Securing the Olympics: Sporting Shield

How much security does a billion euro actually buy? The hope must be that quadrupling the budget for the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000 will be enough to protect the athletes and spectators this month in Athens. But there remains the uncomfortable thought that even unlimited funds may not be enough to guarantee security.

The World Today Published 1 August 2004 Updated 19 October 2020 3 minute READ

In the long term, the International Olympic Committee must seek alternative solutions, using its traditionally high moral values and a return to the roots of the games in ancient Greece – the Olympic Truce.

As concern shifts from delays in the construction schedule to the threat of terrorist attack, the Greek government does not need to be reminded that these are the first summer games since September 11 2001 and the first major global sporting event since the Iraq war. As Public Order Minister Giorgis Voulgarakis has said: ‘Today we can tell the international community that Greece has done all that is humanly possible to ensure security at the games.’

The sceptical British media response has suggested that if Greece has difficulty building athletic stadiums on time, it has a poor chance of foiling international terrorist networks which have already left the United States security services looking flat-footed.

Subscribe to read all issues

Articles from the current issue are free to read by all, the archive is exclusive to magazine subscribers and our members. Subscribe or become a member to view articles from the archive.