The Spectator

First gold to Greece

The Greeks are on the verge of proving the world’s sceptics spectacularly wrong

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Dick Pound, a senior member of the International Olympic Committee, speaks for many when he says of the Greeks: ‘They think things being ready at 11:59 is plenty of time. It drives the rest of the world nuts.’ It has become commonplace over the past months to portray the modernday Greeks as unworthy inheritors of the ancient civilisation with which they share their name. The Athens Olympics would never be ready on time, it was said with confidence, or if they were the stadium would have no roof and runners would choke to death on the city’s notorious traffic fumes. If the word ma