Athens' Preparations for 2004

THANASSIS STAVRAKIS/AP

Many of Athens' venues aren't finished, and some are yet to be started. This playground will be the Olympic wrestling hall

Walking around Athens today, a visitor would be hard-pressed to tell that this city is nearly three years away from hosting the next Summer Olympic Games. Though 75% of the venues are in place, most of them need extensive refurbishment. Four major sporting sites have yet to be constructed, and the largest single project, the Olympic Village, is still open to grazing for goats and rabbits. Construction on that was due to start last year, but as plans now stand the first stage of building will begin next month.

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