After years of finger-wagging over delays and inefficiency, Greek officials say that everything needed for the successful inauguration of the 2004 Olympic Games on Friday is ready, or just about. Local organizers and officials are both proud and relieved that they have managed to confound skeptics who thought Greeks lacked discipline and would never be ready for the big day. ...
It has been a photo-finish, but Greek officials are now bursting with pride, not only because they made the deadline, but also because their efforts have given Athens new road and rail links and a host of gleaming new sports facilities.
The Greeks had seven years to get ready, but they procrastinated for nearly half that time, and, only lately, raced against the clock to complete the task at hand after warnings from international Olympic officials.
I encourage you to read the rest of the article. It's poignantly uplifting. I am half-Greek, and 90% USAmerican; even so, this article really warms my kardis.
A friend emailed me a very funny Smith's Crisps ad showing some Greek construction workers munching away while the Olympics proceed around them in a cluttered dilapidated stadium. But I can't find a link to it. Drats! Anyone?