eyes from his goggles. He looked like a snowboarder. "Cool!" he said.
We predicted women madly weaving olive wreaths next to the podiums as the national anthems started up. We foresaw painters sprinting along painting stripes just yards ahead of 400-meter runners. We figured beams would be falling on people's heads. Who knew Wrigley Field would be a lot more dangerous?
We were sure every street corner would have three or four terrorists, just kind of killing time, looking for somebody to kidnap. Some bozo said, "The only place worse to hold an Olympics would be Baghdad." Please. I guarantee you, we felt a helluva lot safer these three weeks in Athens than we do in L.A. Or Detroit. Or the Republican National Convention.
We insisted you spend 1.2 billion euros on security. You had to put up blimps and cameras all over the city. You couldn't throw a bucket of grapes anywhere and not hit a soldier with a rifle. And nothing happened. Zero. The only incident was when our Secretary of State said he was coming to visit. In other words, if Colin Powell would've just been happy with his remote, you wouldn't have had a single problem.
Why you had to pay for our paranoia, I'll never know. It's the world's problem, the world should have to pay for it. What small country is going to be able to afford to host the Olympics anymore with these insane security demands? From now on, if a country wants to send a team to the Games, it pays its share of security, based on its share of the gross world product. In other words, it's our war, we should have to pay for it.
And our ignorance cost you more than just the billion or so Euros. Our Edvard Munch screams leading up to these games kept millions of people away. Corporations bailed on you. Fans chickened out. I know burly journalists who were too scared to come.
Sygnomi. Really. You did such a beautiful job on all the venues, arenas and stadiums and yet most of them were so empty you would've thought you'd stumbled upon a goiter seminar. At one basketball game, we counted: There were 307 people. One women's soccer game involving the U.S. started with fewer than 50 people. I had a friend call one night and say, "You better get over to gymnastics, quick. There's only 15,000 seats left."
The shopkeepers told us, "We've never seen it so dead in August." Hotels came down on their prices by three-quarters. Shirt stores lost their shirts.
It's too bad. It was a glorious Olympics. It really was. The opening ceremonies were fabulous. The nightlife was amazing. Even the stray dogs and cats couldn't have been friendlier. I got lost once and had to hitchhike out of nowhere, and a motorcyclist not only picked me up but drove for miles until he found me a cab. So, efharisto, as you say. Thanks.
Somebody did a poll and found that 97 percent of fans were "satisfied" with safety and security, 95 percent appreciated the job the volunteers did and 98 percent had a favorable impression of Greece. The other two percent were Paul Hamm's family.
And what did you get for all your trouble? Nothing but heartache. With 9,000-plus Greeks about to go delirious, our men's volleyball team handed you a giant buzzkill --- coming back from eight points down to win the fourth set and then the fifth to advance to the semifinals. The only really good game our men's basketball team played the whole time was against Greece.
It was Greek Tragedy Fortnight on TBS. It started even before the Games with your heartbroken judoka jumping from a balcony, followed two days later by her distraught boyfriend. Your two best sprinters turned in their credentials to end a doping/conspiracy/motorcycle wreck soap opera that tore the nation up. One of your favorite weightlifters had to give up a medal for a failed drug test, then wept in front of the world protesting his innocence.
And now you're stuck with about $8.5 billion in debt, a bunch of huge, expensive stadiums you'll never use (Hey, kids, who's ready to synchronized dive?!) and a whole lot of "Get Your Butt to Team Handball!" shorts nobody was around to buy. Other than that, Mrs. Kennedy, how did you enjoy Dallas?
So, really, we're sorry. If it makes you feel any better, we all feel a lot more Greek now. We're all coming back to the States telling the wife, "OK, you be Athena and I'll be Zeus!", demanding our favorite restaurants reserve us a table about 1 a.m. under the moon, right near a 2,500 year-old ruin. We keep spitting in people's hair for good luck, crushing plates for no reason and hollering "opa!" in the shower.
