Anorak News | Greek Pique

Greek Pique

by | 14th, May 2004

‘NOT many people remember now but, in the run-up to the Olympic Games in Sydney, the Australian media was full of predictions of doom and gloom.

‘And this is where the roof-building contest will take place…’

There was even a website whose sole job was to list the cock-ups made by contractors, the budgetary overruns and all the other problems attendant on such a massive undertaking.

All that was forgotten by the time the actual event took place and the 2000 games are now reckoned to have been one of the finest on record.

The same will probably be true of Athens, but the Greeks are getting touchy about what they see as hostile publicity in the run-up to this year’s games.

The Times carries a front-page story this morning of how reporter Laura Peek spent two and a half hours yesterday wandering unnoticed and unchallenged inside the so-called Olympic ring of steel – ‘supposed to be one of the most secure places in the world’.

The paper ran the story on its website yesterday, and the response from the Greeks was not polite.

Mega Channel described Peek’s report as ‘completely distorting the facts’; Flash radio station said ‘persistent negative reporting has now grown into negative action’; and Alter TV called the stunt ‘unprecedented and illegal’.

Anyone familiar with the British press could assure the Greeks that it is far from unprecedented – airports in this country are awash with journalists smuggling replica guns onto planes and taking pictures of themselves.

Nor should the Greeks worry about how they come across to the rest of the world.

Peek reports that she started her tour of the Olympic site by asking a security guard if she could look round.

‘Instead of ordering me to leave,’ she says, ‘the guard handed me a beer and showed me the swimming pool, cycling velodrome and agora.’

Can you imagine getting such a friendly welcome from a British security guard?

Anorak wishes the Greeks good luck…and how about a free beer?’

Posted: 14th, May 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink