The Acropolis was made accessible to welcome Paralympic visitors

In preparation for hosting the 2004 summer Paralympics, the Greek Government undertook a number of initiatives to make Athens more ‘disability friendly’. The new metro lines and stations were modern and accessible and there were some changes to the Athens streetscape. Possibly the most notable change was the addition of an inclinator and elevator on the side of the Acropolis to take people to the top of this ancient hill so that those with mobility impairments could experience the Parthenon and other sites.

“Ma fissika” – the familiar words in the lead-up to the Games

There was widespread anticipation that Athens would host the 1996 Olympic and Paralympic Games to mark the centenary of the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896. However, those Games were won by Atlanta and then the ‘millenium Games’ went to Sydney in 2000. So when Athens won the 2004 Games it was something of an anticlimax but the organisers had a point to prove and set out to make the Games special. Australian officials visited Athens on site visits in 2002 (Chef de Mission Paul Bird and Sport Manager Tony Naar) and March 2004 (APC CEO Darren Peters, Director of Operations Jason Hellwig and Team Coordinator Kylie Elliott). In those visits, it seemed that the organising committee would be struggling to be ready in time. However, the standard response to any questions about the organisers’ readiness was “ma fissika” – “but of course”. Even the Greeks admitted that the national approach was that things would work out on the day. While this could be frustrating in advance, during the Games it would mean that there was flexibility to ‘bend the rules’ when necessary to achieve outcomes.

The flag was passed to Sydney

Michael Knight, New South Wales Minister for the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, was handed the IPC flag at the closing ceremony of the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games, symbolising the transfer of the Games from one host city to the next.

Transport wasn’t quite as smooth as it had been at other Games

Unlike previous Games, which had ramps and an efficient system of buses for transporting athletes and team staff between the Games Village and competition venues, the approach at the 1996 summer Paralympics was less organised. As with the Olympics, participants reported drivers that didn’t seem to know where they were going and long delays.

Ron Finneran on the assurance that got Australia’s bid over the line.

Interviewer: Mick Fogarty
Interviewee: Ron Finneran
Publisher: National Library of Australia
Recorded: 5 July 2011
Location: Merimbula, NSW
Listen to the full interview here.

The final pitch for Paralympics was two weeks before the Olympic decision

On 12 September 1993, the bidding cities for the 2000 summer Paralympics made their final presentations to the International Paralympic Committee in Berlin. Australia’s bid had been undertaken by the Australian Paralympic Federation and it was represented in Berlin by this team: (L to R) Paul Griffiths, George Dunstan, Adrienne Smith, Bob Elphinston, Marie Little, Brendan Burkett (back), Ron Finneran, Unknown, Paul Bird, Anne Green. Elphinston represented the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games bid and his statement on the day of the presentation that the Games would be underwritten by the New South Wales and Australian governments was crucial to the selection of Sydney as the host of the 2000 summer Paralympics.

The “Community of Madrid” was ready for the Games to begin

The Community of Madrid hosted the 1992 “Paralympic Games for Persons with Mental Handicap” with the same passion and passion that Barcelona had shown for the first part of the 1992 summer Paralympics. The opening ceremony was – unusually – held in an indoor stadium

GALLERY: “The flame that lit the world … is now slowly burning out.”

Scenes from the Closing Ceremony of the 1988 Seoul Paralympic Games.

Organisation and coordination was a strong feature of the Seoul Games

Spectators, wearing folded paper hats provided by a sponsor, enjoy the archery at the 1988 Seoul Summer Paralympics.

The Acropolis was made accessible to welcome Paralympic visitors

In preparation for hosting the 2004 summer Paralympics, the Greek Government undertook a number of initiatives to make Athens more ‘disability friendly’. The new metro lines and stations were modern and accessible and there were some changes to the Athens streetscape. Possibly the most notable change was the addition of an inclinator and elevator on the side of the Acropolis to take people to the top of this ancient hill so that those with mobility impairments could experience the Parthenon and other sites.

“Ma fissika” – the familiar words in the lead-up to the Games

There was widespread anticipation that Athens would host the 1996 Olympic and Paralympic Games to mark the centenary of the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896. However, those Games were won by Atlanta and then the ‘millenium Games’ went to Sydney in 2000. So when Athens won the 2004 Games it was something of an anticlimax but the organisers had a point to prove and set out to make the Games special. Australian officials visited Athens on site visits in 2002 (Chef de Mission Paul Bird and Sport Manager Tony Naar) and March 2004 (APC CEO Darren Peters, Director of Operations Jason Hellwig and Team Coordinator Kylie Elliott). In those visits, it seemed that the organising committee would be struggling to be ready in time. However, the standard response to any questions about the organisers’ readiness was “ma fissika” – “but of course”. Even the Greeks admitted that the national approach was that things would work out on the day. While this could be frustrating in advance, during the Games it would mean that there was flexibility to ‘bend the rules’ when necessary to achieve outcomes.

The flag was passed to Sydney

Michael Knight, New South Wales Minister for the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, was handed the IPC flag at the closing ceremony of the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games, symbolising the transfer of the Games from one host city to the next.

Transport wasn’t quite as smooth as it had been at other Games

Unlike previous Games, which had ramps and an efficient system of buses for transporting athletes and team staff between the Games Village and competition venues, the approach at the 1996 summer Paralympics was less organised. As with the Olympics, participants reported drivers that didn’t seem to know where they were going and long delays.

Ron Finneran on the assurance that got Australia’s bid over the line.

Interviewer: Mick Fogarty
Interviewee: Ron Finneran
Publisher: National Library of Australia
Recorded: 5 July 2011
Location: Merimbula, NSW
Listen to the full interview here.

The final pitch for Paralympics was two weeks before the Olympic decision

On 12 September 1993, the bidding cities for the 2000 summer Paralympics made their final presentations to the International Paralympic Committee in Berlin. Australia’s bid had been undertaken by the Australian Paralympic Federation and it was represented in Berlin by this team: (L to R) Paul Griffiths, George Dunstan, Adrienne Smith, Bob Elphinston, Marie Little, Brendan Burkett (back), Ron Finneran, Unknown, Paul Bird, Anne Green. Elphinston represented the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games bid and his statement on the day of the presentation that the Games would be underwritten by the New South Wales and Australian governments was crucial to the selection of Sydney as the host of the 2000 summer Paralympics.

The “Community of Madrid” was ready for the Games to begin

The Community of Madrid hosted the 1992 “Paralympic Games for Persons with Mental Handicap” with the same passion and passion that Barcelona had shown for the first part of the 1992 summer Paralympics. The opening ceremony was – unusually – held in an indoor stadium

GALLERY: “The flame that lit the world … is now slowly burning out.”

Scenes from the Closing Ceremony of the 1988 Seoul Paralympic Games.

Organisation and coordination was a strong feature of the Seoul Games

Spectators, wearing folded paper hats provided by a sponsor, enjoy the archery at the 1988 Seoul Summer Paralympics.

The Acropolis was made accessible to welcome Paralympic visitors

In preparation for hosting the 2004 summer Paralympics, the Greek Government undertook a number of initiatives to make Athens more ‘disability friendly’. The new metro lines and stations were modern and accessible and there were some changes to the Athens streetscape. Possibly the most notable change was the addition of an inclinator and elevator on the side of the Acropolis to take people to the top of this ancient hill so that those with mobility impairments could experience the Parthenon and other sites.

“Ma fissika” – the familiar words in the lead-up to the Games

There was widespread anticipation that Athens would host the 1996 Olympic and Paralympic Games to mark the centenary of the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896. However, those Games were won by Atlanta and then the ‘millenium Games’ went to Sydney in 2000. So when Athens won the 2004 Games it was something of an anticlimax but the organisers had a point to prove and set out to make the Games special. Australian officials visited Athens on site visits in 2002 (Chef de Mission Paul Bird and Sport Manager Tony Naar) and March 2004 (APC CEO Darren Peters, Director of Operations Jason Hellwig and Team Coordinator Kylie Elliott). In those visits, it seemed that the organising committee would be struggling to be ready in time. However, the standard response to any questions about the organisers’ readiness was “ma fissika” – “but of course”. Even the Greeks admitted that the national approach was that things would work out on the day. While this could be frustrating in advance, during the Games it would mean that there was flexibility to ‘bend the rules’ when necessary to achieve outcomes.

The flag was passed to Sydney

Michael Knight, New South Wales Minister for the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, was handed the IPC flag at the closing ceremony of the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games, symbolising the transfer of the Games from one host city to the next.

Transport wasn’t quite as smooth as it had been at other Games

Unlike previous Games, which had ramps and an efficient system of buses for transporting athletes and team staff between the Games Village and competition venues, the approach at the 1996 summer Paralympics was less organised. As with the Olympics, participants reported drivers that didn’t seem to know where they were going and long delays.

Ron Finneran on the assurance that got Australia’s bid over the line.

Interviewer: Mick Fogarty
Interviewee: Ron Finneran
Publisher: National Library of Australia
Recorded: 5 July 2011
Location: Merimbula, NSW
Listen to the full interview here.

The final pitch for Paralympics was two weeks before the Olympic decision

On 12 September 1993, the bidding cities for the 2000 summer Paralympics made their final presentations to the International Paralympic Committee in Berlin. Australia’s bid had been undertaken by the Australian Paralympic Federation and it was represented in Berlin by this team: (L to R) Paul Griffiths, George Dunstan, Adrienne Smith, Bob Elphinston, Marie Little, Brendan Burkett (back), Ron Finneran, Unknown, Paul Bird, Anne Green. Elphinston represented the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games bid and his statement on the day of the presentation that the Games would be underwritten by the New South Wales and Australian governments was crucial to the selection of Sydney as the host of the 2000 summer Paralympics.

The “Community of Madrid” was ready for the Games to begin

The Community of Madrid hosted the 1992 “Paralympic Games for Persons with Mental Handicap” with the same passion and passion that Barcelona had shown for the first part of the 1992 summer Paralympics. The opening ceremony was – unusually – held in an indoor stadium

GALLERY: “The flame that lit the world … is now slowly burning out.”

Scenes from the Closing Ceremony of the 1988 Seoul Paralympic Games.

Organisation and coordination was a strong feature of the Seoul Games

Spectators, wearing folded paper hats provided by a sponsor, enjoy the archery at the 1988 Seoul Summer Paralympics.

The Acropolis was made accessible to welcome Paralympic visitors

In preparation for hosting the 2004 summer Paralympics, the Greek Government undertook a number of initiatives to make Athens more ‘disability friendly’. The new metro lines and stations were modern and accessible and there were some changes to the Athens streetscape. Possibly the most notable change was the addition of an inclinator and elevator on the side of the Acropolis to take people to the top of this ancient hill so that those with mobility impairments could experience the Parthenon and other sites.

“Ma fissika” – the familiar words in the lead-up to the Games

There was widespread anticipation that Athens would host the 1996 Olympic and Paralympic Games to mark the centenary of the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896. However, those Games were won by Atlanta and then the ‘millenium Games’ went to Sydney in 2000. So when Athens won the 2004 Games it was something of an anticlimax but the organisers had a point to prove and set out to make the Games special. Australian officials visited Athens on site visits in 2002 (Chef de Mission Paul Bird and Sport Manager Tony Naar) and March 2004 (APC CEO Darren Peters, Director of Operations Jason Hellwig and Team Coordinator Kylie Elliott). In those visits, it seemed that the organising committee would be struggling to be ready in time. However, the standard response to any questions about the organisers’ readiness was “ma fissika” – “but of course”. Even the Greeks admitted that the national approach was that things would work out on the day. While this could be frustrating in advance, during the Games it would mean that there was flexibility to ‘bend the rules’ when necessary to achieve outcomes.

The flag was passed to Sydney

Michael Knight, New South Wales Minister for the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, was handed the IPC flag at the closing ceremony of the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games, symbolising the transfer of the Games from one host city to the next.

Transport wasn’t quite as smooth as it had been at other Games

Unlike previous Games, which had ramps and an efficient system of buses for transporting athletes and team staff between the Games Village and competition venues, the approach at the 1996 summer Paralympics was less organised. As with the Olympics, participants reported drivers that didn’t seem to know where they were going and long delays.

Ron Finneran on the assurance that got Australia’s bid over the line.

Interviewer: Mick Fogarty
Interviewee: Ron Finneran
Publisher: National Library of Australia
Recorded: 5 July 2011
Location: Merimbula, NSW
Listen to the full interview here.

The final pitch for Paralympics was two weeks before the Olympic decision

On 12 September 1993, the bidding cities for the 2000 summer Paralympics made their final presentations to the International Paralympic Committee in Berlin. Australia’s bid had been undertaken by the Australian Paralympic Federation and it was represented in Berlin by this team: (L to R) Paul Griffiths, George Dunstan, Adrienne Smith, Bob Elphinston, Marie Little, Brendan Burkett (back), Ron Finneran, Unknown, Paul Bird, Anne Green. Elphinston represented the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games bid and his statement on the day of the presentation that the Games would be underwritten by the New South Wales and Australian governments was crucial to the selection of Sydney as the host of the 2000 summer Paralympics.

The “Community of Madrid” was ready for the Games to begin

The Community of Madrid hosted the 1992 “Paralympic Games for Persons with Mental Handicap” with the same passion and passion that Barcelona had shown for the first part of the 1992 summer Paralympics. The opening ceremony was – unusually – held in an indoor stadium

GALLERY: “The flame that lit the world … is now slowly burning out.”

Scenes from the Closing Ceremony of the 1988 Seoul Paralympic Games.

Organisation and coordination was a strong feature of the Seoul Games

Spectators, wearing folded paper hats provided by a sponsor, enjoy the archery at the 1988 Seoul Summer Paralympics.

The Acropolis was made accessible to welcome Paralympic visitors

In preparation for hosting the 2004 summer Paralympics, the Greek Government undertook a number of initiatives to make Athens more ‘disability friendly’. The new metro lines and stations were modern and accessible and there were some changes to the Athens streetscape. Possibly the most notable change was the addition of an inclinator and elevator on the side of the Acropolis to take people to the top of this ancient hill so that those with mobility impairments could experience the Parthenon and other sites.

“Ma fissika” – the familiar words in the lead-up to the Games

There was widespread anticipation that Athens would host the 1996 Olympic and Paralympic Games to mark the centenary of the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896. However, those Games were won by Atlanta and then the ‘millenium Games’ went to Sydney in 2000. So when Athens won the 2004 Games it was something of an anticlimax but the organisers had a point to prove and set out to make the Games special. Australian officials visited Athens on site visits in 2002 (Chef de Mission Paul Bird and Sport Manager Tony Naar) and March 2004 (APC CEO Darren Peters, Director of Operations Jason Hellwig and Team Coordinator Kylie Elliott). In those visits, it seemed that the organising committee would be struggling to be ready in time. However, the standard response to any questions about the organisers’ readiness was “ma fissika” – “but of course”. Even the Greeks admitted that the national approach was that things would work out on the day. While this could be frustrating in advance, during the Games it would mean that there was flexibility to ‘bend the rules’ when necessary to achieve outcomes.

The flag was passed to Sydney

Michael Knight, New South Wales Minister for the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, was handed the IPC flag at the closing ceremony of the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games, symbolising the transfer of the Games from one host city to the next.

Transport wasn’t quite as smooth as it had been at other Games

Unlike previous Games, which had ramps and an efficient system of buses for transporting athletes and team staff between the Games Village and competition venues, the approach at the 1996 summer Paralympics was less organised. As with the Olympics, participants reported drivers that didn’t seem to know where they were going and long delays.

Ron Finneran on the assurance that got Australia’s bid over the line.

Interviewer: Mick Fogarty
Interviewee: Ron Finneran
Publisher: National Library of Australia
Recorded: 5 July 2011
Location: Merimbula, NSW
Listen to the full interview here.

The final pitch for Paralympics was two weeks before the Olympic decision

On 12 September 1993, the bidding cities for the 2000 summer Paralympics made their final presentations to the International Paralympic Committee in Berlin. Australia’s bid had been undertaken by the Australian Paralympic Federation and it was represented in Berlin by this team: (L to R) Paul Griffiths, George Dunstan, Adrienne Smith, Bob Elphinston, Marie Little, Brendan Burkett (back), Ron Finneran, Unknown, Paul Bird, Anne Green. Elphinston represented the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games bid and his statement on the day of the presentation that the Games would be underwritten by the New South Wales and Australian governments was crucial to the selection of Sydney as the host of the 2000 summer Paralympics.

The “Community of Madrid” was ready for the Games to begin

The Community of Madrid hosted the 1992 “Paralympic Games for Persons with Mental Handicap” with the same passion and passion that Barcelona had shown for the first part of the 1992 summer Paralympics. The opening ceremony was – unusually – held in an indoor stadium

GALLERY: “The flame that lit the world … is now slowly burning out.”

Scenes from the Closing Ceremony of the 1988 Seoul Paralympic Games.

Organisation and coordination was a strong feature of the Seoul Games

Spectators, wearing folded paper hats provided by a sponsor, enjoy the archery at the 1988 Seoul Summer Paralympics.

The Acropolis was made accessible to welcome Paralympic visitors

In preparation for hosting the 2004 summer Paralympics, the Greek Government undertook a number of initiatives to make Athens more ‘disability friendly’. The new metro lines and stations were modern and accessible and there were some changes to the Athens streetscape. Possibly the most notable change was the addition of an inclinator and elevator on the side of the Acropolis to take people to the top of this ancient hill so that those with mobility impairments could experience the Parthenon and other sites.

“Ma fissika” – the familiar words in the lead-up to the Games

There was widespread anticipation that Athens would host the 1996 Olympic and Paralympic Games to mark the centenary of the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896. However, those Games were won by Atlanta and then the ‘millenium Games’ went to Sydney in 2000. So when Athens won the 2004 Games it was something of an anticlimax but the organisers had a point to prove and set out to make the Games special. Australian officials visited Athens on site visits in 2002 (Chef de Mission Paul Bird and Sport Manager Tony Naar) and March 2004 (APC CEO Darren Peters, Director of Operations Jason Hellwig and Team Coordinator Kylie Elliott). In those visits, it seemed that the organising committee would be struggling to be ready in time. However, the standard response to any questions about the organisers’ readiness was “ma fissika” – “but of course”. Even the Greeks admitted that the national approach was that things would work out on the day. While this could be frustrating in advance, during the Games it would mean that there was flexibility to ‘bend the rules’ when necessary to achieve outcomes.

The flag was passed to Sydney

Michael Knight, New South Wales Minister for the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, was handed the IPC flag at the closing ceremony of the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games, symbolising the transfer of the Games from one host city to the next.

Transport wasn’t quite as smooth as it had been at other Games

Unlike previous Games, which had ramps and an efficient system of buses for transporting athletes and team staff between the Games Village and competition venues, the approach at the 1996 summer Paralympics was less organised. As with the Olympics, participants reported drivers that didn’t seem to know where they were going and long delays.

Ron Finneran on the assurance that got Australia’s bid over the line.

Interviewer: Mick Fogarty
Interviewee: Ron Finneran
Publisher: National Library of Australia
Recorded: 5 July 2011
Location: Merimbula, NSW
Listen to the full interview here.

The final pitch for Paralympics was two weeks before the Olympic decision

On 12 September 1993, the bidding cities for the 2000 summer Paralympics made their final presentations to the International Paralympic Committee in Berlin. Australia’s bid had been undertaken by the Australian Paralympic Federation and it was represented in Berlin by this team: (L to R) Paul Griffiths, George Dunstan, Adrienne Smith, Bob Elphinston, Marie Little, Brendan Burkett (back), Ron Finneran, Unknown, Paul Bird, Anne Green. Elphinston represented the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games bid and his statement on the day of the presentation that the Games would be underwritten by the New South Wales and Australian governments was crucial to the selection of Sydney as the host of the 2000 summer Paralympics.

The “Community of Madrid” was ready for the Games to begin

The Community of Madrid hosted the 1992 “Paralympic Games for Persons with Mental Handicap” with the same passion and passion that Barcelona had shown for the first part of the 1992 summer Paralympics. The opening ceremony was – unusually – held in an indoor stadium

GALLERY: “The flame that lit the world … is now slowly burning out.”

Scenes from the Closing Ceremony of the 1988 Seoul Paralympic Games.

Organisation and coordination was a strong feature of the Seoul Games

Spectators, wearing folded paper hats provided by a sponsor, enjoy the archery at the 1988 Seoul Summer Paralympics.

The Acropolis was made accessible to welcome Paralympic visitors

In preparation for hosting the 2004 summer Paralympics, the Greek Government undertook a number of initiatives to make Athens more ‘disability friendly’. The new metro lines and stations were modern and accessible and there were some changes to the Athens streetscape. Possibly the most notable change was the addition of an inclinator and elevator on the side of the Acropolis to take people to the top of this ancient hill so that those with mobility impairments could experience the Parthenon and other sites.

“Ma fissika” – the familiar words in the lead-up to the Games

There was widespread anticipation that Athens would host the 1996 Olympic and Paralympic Games to mark the centenary of the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896. However, those Games were won by Atlanta and then the ‘millenium Games’ went to Sydney in 2000. So when Athens won the 2004 Games it was something of an anticlimax but the organisers had a point to prove and set out to make the Games special. Australian officials visited Athens on site visits in 2002 (Chef de Mission Paul Bird and Sport Manager Tony Naar) and March 2004 (APC CEO Darren Peters, Director of Operations Jason Hellwig and Team Coordinator Kylie Elliott). In those visits, it seemed that the organising committee would be struggling to be ready in time. However, the standard response to any questions about the organisers’ readiness was “ma fissika” – “but of course”. Even the Greeks admitted that the national approach was that things would work out on the day. While this could be frustrating in advance, during the Games it would mean that there was flexibility to ‘bend the rules’ when necessary to achieve outcomes.

The flag was passed to Sydney

Michael Knight, New South Wales Minister for the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, was handed the IPC flag at the closing ceremony of the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games, symbolising the transfer of the Games from one host city to the next.

Transport wasn’t quite as smooth as it had been at other Games

Unlike previous Games, which had ramps and an efficient system of buses for transporting athletes and team staff between the Games Village and competition venues, the approach at the 1996 summer Paralympics was less organised. As with the Olympics, participants reported drivers that didn’t seem to know where they were going and long delays.

Ron Finneran on the assurance that got Australia’s bid over the line.

Interviewer: Mick Fogarty
Interviewee: Ron Finneran
Publisher: National Library of Australia
Recorded: 5 July 2011
Location: Merimbula, NSW
Listen to the full interview here.

The final pitch for Paralympics was two weeks before the Olympic decision

On 12 September 1993, the bidding cities for the 2000 summer Paralympics made their final presentations to the International Paralympic Committee in Berlin. Australia’s bid had been undertaken by the Australian Paralympic Federation and it was represented in Berlin by this team: (L to R) Paul Griffiths, George Dunstan, Adrienne Smith, Bob Elphinston, Marie Little, Brendan Burkett (back), Ron Finneran, Unknown, Paul Bird, Anne Green. Elphinston represented the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games bid and his statement on the day of the presentation that the Games would be underwritten by the New South Wales and Australian governments was crucial to the selection of Sydney as the host of the 2000 summer Paralympics.

The “Community of Madrid” was ready for the Games to begin

The Community of Madrid hosted the 1992 “Paralympic Games for Persons with Mental Handicap” with the same passion and passion that Barcelona had shown for the first part of the 1992 summer Paralympics. The opening ceremony was – unusually – held in an indoor stadium

GALLERY: “The flame that lit the world … is now slowly burning out.”

Scenes from the Closing Ceremony of the 1988 Seoul Paralympic Games.

Organisation and coordination was a strong feature of the Seoul Games

Spectators, wearing folded paper hats provided by a sponsor, enjoy the archery at the 1988 Seoul Summer Paralympics.

The Acropolis was made accessible to welcome Paralympic visitors

In preparation for hosting the 2004 summer Paralympics, the Greek Government undertook a number of initiatives to make Athens more ‘disability friendly’. The new metro lines and stations were modern and accessible and there were some changes to the Athens streetscape. Possibly the most notable change was the addition of an inclinator and elevator on the side of the Acropolis to take people to the top of this ancient hill so that those with mobility impairments could experience the Parthenon and other sites.

