Organizers feeling pre-Games pride

Updated: August 12, 2004, 4:40 PM ET
By Brian Church | Special to ESPN Insider
ATHENS, Greece – After months, actually years, of savage global criticism, Athens is now enjoying its honeymoon period.

You can't really blame the organizers, after all they've been through.

Thursday marked the official opening of the revamped main Athens square, Syntagma – meaning "Constitution" in Greek – at a cost of more than $7 million. It looks very nice, no doubt about it, but then again it always did.

The remaining challenge for organizers these days is to avoid boasting. The capital had previously succeeded – unintentionally – in lowering people's expectations so much that just to hold the 2004 Olympic Games was seen as an incredible achievement.