No idea how to make this right for you, except this: We vow, here and now, we'll never make you host us again.
I like to add my apologies too if i said something i shouldn't have , but some of the stuff that was going on did make me wonder, I really loved the opening ceremonies and the Olympics made me love my Greek heritage even more and even though i haven't watched the closing ceremonies with the exception of finding out Dalara will be there ick ick ick i think I'm going to love the rest.
I LOVED the Olympics but i still hate communism,Dalara and booing it's my right.
Perhaps by way of apology, the US can pick up the tab for the exhorbitant security costs of the games, being $1.3 billion Euros, which equals to about $3 billion Canadian (I am a cannuck). I can't even imagine spending that much on food to feed a starving country like, say, Bangladesh, in a year! Imagine what $1.8 billion American could buy ya! And imagine all this money (money which I am sure Greece doesn't have) spent on something this frivolous. Who do you blame - the Americans for demanding it or the Greeks for being stupid enough to listen to them? I ask you, perhaps if this money was put into, say, research to find a cure for cancer, millions of people would not die! Imagine! I can't even begin!
Mr. Reilly's apologies came as unexpected as they were unwanted. Greece never asked for it as far as I know. Greeks are proud and happy and know what's best for them. They have been surviving, writing an unpreceded history of glory for the last 3thousand years. Other countries have brought more misery than anything else to the rest of the world in a couple of decades. One thing was a stroke of unique genious in Mr Reilly's otherwise superflous text: yes, it is YOUR wars indeed. Make love more! You might get a new perspective of what the Olympic spirit is...
Well said! They forget where western civilization came from in the first place. Perhaps if they took the time away from their wars to visit Greece and to enjoy life the way we Greeks do, perhaps they would not feel the great need to kill as much. The Olympic spirit never died out in Greece. Just because the Games were haulted by a Byzantine emperor it doesn't mean that the Greeks lost the spirit that the Games represented; it merely got transformed into our unwavering belief in Christianity, and that devotion is as strong as ever today in every single Greek. After all, what is Christianity if not peace and love? When the rest of the western world was in a "dark age", the candle of civilization was still strongly burning in Greek Byzantium. We never let the fire die out, even in "turkokratia" when the Ottoman turks tried to blow out the Greek spirit, we kept the flame burning within us. Just because it is not a gigantic roaring fire, it doesn't mean that it still does not burn as bright as it did in 776 BC and before. Just as little Foteini blew out the Olympic flame, she said "kali andamosi" to an old friend, a friendship that will burn forever!
I was at the Olympics and saw FIRSTHAND the damage that was done by your beloved America's propaganda. There were only a handful of American spectators compared to international ones. Americans stayed home because of the negative publicity and constant barage of anti-Greek propaganda.
CNN's palio sygnomi was too late and too little. Na pane na gamithoune oloi kai osoi pou katigorisane tin Ellada xoris na perimenoun na xekinisoun oi agones! Axaristos laos--i zilia einai asximo pragma.
Athens 2004 blew Atlanta and Sydney to bits--you can't say it didn't because you weren't there, I was. I didn't even once feel the "million dollar security", traffic congestion, last-minute construction, intense heat (it was beautiful everyday).
Apparently you misunderstood the posting....the propaganda was not in the apology but in the months preceeding the Olympics where American and Australian media/politicians created fear and issued warnings for travelers to Greece. These declarations cost Greece billions of dollars, and honestly, robbed curious people of the opportunity to visit an amazing country.
But the acme of the hypocrisy really came during and after the Olympics when foreign media, namely NBC/CNN/FOX, criticized the Games for poor attendance. Perhaps if the majority of the free world with disposable income wasn't scared into not going, stadiums and events would have had a better turn out.
