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STATEMENTS IN FAVOR OF THE PERMANENT HOST COUNTRY

STATEMENTS IN FAVOR OF THE PERMANENT HOST COUNTRY

In 1976 and 1980 Konstantinos Karamanlis corresponded with the President of the International Olympic Committee Lord Killanin, and requested the permanent holding of the Olympic Games in Greece. Although his proposal was then dictated more by the need to protect the Olympic idea than guided by economic criteria, it was still ahead of its time.

The President of the European Central Bank Christine Lagarde stated, among other things: “The Greek economy is ruined. Its debt is a huge problem. We could permanently host the Olympic Games in their home, Athens, strengthening its economy and tourism,” and she reminded that, “that the marathon was held for the very first time in Greece and the Olympic Games are named as such because of Olympia, which is located in Greece, and has hosted numerous fantastic athletes, recalling the Greek principle of “healthy mind in healthy body” (Men sana in corpore sano).

  • Former Australian Government Secretary Amanda Vanstone calls for end to international Olympic rotation stating that “They (the Olympic Games) should be permanently based in Greece, as “I suspect – and I don’t think I’m in a very small club here – that there’s a bit of corruption that goes on when the IOC are looking around the world to decide which capital will next host the Olympics. You could get rid of the whiff of corruption – some would say even the stench – if you just gave it back to its ancestral home, Greece.”

  • An article in the New York Times quotes University of Maryland (USA) professor John Renee Short, an urban development expert who has advocated for the permanent holding of the Olympics in Olympia. “The way the Olympic Games are organized today is financial madness, ” he stated.
  • According to Researchers at the University of Philadelphia, “The return of the Olympic Games to Greece is the right thing to do. From a financial point of view, it makes sense to host the games in a permanent location. If the games return to Greece, there will be huge savings in many nations.”
  • Tom Vlachos, a Greek from the Diaspora in Australia, started a report on holding permanent Olympic Games in Greece by saying “The Olympic Games have become a financial burden for countries trying to promote their image. Athletes can train in Greece all year round. This ongoing sports facility will eliminate the billions of dollars that are wasted every 4 years.”
  • Boston Mayor Martin Walsh highlighted, “We need a new model (for the Olympic Games) and I think the solution is obvious. We must build a permanent home in Greece at the Olympics and thus return the Games to their historic birthplace.”
  • In an Article from the Center of Greek Culture of Russia, they state that, “The International Olympic Committee must finally realize that the path followed so far leads nowhere. It needs a vision and the vision is called ‘Olympia’ .”
  • Stelios Conteas – Master of Science in Economics at the University of Athens – emphasizes, “If one lists the potential factors for the necessary positive impact on the Greek economy, one will find the limited performance or the possibility of its realization, so as to conclude that the permanent holding of the Olympic Games in Athens is the only solution and as such should be declared a National Goal.”
  • Gianpaolo Montali, one of the leading sports personalities in Italy, said in an interview, “Yes, it was in 1997 when in the final vote of the International Olympic Committee, I voted in favor of Athens. Many here in Italy had criticized me for it. No one dared to call things by their name; The Olympic Games were born in Greece and ideally should be held permanently in Greece.”
  • Hans-Dieter Gerber and Luis Henrique Rolim Silva, Qatar stated that, “The Olympic ceremonies and symbols add emotion and depth to the Olympic Games that go beyond the mere athletic performance,promoting excellence, friendship and respect. In some cases, this contradicts the fact that the Olympic Games have become an economic and commercial enterprise.This can only be avoided by holding the Olympic Games permanently in one place – Greece.”
  • Paul Glastis, editor-in-chief of the Washington Monthly in the US, said that, “To avoid another Rio, make Greece the permanent home of the Olympic Games.”
  • Amotz Asa-El wrote in a Jerusalem newspaper, “Holding the Olympic Games in one place will interrupt the bidding process which creates bribery. As for the identity of the permanent host, it should be one: Greece. Greece has already created everything that the Olympic Games require, and in fact Greece will be able to use this new task for its financial recovery, and this national benefit is the least in relation to the global benefit.”
  • In the Australian articles Greek City Time brought attention to the public conversation to create a new kind of “Olympic glory” and keep it in one place is gaining enormous momentum, and many are publicly discussing the possibility of Greece hosting the Olympic Games – permanently!”