“Ma fissika” – the familiar words in the lead-up to the Games

There was widespread anticipation that Athens would host the 1996 Olympic and Paralympic Games to mark the centenary of the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896. However, those Games were won by Atlanta and then the ‘millenium Games’ went to Sydney in 2000. So when Athens won the 2004 Games it was something of an anticlimax but the organisers had a point to prove and set out to make the Games special. Australian officials visited Athens on site visits in 2002 (Chef de Mission Paul Bird and Sport Manager Tony Naar) and March 2004 (APC CEO Darren Peters, Director of Operations Jason Hellwig and Team Coordinator Kylie Elliott). In those visits, it seemed that the organising committee would be struggling to be ready in time. However, the standard response to any questions about the organisers’ readiness was “ma fissika” – “but of course”. Even the Greeks admitted that the national approach was that things would work out on the day. While this could be frustrating in advance, during the Games it would mean that there was flexibility to ‘bend the rules’ when necessary to achieve outcomes.

The flag was passed to Sydney

Michael Knight, New South Wales Minister for the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, was handed the IPC flag at the closing ceremony of the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games, symbolising the transfer of the Games from one host city to the next.

Transport wasn’t quite as smooth as it had been at other Games

Unlike previous Games, which had ramps and an efficient system of buses for transporting athletes and team staff between the Games Village and competition venues, the approach at the 1996 summer Paralympics was less organised. As with the Olympics, participants reported drivers that didn’t seem to know where they were going and long delays.

Ron Finneran on the assurance that got Australia’s bid over the line.

Interviewer: Mick Fogarty
Interviewee: Ron Finneran
Publisher: National Library of Australia
Recorded: 5 July 2011
Location: Merimbula, NSW
Listen to the full interview here.

The final pitch for Paralympics was two weeks before the Olympic decision

On 12 September 1993, the bidding cities for the 2000 summer Paralympics made their final presentations to the International Paralympic Committee in Berlin. Australia’s bid had been undertaken by the Australian Paralympic Federation and it was represented in Berlin by this team: (L to R) Paul Griffiths, George Dunstan, Adrienne Smith, Bob Elphinston, Marie Little, Brendan Burkett (back), Ron Finneran, Unknown, Paul Bird, Anne Green. Elphinston represented the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games bid and his statement on the day of the presentation that the Games would be underwritten by the New South Wales and Australian governments was crucial to the selection of Sydney as the host of the 2000 summer Paralympics.

The “Community of Madrid” was ready for the Games to begin

The Community of Madrid hosted the 1992 “Paralympic Games for Persons with Mental Handicap” with the same passion and passion that Barcelona had shown for the first part of the 1992 summer Paralympics. The opening ceremony was – unusually – held in an indoor stadium

GALLERY: “The flame that lit the world … is now slowly burning out.”

Scenes from the Closing Ceremony of the 1988 Seoul Paralympic Games.

Organisation and coordination was a strong feature of the Seoul Games

Spectators, wearing folded paper hats provided by a sponsor, enjoy the archery at the 1988 Seoul Summer Paralympics.

The Acropolis was made accessible to welcome Paralympic visitors

In preparation for hosting the 2004 summer Paralympics, the Greek Government undertook a number of initiatives to make Athens more ‘disability friendly’. The new metro lines and stations were modern and accessible and there were some changes to the Athens streetscape. Possibly the most notable change was the addition of an inclinator and elevator on the side of the Acropolis to take people to the top of this ancient hill so that those with mobility impairments could experience the Parthenon and other sites.

“Ma fissika” – the familiar words in the lead-up to the Games

There was widespread anticipation that Athens would host the 1996 Olympic and Paralympic Games to mark the centenary of the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896. However, those Games were won by Atlanta and then the ‘millenium Games’ went to Sydney in 2000. So when Athens won the 2004 Games it was something of an anticlimax but the organisers had a point to prove and set out to make the Games special. Australian officials visited Athens on site visits in 2002 (Chef de Mission Paul Bird and Sport Manager Tony Naar) and March 2004 (APC CEO Darren Peters, Director of Operations Jason Hellwig and Team Coordinator Kylie Elliott). In those visits, it seemed that the organising committee would be struggling to be ready in time. However, the standard response to any questions about the organisers’ readiness was “ma fissika” – “but of course”. Even the Greeks admitted that the national approach was that things would work out on the day. While this could be frustrating in advance, during the Games it would mean that there was flexibility to ‘bend the rules’ when necessary to achieve outcomes.

The flag was passed to Sydney

Michael Knight, New South Wales Minister for the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, was handed the IPC flag at the closing ceremony of the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games, symbolising the transfer of the Games from one host city to the next.

Transport wasn’t quite as smooth as it had been at other Games

Unlike previous Games, which had ramps and an efficient system of buses for transporting athletes and team staff between the Games Village and competition venues, the approach at the 1996 summer Paralympics was less organised. As with the Olympics, participants reported drivers that didn’t seem to know where they were going and long delays.

Ron Finneran on the assurance that got Australia’s bid over the line.

Interviewer: Mick Fogarty
Interviewee: Ron Finneran
Publisher: National Library of Australia
Recorded: 5 July 2011
Location: Merimbula, NSW
Listen to the full interview here.

The final pitch for Paralympics was two weeks before the Olympic decision

On 12 September 1993, the bidding cities for the 2000 summer Paralympics made their final presentations to the International Paralympic Committee in Berlin. Australia’s bid had been undertaken by the Australian Paralympic Federation and it was represented in Berlin by this team: (L to R) Paul Griffiths, George Dunstan, Adrienne Smith, Bob Elphinston, Marie Little, Brendan Burkett (back), Ron Finneran, Unknown, Paul Bird, Anne Green. Elphinston represented the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games bid and his statement on the day of the presentation that the Games would be underwritten by the New South Wales and Australian governments was crucial to the selection of Sydney as the host of the 2000 summer Paralympics.

The “Community of Madrid” was ready for the Games to begin

The Community of Madrid hosted the 1992 “Paralympic Games for Persons with Mental Handicap” with the same passion and passion that Barcelona had shown for the first part of the 1992 summer Paralympics. The opening ceremony was – unusually – held in an indoor stadium

GALLERY: “The flame that lit the world … is now slowly burning out.”

Scenes from the Closing Ceremony of the 1988 Seoul Paralympic Games.

Organisation and coordination was a strong feature of the Seoul Games

Spectators, wearing folded paper hats provided by a sponsor, enjoy the archery at the 1988 Seoul Summer Paralympics.

The Acropolis was made accessible to welcome Paralympic visitors

In preparation for hosting the 2004 summer Paralympics, the Greek Government undertook a number of initiatives to make Athens more ‘disability friendly’. The new metro lines and stations were modern and accessible and there were some changes to the Athens streetscape. Possibly the most notable change was the addition of an inclinator and elevator on the side of the Acropolis to take people to the top of this ancient hill so that those with mobility impairments could experience the Parthenon and other sites.

“Ma fissika” – the familiar words in the lead-up to the Games

There was widespread anticipation that Athens would host the 1996 Olympic and Paralympic Games to mark the centenary of the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896. However, those Games were won by Atlanta and then the ‘millenium Games’ went to Sydney in 2000. So when Athens won the 2004 Games it was something of an anticlimax but the organisers had a point to prove and set out to make the Games special. Australian officials visited Athens on site visits in 2002 (Chef de Mission Paul Bird and Sport Manager Tony Naar) and March 2004 (APC CEO Darren Peters, Director of Operations Jason Hellwig and Team Coordinator Kylie Elliott). In those visits, it seemed that the organising committee would be struggling to be ready in time. However, the standard response to any questions about the organisers’ readiness was “ma fissika” – “but of course”. Even the Greeks admitted that the national approach was that things would work out on the day. While this could be frustrating in advance, during the Games it would mean that there was flexibility to ‘bend the rules’ when necessary to achieve outcomes.

