August 23, 2004 |
The popular image of the Olympics is one of deafening crowds, cheering their athletes to victory. But this month, after a lifetime of training, squads of archers, fencers, gymnasts, weight lifters, swimmers and pole vaulters have flocked to Athens only to find -- well -- not very many fans. Some people might shrug off the empty seats as simply an unfortunate detail.
August 14, 2004 |
Well, the opening ceremony of the Athens Olympics went off Friday night, on time even, and just as everybody feared, the Olympic Stadium water pipes burst, the infield flooded, a drummer was soaked to his knees, the video board sparked fire, statues kept breaking into pieces and several performers lost parts of clothing in an unfortunate series of wardrobe malfunctions. Oh, wait. According to the official opening ceremony media guide, all that stuff was supposed to happen.
August 24, 2004 |
It was the perfect metaphor for a perfectly awful situation: Paul Hamm, surrounded by boos he had not caused, standing in a limbo where he did not belong. An Olympic gold medal winner being treated as if he did not exist. It happened Monday night when Hamm followed Russian star Alexei Nemov in the individual high bar finals. Thousands of fans, angered at the score given Nemov, and perhaps fueled by the controversy over Hamm's all-around gold medal from last week, booed for 8 1/2 minutes.
August 8, 2004 |
The opening ceremony of the Olympic Games is about national pride, pageantry and anticipation. It's not, however, about athletic competition -- at least not in the eyes of NBC's Bob Costas. "I think my quote in the past was that it's part United Nations gathering and part Thanksgiving Day parade, so why don't they just have Kofi Annan and Mary Hart do it?" Costas says.
February 6, 2001 |
Welcoming the Olympic Games in 2004 back to their ancient birthplace and to the city where they were revived in 1896 has excited and mobilized the Greek nation. Everyone understands the great challenge of this undertaking and what is at stake. However, some have wondered whether Athens is up to the task, citing construction delays and staff changes. Others are openly hostile.
August 13, 2004 |
When the Olympic Games were held for the first time in ancient Greece, athletes competed nude. But the modern Games have been full of fashion moments, from the good (Florence Griffith Joyner's one-legged white lace running suits and 3-inch patriotic nails in Seoul in 1988) to the bad (the U.S. team's cowboy hats at the opening ceremony in Nagano in 1998) to the godawful (the U.S. gymnasts' beauty pageant body glitter in Sydney in 2000).