Athens Preps For Olympics And Paralympics
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
May 28, 2004
ATHENS, GREECE--Organizers say they want to leave Athens with a legacy of accessibility and openness toward people with disabilities when the 2004 Olympic and Paralympic Games have ended this autumn.
Greek government ministries and agencies are following an established set of guidelines to make sure that the sports venues themselves will be accessible, according to the ATHENS 2000 website.
"The main target is that all adjustments made to ensure accessibility, will be kept in place after the end of the Games, leaving an important legacy to all citizens and visitors for years to come," it reads.
Over the past few years, the government has passed laws designed to make public areas and buildings more accessible. Organizers have also campaigned to get store owners and businesses to make their facilities accessible.
The Associated Press quoted Phil Craven, the president of the International Paralympic Committee, as reporting Friday that the Acropolis, one of the most famous ruins of the ancient world, will be made accessible to visitors with disabilities before the Paralympic Games open on September 17.
"It's not accessible yet, but I have got assurances," Craven said. "I was told it was 99 percent sure."
The Central Archaeological Council has agreed to perform a preliminary study to see whether an elevator could be built on the site without damaging the 2,500-year-old Acropolis.
The flame for the Paralympic torch relay is scheduled to be lit under the Acropolis on September 9.