The flag was passed to Sydney

Michael Knight, New South Wales Minister for the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, was handed the IPC flag at the closing ceremony of the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games, symbolising the transfer of the Games from one host city to the next.

Transport wasn’t quite as smooth as it had been at other Games

Unlike previous Games, which had ramps and an efficient system of buses for transporting athletes and team staff between the Games Village and competition venues, the approach at the 1996 summer Paralympics was less organised. As with the Olympics, participants reported drivers that didn’t seem to know where they were going and long delays.

Ron Finneran on the assurance that got Australia’s bid over the line.

Interviewer: Mick Fogarty
Interviewee: Ron Finneran
Publisher: National Library of Australia
Recorded: 5 July 2011
Location: Merimbula, NSW
Listen to the full interview here.

The final pitch for Paralympics was two weeks before the Olympic decision

On 12 September 1993, the bidding cities for the 2000 summer Paralympics made their final presentations to the International Paralympic Committee in Berlin. Australia’s bid had been undertaken by the Australian Paralympic Federation and it was represented in Berlin by this team: (L to R) Paul Griffiths, George Dunstan, Adrienne Smith, Bob Elphinston, Marie Little, Brendan Burkett (back), Ron Finneran, Unknown, Paul Bird, Anne Green. Elphinston represented the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games bid and his statement on the day of the presentation that the Games would be underwritten by the New South Wales and Australian governments was crucial to the selection of Sydney as the host of the 2000 summer Paralympics.

The “Community of Madrid” was ready for the Games to begin

The Community of Madrid hosted the 1992 “Paralympic Games for Persons with Mental Handicap” with the same passion and passion that Barcelona had shown for the first part of the 1992 summer Paralympics. The opening ceremony was – unusually – held in an indoor stadium

GALLERY: “The flame that lit the world … is now slowly burning out.”

Scenes from the Closing Ceremony of the 1988 Seoul Paralympic Games.

Organisation and coordination was a strong feature of the Seoul Games

Spectators, wearing folded paper hats provided by a sponsor, enjoy the archery at the 1988 Seoul Summer Paralympics.

The Acropolis was made accessible to welcome Paralympic visitors

In preparation for hosting the 2004 summer Paralympics, the Greek Government undertook a number of initiatives to make Athens more ‘disability friendly’. The new metro lines and stations were modern and accessible and there were some changes to the Athens streetscape. Possibly the most notable change was the addition of an inclinator and elevator on the side of the Acropolis to take people to the top of this ancient hill so that those with mobility impairments could experience the Parthenon and other sites.

“Ma fissika” – the familiar words in the lead-up to the Games

There was widespread anticipation that Athens would host the 1996 Olympic and Paralympic Games to mark the centenary of the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896. However, those Games were won by Atlanta and then the ‘millenium Games’ went to Sydney in 2000. So when Athens won the 2004 Games it was something of an anticlimax but the organisers had a point to prove and set out to make the Games special. Australian officials visited Athens on site visits in 2002 (Chef de Mission Paul Bird and Sport Manager Tony Naar) and March 2004 (APC CEO Darren Peters, Director of Operations Jason Hellwig and Team Coordinator Kylie Elliott). In those visits, it seemed that the organising committee would be struggling to be ready in time. However, the standard response to any questions about the organisers’ readiness was “ma fissika” – “but of course”. Even the Greeks admitted that the national approach was that things would work out on the day. While this could be frustrating in advance, during the Games it would mean that there was flexibility to ‘bend the rules’ when necessary to achieve outcomes.

The flag was passed to Sydney

Michael Knight, New South Wales Minister for the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, was handed the IPC flag at the closing ceremony of the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games, symbolising the transfer of the Games from one host city to the next.

Transport wasn’t quite as smooth as it had been at other Games

Unlike previous Games, which had ramps and an efficient system of buses for transporting athletes and team staff between the Games Village and competition venues, the approach at the 1996 summer Paralympics was less organised. As with the Olympics, participants reported drivers that didn’t seem to know where they were going and long delays.

Ron Finneran on the assurance that got Australia’s bid over the line.

Interviewer: Mick Fogarty
Interviewee: Ron Finneran
Publisher: National Library of Australia
Recorded: 5 July 2011
Location: Merimbula, NSW
Listen to the full interview here.

The final pitch for Paralympics was two weeks before the Olympic decision

On 12 September 1993, the bidding cities for the 2000 summer Paralympics made their final presentations to the International Paralympic Committee in Berlin. Australia’s bid had been undertaken by the Australian Paralympic Federation and it was represented in Berlin by this team: (L to R) Paul Griffiths, George Dunstan, Adrienne Smith, Bob Elphinston, Marie Little, Brendan Burkett (back), Ron Finneran, Unknown, Paul Bird, Anne Green. Elphinston represented the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games bid and his statement on the day of the presentation that the Games would be underwritten by the New South Wales and Australian governments was crucial to the selection of Sydney as the host of the 2000 summer Paralympics.

The “Community of Madrid” was ready for the Games to begin

The Community of Madrid hosted the 1992 “Paralympic Games for Persons with Mental Handicap” with the same passion and passion that Barcelona had shown for the first part of the 1992 summer Paralympics. The opening ceremony was – unusually – held in an indoor stadium

GALLERY: “The flame that lit the world … is now slowly burning out.”

Scenes from the Closing Ceremony of the 1988 Seoul Paralympic Games.

Organisation and coordination was a strong feature of the Seoul Games

Spectators, wearing folded paper hats provided by a sponsor, enjoy the archery at the 1988 Seoul Summer Paralympics.

The Acropolis was made accessible to welcome Paralympic visitors

In preparation for hosting the 2004 summer Paralympics, the Greek Government undertook a number of initiatives to make Athens more ‘disability friendly’. The new metro lines and stations were modern and accessible and there were some changes to the Athens streetscape. Possibly the most notable change was the addition of an inclinator and elevator on the side of the Acropolis to take people to the top of this ancient hill so that those with mobility impairments could experience the Parthenon and other sites.

“Ma fissika” – the familiar words in the lead-up to the Games

There was widespread anticipation that Athens would host the 1996 Olympic and Paralympic Games to mark the centenary of the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896. However, those Games were won by Atlanta and then the ‘millenium Games’ went to Sydney in 2000. So when Athens won the 2004 Games it was something of an anticlimax but the organisers had a point to prove and set out to make the Games special. Australian officials visited Athens on site visits in 2002 (Chef de Mission Paul Bird and Sport Manager Tony Naar) and March 2004 (APC CEO Darren Peters, Director of Operations Jason Hellwig and Team Coordinator Kylie Elliott). In those visits, it seemed that the organising committee would be struggling to be ready in time. However, the standard response to any questions about the organisers’ readiness was “ma fissika” – “but of course”. Even the Greeks admitted that the national approach was that things would work out on the day. While this could be frustrating in advance, during the Games it would mean that there was flexibility to ‘bend the rules’ when necessary to achieve outcomes.

The flag was passed to Sydney

Michael Knight, New South Wales Minister for the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, was handed the IPC flag at the closing ceremony of the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games, symbolising the transfer of the Games from one host city to the next.

Transport wasn’t quite as smooth as it had been at other Games

Unlike previous Games, which had ramps and an efficient system of buses for transporting athletes and team staff between the Games Village and competition venues, the approach at the 1996 summer Paralympics was less organised. As with the Olympics, participants reported drivers that didn’t seem to know where they were going and long delays.

Ron Finneran on the assurance that got Australia’s bid over the line.

Interviewer: Mick Fogarty
Interviewee: Ron Finneran
Publisher: National Library of Australia
Recorded: 5 July 2011
Location: Merimbula, NSW
Listen to the full interview here.

The final pitch for Paralympics was two weeks before the Olympic decision

On 12 September 1993, the bidding cities for the 2000 summer Paralympics made their final presentations to the International Paralympic Committee in Berlin. Australia’s bid had been undertaken by the Australian Paralympic Federation and it was represented in Berlin by this team: (L to R) Paul Griffiths, George Dunstan, Adrienne Smith, Bob Elphinston, Marie Little, Brendan Burkett (back), Ron Finneran, Unknown, Paul Bird, Anne Green. Elphinston represented the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games bid and his statement on the day of the presentation that the Games would be underwritten by the New South Wales and Australian governments was crucial to the selection of Sydney as the host of the 2000 summer Paralympics.

