I was honored enough to be quoted among the former ATHOC President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki and the former Mayor of Athens and current Minister of Foreign Affairs Dora Bakoyannis, in a today’s article of the much respected Chicago Tribune, regarding the post-Games Athens (update: the article actually appeared at the newspaper’s front page).
To give you some more info on that, I have met the journalist Philip Hersh in Guatemala, at an IOC conference a year ago. Interestingly, we both attended the Sport Accord 2008 exhibition, held early June in Athens and I was at Chicago a month ago; however the interview was conducted via phone and I was asked to share my humble opinion about the status of the Olympic legacy of Athens, as a senior researcher of the Athens OGGI team.
After all, Mr. Hersh quotes me saying “I do think there are some opportunities that haven’t been used, and I don’t know if and when they will be” and [regarding the main Athens Olympic Sports complex] “I would like to see it as an Olympic Park, where people would use it, we in Athens don’t have a large park or one like [Chicago’s] Millennium Park” (well, clearly I pretty much liked the audio picnic option there, but this is another topic).
While I do not put into question the validity of quotes attributed to me, I feel that there was maybe a slightly biased and somehow disjointed citation of them, especially in the given context of the article’s corpus. I mean, in the phrase “Well, ‘A’ is true, but consider also ‘B’ and ‘C’, which clearly change the broader picture ‘D’.”, you may quote someone saying ‘A’, but this is only the partial truth, and not the full story.
I’m not willing to open the huge debate on 2004 Olympics and their legacy right here and now, nor I consider myself as the most appropriate one to handle or take part in it. However, if you want to get a much broader picture, you may go read this paper and this text (more and specific data are on their way to release) and shape your very own opinion. As for me, I clearly learned my lesson, concerning dealing with (old) media: If you don’t want to be quoted of saying ‘A’, then just don’t say it, in any context and collocation of your words. :)