- 29 Aug 2003
- IOC News
A stadium over 2,300 years old
In a year's time, archery athletes who have successfully made it to the Olympic Games in Athens will have the unique chance of competing in the Panathinaiko Stadium where the first Olympic Games of the modern area took place and which was built on the ruins of an ancient stadium built in 329 B.C. Two weeks ago, the archery test event gave a glimpse of things to come. Jim Easton, President of the International Archery Federation (FITA), shares some thoughts on Olympic.org:
The best venue
"I think we have the best venue of them all!" Jim Easton says. "The staging of our sport in such a historic place will certainly add something very special. The Olympic Games in themselves are already a unique occasion for an athlete, so adding this extra dimension of being able to compete in this beautiful marble stadium where the first Games of the modern era took place - well, you could say it marks yet another place in history, one which I am sure each athlete will treasure. And no doubt it will be very special for the spectators, both on-site and watching on the TV networks around the world. I believe we will be able to put on a show worthy of the venue - something which will make everyone very proud."
The Archery Federation had to adapt to this unique place, however. "We were pleased that the test event went very well. We had to modify some of our usual procedures because the field is narrower than we have used in previous Olympic Games. When there were small things we had to change, the organisers were very cooperative."
From strong to no wind
The conditions in the stadium during the test events were extremely changeable: "We had a good mix of what could happen at Games time: strong winds, medium winds, or no wind at all, and higher temperatures. And in each case, things worked well."
A stadium and an event also rely on the people working and competing there. Easton is full of admiration for the volunteers: "The venue management team was good and the people worked hard to do their jobs. What perhaps impressed me most was that the volunteers were clearly out to prove something for their country and I believe that is very important. They want to put on a very well-organised Games in Athens which will make all Greek people proud. I could see that drive in every one of them."
Become a volunteer for the Athens Games in 2004 (official website of Athens 2004)
Official website of the FITA