The “Community of Madrid” was ready for the Games to begin

The Community of Madrid hosted the 1992 “Paralympic Games for Persons with Mental Handicap” with the same passion and passion that Barcelona had shown for the first part of the 1992 summer Paralympics. The opening ceremony was – unusually – held in an indoor stadium

GALLERY: “The flame that lit the world … is now slowly burning out.”

Scenes from the Closing Ceremony of the 1988 Seoul Paralympic Games.

Organisation and coordination was a strong feature of the Seoul Games

Spectators, wearing folded paper hats provided by a sponsor, enjoy the archery at the 1988 Seoul Summer Paralympics.

The Acropolis was made accessible to welcome Paralympic visitors

In preparation for hosting the 2004 summer Paralympics, the Greek Government undertook a number of initiatives to make Athens more ‘disability friendly’. The new metro lines and stations were modern and accessible and there were some changes to the Athens streetscape. Possibly the most notable change was the addition of an inclinator and elevator on the side of the Acropolis to take people to the top of this ancient hill so that those with mobility impairments could experience the Parthenon and other sites.

“Ma fissika” – the familiar words in the lead-up to the Games

There was widespread anticipation that Athens would host the 1996 Olympic and Paralympic Games to mark the centenary of the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896. However, those Games were won by Atlanta and then the ‘millenium Games’ went to Sydney in 2000. So when Athens won the 2004 Games it was something of an anticlimax but the organisers had a point to prove and set out to make the Games special. Australian officials visited Athens on site visits in 2002 (Chef de Mission Paul Bird and Sport Manager Tony Naar) and March 2004 (APC CEO Darren Peters, Director of Operations Jason Hellwig and Team Coordinator Kylie Elliott). In those visits, it seemed that the organising committee would be struggling to be ready in time. However, the standard response to any questions about the organisers’ readiness was “ma fissika” – “but of course”. Even the Greeks admitted that the national approach was that things would work out on the day. While this could be frustrating in advance, during the Games it would mean that there was flexibility to ‘bend the rules’ when necessary to achieve outcomes.

The flag was passed to Sydney

Michael Knight, New South Wales Minister for the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, was handed the IPC flag at the closing ceremony of the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games, symbolising the transfer of the Games from one host city to the next.

Transport wasn’t quite as smooth as it had been at other Games

Unlike previous Games, which had ramps and an efficient system of buses for transporting athletes and team staff between the Games Village and competition venues, the approach at the 1996 summer Paralympics was less organised. As with the Olympics, participants reported drivers that didn’t seem to know where they were going and long delays.

Ron Finneran on the assurance that got Australia’s bid over the line.

Interviewer: Mick Fogarty
Interviewee: Ron Finneran
Publisher: National Library of Australia
Recorded: 5 July 2011
Location: Merimbula, NSW
Listen to the full interview here.

The final pitch for Paralympics was two weeks before the Olympic decision

On 12 September 1993, the bidding cities for the 2000 summer Paralympics made their final presentations to the International Paralympic Committee in Berlin. Australia’s bid had been undertaken by the Australian Paralympic Federation and it was represented in Berlin by this team: (L to R) Paul Griffiths, George Dunstan, Adrienne Smith, Bob Elphinston, Marie Little, Brendan Burkett (back), Ron Finneran, Unknown, Paul Bird, Anne Green. Elphinston represented the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games bid and his statement on the day of the presentation that the Games would be underwritten by the New South Wales and Australian governments was crucial to the selection of Sydney as the host of the 2000 summer Paralympics.

The “Community of Madrid” was ready for the Games to begin

The Community of Madrid hosted the 1992 “Paralympic Games for Persons with Mental Handicap” with the same passion and passion that Barcelona had shown for the first part of the 1992 summer Paralympics. The opening ceremony was – unusually – held in an indoor stadium

GALLERY: “The flame that lit the world … is now slowly burning out.”

Scenes from the Closing Ceremony of the 1988 Seoul Paralympic Games.

Organisation and coordination was a strong feature of the Seoul Games

Spectators, wearing folded paper hats provided by a sponsor, enjoy the archery at the 1988 Seoul Summer Paralympics.

The Acropolis was made accessible to welcome Paralympic visitors

In preparation for hosting the 2004 summer Paralympics, the Greek Government undertook a number of initiatives to make Athens more ‘disability friendly’. The new metro lines and stations were modern and accessible and there were some changes to the Athens streetscape. Possibly the most notable change was the addition of an inclinator and elevator on the side of the Acropolis to take people to the top of this ancient hill so that those with mobility impairments could experience the Parthenon and other sites.

“Ma fissika” – the familiar words in the lead-up to the Games

There was widespread anticipation that Athens would host the 1996 Olympic and Paralympic Games to mark the centenary of the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896. However, those Games were won by Atlanta and then the ‘millenium Games’ went to Sydney in 2000. So when Athens won the 2004 Games it was something of an anticlimax but the organisers had a point to prove and set out to make the Games special. Australian officials visited Athens on site visits in 2002 (Chef de Mission Paul Bird and Sport Manager Tony Naar) and March 2004 (APC CEO Darren Peters, Director of Operations Jason Hellwig and Team Coordinator Kylie Elliott). In those visits, it seemed that the organising committee would be struggling to be ready in time. However, the standard response to any questions about the organisers’ readiness was “ma fissika” – “but of course”. Even the Greeks admitted that the national approach was that things would work out on the day. While this could be frustrating in advance, during the Games it would mean that there was flexibility to ‘bend the rules’ when necessary to achieve outcomes.

The flag was passed to Sydney

Michael Knight, New South Wales Minister for the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, was handed the IPC flag at the closing ceremony of the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games, symbolising the transfer of the Games from one host city to the next.

Transport wasn’t quite as smooth as it had been at other Games

Unlike previous Games, which had ramps and an efficient system of buses for transporting athletes and team staff between the Games Village and competition venues, the approach at the 1996 summer Paralympics was less organised. As with the Olympics, participants reported drivers that didn’t seem to know where they were going and long delays.

Ron Finneran on the assurance that got Australia’s bid over the line.

Interviewer: Mick Fogarty
Interviewee: Ron Finneran
Publisher: National Library of Australia
Recorded: 5 July 2011
Location: Merimbula, NSW
Listen to the full interview here.

The final pitch for Paralympics was two weeks before the Olympic decision

On 12 September 1993, the bidding cities for the 2000 summer Paralympics made their final presentations to the International Paralympic Committee in Berlin. Australia’s bid had been undertaken by the Australian Paralympic Federation and it was represented in Berlin by this team: (L to R) Paul Griffiths, George Dunstan, Adrienne Smith, Bob Elphinston, Marie Little, Brendan Burkett (back), Ron Finneran, Unknown, Paul Bird, Anne Green. Elphinston represented the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games bid and his statement on the day of the presentation that the Games would be underwritten by the New South Wales and Australian governments was crucial to the selection of Sydney as the host of the 2000 summer Paralympics.

The “Community of Madrid” was ready for the Games to begin

The Community of Madrid hosted the 1992 “Paralympic Games for Persons with Mental Handicap” with the same passion and passion that Barcelona had shown for the first part of the 1992 summer Paralympics. The opening ceremony was – unusually – held in an indoor stadium

GALLERY: “The flame that lit the world … is now slowly burning out.”

Scenes from the Closing Ceremony of the 1988 Seoul Paralympic Games.

Organisation and coordination was a strong feature of the Seoul Games

Spectators, wearing folded paper hats provided by a sponsor, enjoy the archery at the 1988 Seoul Summer Paralympics.

The Acropolis was made accessible to welcome Paralympic visitors

In preparation for hosting the 2004 summer Paralympics, the Greek Government undertook a number of initiatives to make Athens more ‘disability friendly’. The new metro lines and stations were modern and accessible and there were some changes to the Athens streetscape. Possibly the most notable change was the addition of an inclinator and elevator on the side of the Acropolis to take people to the top of this ancient hill so that those with mobility impairments could experience the Parthenon and other sites.

