THE PLEBS' GAMES
The Olympic Committee might be keener on advertising VIP packages to bring in the big bucks, sbut there are bargains to be foui d when it comes to the 2004 Olympic Games. One of the most exciting and historically significant events on the schedule, the Athens 2004 Marathon, will be entirely tzamba (free). After a 108-year hiatus, the Olympic Marathon will return to Greece to follow the original Marathon route, forged by heroic Phidip-pides in 490 BC.
To witness the event, find a spot anywhere alongside the runners' path, from a little after where they begin to a little before the finish line. While some pay to watch at the Marathon Finish line and others pay to watch the Marathon's three-second start, anyone willing to wait has the option of viewing the runners from any vantage point along Phidippides' original path.
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You could even run on the sidewalk alongside your favorite star to share in their agony or lend a little support.
The women's race begins at 6pm on August 22nd; the men's at 6pm on August 29th. The road cycling (men's Aug. 14 12: 45pm; women's Aug. 15 3pm) and sailing (in 14 sessions on Aug. 14-26 and 28) events can also be viewed free of charge.
Tling docks of Piraeus, the Peace and Friendship Stadium (SEF), is a graceful oblong edifice with gently sloping sides. It will be, like the Olympic Stadium, a one-sport stop. The newly renovated stadium, which has been around since the 1980s, is scheduled to host the main volleyball event for a crowd of.
14, 000 fans (Aug. 14-23; finals Aug. 24-29). Renovations are expected to be complete in December.
2003. The brand-new Sports Pavilion (FSP) can handle up to 8000 spectators for the handball preliminaries (Aug. 14-24) and Taekwondo events (Aug. 26-29). Construction will be completed by early 2004. Right in front of the sea, the sleek, new Olympic Beach Volleyball Stadium (BVF), will host 10, 000 beach volleyball fans (Aug. 14-21; finals Aug. 22-25). (Take tram line 1 from Zappeio; switch to tram line 2 at the junction on Poseidonos and continue in the opposite direction to the last stop (Neo Faliro). Alternatively, take Metro green line 1 toward Piraeus and get off at Faliro. )