Dimitris Macrynikolas, the Greek consul for the Southeast, told GlobalFax last week that he hopes Athens will benefit from Atlanta’s experiences in organizing the Summer Olympic Games.
During an interview, he said that he would welcome any suggestions from the organizers themselves, the volunteers or any of the spectators who attended the 1996 Games here.
Not only Athens but Europe as a whole will be affected by the Summer Olympic Games in 2004, he added. “It’s a challenge, but it’s also a great responsibility for us, especially because the Games were started in Greece.”
Defining the “Olympic Spirit” as one of “peace and progress,” he said that by 2004 Europe should be more closely united than ever before and that he expects Greece to be included in the European Monetary Union by then.
The country’s infrastructure and telecommunications systems should be in good shape by the time of the Games, he said. Athens’ subway is even expected to be expanded to twice its current size.
He also cited ties which have developed between Atlanta and Greece and the Greek-American community nationally.
Atlanta and Olympia, the site of the ancient Games, are Sister Cities. The Greek-American association AHEPA gave the city a sculpture named “Tribute,” which depicts Olympic athletes at the time of the ancient Games, the first modern Games in 1896 and the 1996 Games, and is now located in Centennial Park.
To reach Mr. Macrynikolas, call (404) 261-3313; fax, (404) 262-2798.