“Ma fissika” – the familiar words in the lead-up to the Games

There was widespread anticipation that Athens would host the 1996 Olympic and Paralympic Games to mark the centenary of the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896. However, those Games were won by Atlanta and then the ‘millenium Games’ went to Sydney in 2000. So when Athens won the 2004 Games it was something of an anticlimax but the organisers had a point to prove and set out to make the Games special. Australian officials visited Athens on site visits in 2002 (Chef de Mission Paul Bird and Sport Manager Tony Naar) and March 2004 (APC CEO Darren Peters, Director of Operations Jason Hellwig and Team Coordinator Kylie Elliott). In those visits, it seemed that the organising committee would be struggling to be ready in time. However, the standard response to any questions about the organisers’ readiness was “ma fissika” – “but of course”. Even the Greeks admitted that the national approach was that things would work out on the day. While this could be frustrating in advance, during the Games it would mean that there was flexibility to ‘bend the rules’ when necessary to achieve outcomes.

The flag was passed to Sydney

Michael Knight, New South Wales Minister for the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, was handed the IPC flag at the closing ceremony of the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games, symbolising the transfer of the Games from one host city to the next.

Transport wasn’t quite as smooth as it had been at other Games

Unlike previous Games, which had ramps and an efficient system of buses for transporting athletes and team staff between the Games Village and competition venues, the approach at the 1996 summer Paralympics was less organised. As with the Olympics, participants reported drivers that didn’t seem to know where they were going and long delays.

Ron Finneran on the assurance that got Australia’s bid over the line.

Interviewer: Mick Fogarty
Interviewee: Ron Finneran
Publisher: National Library of Australia
Recorded: 5 July 2011
Location: Merimbula, NSW
Listen to the full interview here.

The final pitch for Paralympics was two weeks before the Olympic decision

On 12 September 1993, the bidding cities for the 2000 summer Paralympics made their final presentations to the International Paralympic Committee in Berlin. Australia’s bid had been undertaken by the Australian Paralympic Federation and it was represented in Berlin by this team: (L to R) Paul Griffiths, George Dunstan, Adrienne Smith, Bob Elphinston, Marie Little, Brendan Burkett (back), Ron Finneran, Unknown, Paul Bird, Anne Green. Elphinston represented the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games bid and his statement on the day of the presentation that the Games would be underwritten by the New South Wales and Australian governments was crucial to the selection of Sydney as the host of the 2000 summer Paralympics.

The “Community of Madrid” was ready for the Games to begin

The Community of Madrid hosted the 1992 “Paralympic Games for Persons with Mental Handicap” with the same passion and passion that Barcelona had shown for the first part of the 1992 summer Paralympics. The opening ceremony was – unusually – held in an indoor stadium

GALLERY: “The flame that lit the world … is now slowly burning out.”

Scenes from the Closing Ceremony of the 1988 Seoul Paralympic Games.

Organisation and coordination was a strong feature of the Seoul Games

Spectators, wearing folded paper hats provided by a sponsor, enjoy the archery at the 1988 Seoul Summer Paralympics.

The Acropolis was made accessible to welcome Paralympic visitors

In preparation for hosting the 2004 summer Paralympics, the Greek Government undertook a number of initiatives to make Athens more ‘disability friendly’. The new metro lines and stations were modern and accessible and there were some changes to the Athens streetscape. Possibly the most notable change was the addition of an inclinator and elevator on the side of the Acropolis to take people to the top of this ancient hill so that those with mobility impairments could experience the Parthenon and other sites.

“Ma fissika” – the familiar words in the lead-up to the Games

There was widespread anticipation that Athens would host the 1996 Olympic and Paralympic Games to mark the centenary of the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896. However, those Games were won by Atlanta and then the ‘millenium Games’ went to Sydney in 2000. So when Athens won the 2004 Games it was something of an anticlimax but the organisers had a point to prove and set out to make the Games special. Australian officials visited Athens on site visits in 2002 (Chef de Mission Paul Bird and Sport Manager Tony Naar) and March 2004 (APC CEO Darren Peters, Director of Operations Jason Hellwig and Team Coordinator Kylie Elliott). In those visits, it seemed that the organising committee would be struggling to be ready in time. However, the standard response to any questions about the organisers’ readiness was “ma fissika” – “but of course”. Even the Greeks admitted that the national approach was that things would work out on the day. While this could be frustrating in advance, during the Games it would mean that there was flexibility to ‘bend the rules’ when necessary to achieve outcomes.

The flag was passed to Sydney

Michael Knight, New South Wales Minister for the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, was handed the IPC flag at the closing ceremony of the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games, symbolising the transfer of the Games from one host city to the next.

Transport wasn’t quite as smooth as it had been at other Games

Unlike previous Games, which had ramps and an efficient system of buses for transporting athletes and team staff between the Games Village and competition venues, the approach at the 1996 summer Paralympics was less organised. As with the Olympics, participants reported drivers that didn’t seem to know where they were going and long delays.

Ron Finneran on the assurance that got Australia’s bid over the line.

Interviewer: Mick Fogarty
Interviewee: Ron Finneran
Publisher: National Library of Australia
Recorded: 5 July 2011
Location: Merimbula, NSW
Listen to the full interview here.

The final pitch for Paralympics was two weeks before the Olympic decision

On 12 September 1993, the bidding cities for the 2000 summer Paralympics made their final presentations to the International Paralympic Committee in Berlin. Australia’s bid had been undertaken by the Australian Paralympic Federation and it was represented in Berlin by this team: (L to R) Paul Griffiths, George Dunstan, Adrienne Smith, Bob Elphinston, Marie Little, Brendan Burkett (back), Ron Finneran, Unknown, Paul Bird, Anne Green. Elphinston represented the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games bid and his statement on the day of the presentation that the Games would be underwritten by the New South Wales and Australian governments was crucial to the selection of Sydney as the host of the 2000 summer Paralympics.

The “Community of Madrid” was ready for the Games to begin

The Community of Madrid hosted the 1992 “Paralympic Games for Persons with Mental Handicap” with the same passion and passion that Barcelona had shown for the first part of the 1992 summer Paralympics. The opening ceremony was – unusually – held in an indoor stadium

GALLERY: “The flame that lit the world … is now slowly burning out.”

Scenes from the Closing Ceremony of the 1988 Seoul Paralympic Games.

Organisation and coordination was a strong feature of the Seoul Games

Spectators, wearing folded paper hats provided by a sponsor, enjoy the archery at the 1988 Seoul Summer Paralympics.

The Acropolis was made accessible to welcome Paralympic visitors

In preparation for hosting the 2004 summer Paralympics, the Greek Government undertook a number of initiatives to make Athens more ‘disability friendly’. The new metro lines and stations were modern and accessible and there were some changes to the Athens streetscape. Possibly the most notable change was the addition of an inclinator and elevator on the side of the Acropolis to take people to the top of this ancient hill so that those with mobility impairments could experience the Parthenon and other sites.

“Ma fissika” – the familiar words in the lead-up to the Games

There was widespread anticipation that Athens would host the 1996 Olympic and Paralympic Games to mark the centenary of the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896. However, those Games were won by Atlanta and then the ‘millenium Games’ went to Sydney in 2000. So when Athens won the 2004 Games it was something of an anticlimax but the organisers had a point to prove and set out to make the Games special. Australian officials visited Athens on site visits in 2002 (Chef de Mission Paul Bird and Sport Manager Tony Naar) and March 2004 (APC CEO Darren Peters, Director of Operations Jason Hellwig and Team Coordinator Kylie Elliott). In those visits, it seemed that the organising committee would be struggling to be ready in time. However, the standard response to any questions about the organisers’ readiness was “ma fissika” – “but of course”. Even the Greeks admitted that the national approach was that things would work out on the day. While this could be frustrating in advance, during the Games it would mean that there was flexibility to ‘bend the rules’ when necessary to achieve outcomes.

The flag was passed to Sydney

Michael Knight, New South Wales Minister for the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, was handed the IPC flag at the closing ceremony of the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games, symbolising the transfer of the Games from one host city to the next.

