Athens Clears A Hurdle

ARIS MESSINIS/AFP-GETTY IMAGES

AND TO TOP IT OFF ... The roof of the Olympic Stadium slides slowly, slowly into place

The completion of a sports stadium is usually a boring business involving a ribbon, a pair of scissors, maybe a magnum of champagne. But when engineers last week conducted a test of the sliding roof over the 75,000-seat Olympic Stadium in Athens — the venue for the opening ceremony on Aug. 13 — the event was filled with drama and anxiety. Its outcome would determine whether the architectural centerpiece of the Games would get to wear its Santiago-Calatrava-designed cap or stand roofless under the Mediterranean sun — and whether security experts and television crews could move into the stadium in time...

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