Nevertheless, I was there. The Games, in my opinion, were amazing and enduring. The feelings that the Olympics created, shared and showed will live forever with those who experienced it. When I came back to the US many friends and co-workers stated how beautiful everything looked and how they would have loved to and still would like to visit. Let's all hope that they do in the future.
Isn't it obvious to all why the Americans stayed away and why such a climate of fear was created? It is obvious to me why, and in the risk of being censored by the moderators, I will offer up this explanation: George Bush said "either you are with us or against us" and unfortunately Greece has been extremely critical of Bush's supposed war on terrorism. He vowed not to support the countries that did not fully support the U.S., and unfortunately Greece, like France, is one of those countries. Greece has never had the support of the US (not like Turkey has) and the US has never had warm feelings towards us. So, to me, it is no wonder that US networks would create a climate of fear and therefore keeping visitors away from the Games. For those of you who think that politics had nothing to do with it, wake up and smell the coffee cause you must be living in a dream world! Now that the world has seen how beautiful the Games in Athens were, and now that we have proven to the world that we are a first class country, a country to be respected, a country to be proud of, we must all strive to maintain this image by promoting Greece every chance we get. We should strive to "educate" Americans and others who really have no clue who we are; and I am referring to those who think that Greece is still the land of Zorba the Greek as portrayed by Anthony Quinn, or Aristotle Onasis land. Those are all figures of the past and we should all look towards the future and beyond. We have had our EuroCup victory, we have had a brilliant Olympic Games, now what? Well, we must continue to show the world what we are made of, we must continue to find ways of keeping Greece in the limelight and dispell these stereotypical and incorrect notions that Greece is full of November 17th terrorists, communists, and anti-American sympathizers (people I call the "lunatic fringe"). We as Greeks should continue to display our country in the best light possible and set the best example of Greece and its people. After all, us Greeks living abroad are in a way "ambassadores" to the world of Greek culture, and we should never lose sight of this. We should continue the job that Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalakis started and keep the spirit of the Games alive forever!
I may be joining this all too late. I was trying to follow the reaction to the Olympics, roughly a month after it all ended.
First, my sincere thanks to people around the world who did not buy the blatant anti-greek propaganda and instead chose to attend the Games (such as Katherine). We thank you for your positive comments. We do expect, however, as people who have been hurt by an insane attack from half-literate newscasters and their bosses that you do make this point across your fellow citizens: that Greece delivered, and as Careless Whisper so nicely put, that Greece is a modern country and not some third-world colony inhabited only by Zorba and his followers. Greece has been constantly under attack by very specific groups with very specific agenda. Do a google search about "David Klinghoffer" and find an article he once wrote about Greek culture and civilization. I dare you to find an example of an attack of this scale against another ethnic group *within the States*; you won't find easily (excluding the mexicans, probably). Not that anyone cares about half-literate idiots like Mr Klinghoffer, but the public opinion sholuld not tolerate such blatant propaganda without reacting.
So, Katherine, next time you do read/watch something along these lines from NBC/Fox/Whatever, do let them know what *you* believe. Cause you know better
Quote: Greece has been constantly under attack by very specific groups with very specific agenda. Do a google search about "David Klinghoffer" and find an article he once wrote about Greek culture and civilization. I dare you to find an example of an attack of this scale against another ethnic group *within the States*; you won't find easily (excluding the mexicans, probably). Not that anyone cares about half-literate idiots like Mr Klinghoffer, but the public opinion sholuld not tolerate such blatant propaganda without reacting. -spyros
It's funny that you mentioned that ass Klinghoffer. I just found this forum by doing a search on him. It was you mentioning it that allowed google to bring up this forum. You're right. But to really find out who is really doing this Greek bashing, type in these words in this same order when doing a google search....(david klinghoffer media hellenic). After reviewing the first few sites that come up, you'll know the truth.
The link that came up as the third result of a google search by typing in the words which I stated in my previous thread isn't coming up anymore. Oh well, I guess I'll have to be more blunt about it. Here's the link itself.