  • Theo Pertsinidis, a Welsh Actor stated that, “The Olympic Games are intended to symbolize and gather all that is good for humanity. The return of the Olympic Games to Greece will neutralize the power of the International Olympic Committee, it will allow Greece to decide what is good or bad for its country, and eliminate the need for host countries to spend millions on infrastructure doomed to disintegrate with the passage of time. The return of the Olympic Games to Greece would only need one infrastructure to be built once and then updated and maintained, and it would help the Greek economy recover and send a clear message that one of the biggest sporting events in the world is more than just a tool for dictators and affiliated contractors to consolidate wealth and power. It would be appropriate to bring the Olympic Games back to their ancient and true home. I urge you to think about the idea and I hope you find, like me, that a permanent home for the Olympic Games in Greece would be the most practical, logical and a hopeful way to strengthen the Olympic Games for future generations.Give the Greeks the opportunity to perfect their invention.”
  • The Greek American Leadership Council had applied for the Olympic Games to be held permanently in Greece and collected signatures to the International Olympic Committee as reported in an article in the Greek Reporte We quote the letter,

Dear Members of The International Olympic Committee:
We urge you to explore making Greece the permanent home of the summer Olympics. The first modern Olympics were held in Greece in 1896, and since then, Greece has lobbied for the return of the Olympics. It’s not just Greece proposing the idea. There is a groundswell of support for the idea from analysts, columnists and newspapers around the world.

Those speaking out in support of a permanent home for the Olympics point to deficiencies in the host city bidding process, the massive cost to cities to build the infrastructure necessary to host the Olympics, and the fact that many of these projects simply go to waste after the Olympics are over. Hosting the Games in a permanent location helps to address all of these problems. There are several ideas circulating, from having Greece be part of a series of permanent cities to having different cities host the Olympics in Greece every four years.

Whatever the solution, it’s clear that one is needed. It would be fitting to bring the Games back to their ancient home. We urge you to consider the idea and hope you will find, as we have, that a permanent home for the summer Olympics in Greece is the most practical, rational and hopeful way forward toward strengthening the Olympics for generations to come.”

  • Jonathan Zimmerman in the online newspaper Salon.com wrote, “The international community has provided several guarantees in exchange for austerity measures, which have only made matters worse. However, there is something that could make things better: The Organization of the Summer Olympic Games in Greece. Permanently! Enough with the world tour: Bring the Summer Olympics to Greece.”
  • George Tsetsekos, Ph.D., is a former dean of Drexel University LeBow College of Business said, “The return of the Olympic Games to Greece is the right thing to do. From a financial point of view, it makes sense to host the Olympic Games in a permanent location. Many of the facilities already exist and the additional infrastructure can only add small additional costs each year.”
  • Vardounioti from the University of Patra wrote, “For Greece, the organization and realization of the Olympic Games has always had as its main ambition the promotion of its intellectual, historical and cultural heritage. We are in favor of the position that the Olympic Games should be held on a permanent basis in Greece, i.e. in the country where the Culture of the Olympic Games and the Olympic Values were born.”
  • In a recent article in the New York Times, it was stated that, “The Olympic Games have become corrupt, socially irresponsible and an ecological nightmare for any country that undertakes them. The causes of corruption would be minimized if it were decided to hold the Olympic Games permanently in Athens.
  • Again, in the New York Times, “We take our hats off to Greece, which hosted a flawless Summer Olympics, refuting all the gloomy predictions [..] from the ubiquitous Cassandras. The facilities were completed on time, no terrorists appeared to cause unrest, the expected traffic jam never happened, and the small slips, such as referees’ disagreements in several sports, are not the responsibility of the hosts. Greece has proved that a small country can host a major sports overproduction, that takes place every four years. This achievement raised again the question of whether Greece, where the Olympic Games were born, should be the permanent Host Country of the Games. The permanent assignment of the Olympic Games to Greece, however, would pay tribute to the historical origins of the event and would allow the continued use of facilities that are worth a longer life.”
  • The Coronavirus Pandemic is forcing the international community to see things differently. The University of Oxford is not only concerned with vaccine trials that will aid humanity. A few days ago, academics from the University released a report urging the International Olympic Committee, among other things, to decide on the permanent holding of the Olympic Games in Athens. According to the report, 19 of the 30 events from 1960 to date had huge deficits and budget overruns by the committees that organized them. The average of exceedances reaches 213% for the Summer Olympics, while for the Winter Olympics is at 142%. After reviewing the investigation, Bent Flyvbjerg told the AFP (Agence France-Presse) that, “There are cities like Rome, Boston and Hamburg that no longer want to claim the Games, which is a shame for the International Olympic Committee.”Dear Members of The International Olympic Committee:
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«We would not aim for something that is considered impossible. When Baron Pierre de Coubertin first proposed the idea of ​​reviving the Olympic Games, although his proposal was met with ridicule and apathy, he was not discouraged, stubbornly and persistently managed to revive the first modern Olympic Games in Athens. 1896, after 1500 years. This was much more difficult, but it happened. Based on the reactions so far, I firmly believe that “Yes! The goal is achievable! ” I believe that there are people who really love our country and are willing to fight for anything that will help it without political expediencies or personal ambitions, but guided by the love for the humanitarian ideals that Olympism and -in the end- Greece stand for. As a genuine Macedonian I will close with the well-known saying of Alexander the Great “there is nothing impossible for the one who will try!».

Theotoki Titi Ntolaptsi

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