Transport wasn’t quite as smooth as it had been at other Games

Unlike previous Games, which had ramps and an efficient system of buses for transporting athletes and team staff between the Games Village and competition venues, the approach at the 1996 summer Paralympics was less organised. As with the Olympics, participants reported drivers that didn’t seem to know where they were going and long delays.

Ron Finneran on the assurance that got Australia’s bid over the line.

Interviewer: Mick Fogarty
Interviewee: Ron Finneran
Publisher: National Library of Australia
Recorded: 5 July 2011
Location: Merimbula, NSW
Listen to the full interview here.

The final pitch for Paralympics was two weeks before the Olympic decision

On 12 September 1993, the bidding cities for the 2000 summer Paralympics made their final presentations to the International Paralympic Committee in Berlin. Australia’s bid had been undertaken by the Australian Paralympic Federation and it was represented in Berlin by this team: (L to R) Paul Griffiths, George Dunstan, Adrienne Smith, Bob Elphinston, Marie Little, Brendan Burkett (back), Ron Finneran, Unknown, Paul Bird, Anne Green. Elphinston represented the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games bid and his statement on the day of the presentation that the Games would be underwritten by the New South Wales and Australian governments was crucial to the selection of Sydney as the host of the 2000 summer Paralympics.

The “Community of Madrid” was ready for the Games to begin

The Community of Madrid hosted the 1992 “Paralympic Games for Persons with Mental Handicap” with the same passion and passion that Barcelona had shown for the first part of the 1992 summer Paralympics. The opening ceremony was – unusually – held in an indoor stadium

GALLERY: “The flame that lit the world … is now slowly burning out.”

Scenes from the Closing Ceremony of the 1988 Seoul Paralympic Games.

Organisation and coordination was a strong feature of the Seoul Games

Spectators, wearing folded paper hats provided by a sponsor, enjoy the archery at the 1988 Seoul Summer Paralympics.

The Acropolis was made accessible to welcome Paralympic visitors

In preparation for hosting the 2004 summer Paralympics, the Greek Government undertook a number of initiatives to make Athens more ‘disability friendly’. The new metro lines and stations were modern and accessible and there were some changes to the Athens streetscape. Possibly the most notable change was the addition of an inclinator and elevator on the side of the Acropolis to take people to the top of this ancient hill so that those with mobility impairments could experience the Parthenon and other sites.

“Ma fissika” – the familiar words in the lead-up to the Games

There was widespread anticipation that Athens would host the 1996 Olympic and Paralympic Games to mark the centenary of the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896. However, those Games were won by Atlanta and then the ‘millenium Games’ went to Sydney in 2000. So when Athens won the 2004 Games it was something of an anticlimax but the organisers had a point to prove and set out to make the Games special. Australian officials visited Athens on site visits in 2002 (Chef de Mission Paul Bird and Sport Manager Tony Naar) and March 2004 (APC CEO Darren Peters, Director of Operations Jason Hellwig and Team Coordinator Kylie Elliott). In those visits, it seemed that the organising committee would be struggling to be ready in time. However, the standard response to any questions about the organisers’ readiness was “ma fissika” – “but of course”. Even the Greeks admitted that the national approach was that things would work out on the day. While this could be frustrating in advance, during the Games it would mean that there was flexibility to ‘bend the rules’ when necessary to achieve outcomes.

The flag was passed to Sydney

Michael Knight, New South Wales Minister for the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, was handed the IPC flag at the closing ceremony of the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games, symbolising the transfer of the Games from one host city to the next.

Transport wasn’t quite as smooth as it had been at other Games

Unlike previous Games, which had ramps and an efficient system of buses for transporting athletes and team staff between the Games Village and competition venues, the approach at the 1996 summer Paralympics was less organised. As with the Olympics, participants reported drivers that didn’t seem to know where they were going and long delays.

Ron Finneran on the assurance that got Australia’s bid over the line.

Interviewer: Mick Fogarty
Interviewee: Ron Finneran
Publisher: National Library of Australia
Recorded: 5 July 2011
Location: Merimbula, NSW
Listen to the full interview here.

The final pitch for Paralympics was two weeks before the Olympic decision

On 12 September 1993, the bidding cities for the 2000 summer Paralympics made their final presentations to the International Paralympic Committee in Berlin. Australia’s bid had been undertaken by the Australian Paralympic Federation and it was represented in Berlin by this team: (L to R) Paul Griffiths, George Dunstan, Adrienne Smith, Bob Elphinston, Marie Little, Brendan Burkett (back), Ron Finneran, Unknown, Paul Bird, Anne Green. Elphinston represented the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games bid and his statement on the day of the presentation that the Games would be underwritten by the New South Wales and Australian governments was crucial to the selection of Sydney as the host of the 2000 summer Paralympics.

The “Community of Madrid” was ready for the Games to begin

The Community of Madrid hosted the 1992 “Paralympic Games for Persons with Mental Handicap” with the same passion and passion that Barcelona had shown for the first part of the 1992 summer Paralympics. The opening ceremony was – unusually – held in an indoor stadium

GALLERY: “The flame that lit the world … is now slowly burning out.”

Scenes from the Closing Ceremony of the 1988 Seoul Paralympic Games.

Organisation and coordination was a strong feature of the Seoul Games

Spectators, wearing folded paper hats provided by a sponsor, enjoy the archery at the 1988 Seoul Summer Paralympics.

The Acropolis was made accessible to welcome Paralympic visitors

In preparation for hosting the 2004 summer Paralympics, the Greek Government undertook a number of initiatives to make Athens more ‘disability friendly’. The new metro lines and stations were modern and accessible and there were some changes to the Athens streetscape. Possibly the most notable change was the addition of an inclinator and elevator on the side of the Acropolis to take people to the top of this ancient hill so that those with mobility impairments could experience the Parthenon and other sites.

“Ma fissika” – the familiar words in the lead-up to the Games

There was widespread anticipation that Athens would host the 1996 Olympic and Paralympic Games to mark the centenary of the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896. However, those Games were won by Atlanta and then the ‘millenium Games’ went to Sydney in 2000. So when Athens won the 2004 Games it was something of an anticlimax but the organisers had a point to prove and set out to make the Games special. Australian officials visited Athens on site visits in 2002 (Chef de Mission Paul Bird and Sport Manager Tony Naar) and March 2004 (APC CEO Darren Peters, Director of Operations Jason Hellwig and Team Coordinator Kylie Elliott). In those visits, it seemed that the organising committee would be struggling to be ready in time. However, the standard response to any questions about the organisers’ readiness was “ma fissika” – “but of course”. Even the Greeks admitted that the national approach was that things would work out on the day. While this could be frustrating in advance, during the Games it would mean that there was flexibility to ‘bend the rules’ when necessary to achieve outcomes.

The flag was passed to Sydney

Michael Knight, New South Wales Minister for the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, was handed the IPC flag at the closing ceremony of the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games, symbolising the transfer of the Games from one host city to the next.

Transport wasn’t quite as smooth as it had been at other Games

Unlike previous Games, which had ramps and an efficient system of buses for transporting athletes and team staff between the Games Village and competition venues, the approach at the 1996 summer Paralympics was less organised. As with the Olympics, participants reported drivers that didn’t seem to know where they were going and long delays.

Ron Finneran on the assurance that got Australia’s bid over the line.

Interviewer: Mick Fogarty
Interviewee: Ron Finneran
Publisher: National Library of Australia
Recorded: 5 July 2011
Location: Merimbula, NSW
Listen to the full interview here.

The final pitch for Paralympics was two weeks before the Olympic decision

On 12 September 1993, the bidding cities for the 2000 summer Paralympics made their final presentations to the International Paralympic Committee in Berlin. Australia’s bid had been undertaken by the Australian Paralympic Federation and it was represented in Berlin by this team: (L to R) Paul Griffiths, George Dunstan, Adrienne Smith, Bob Elphinston, Marie Little, Brendan Burkett (back), Ron Finneran, Unknown, Paul Bird, Anne Green. Elphinston represented the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games bid and his statement on the day of the presentation that the Games would be underwritten by the New South Wales and Australian governments was crucial to the selection of Sydney as the host of the 2000 summer Paralympics.

The “Community of Madrid” was ready for the Games to begin

The Community of Madrid hosted the 1992 “Paralympic Games for Persons with Mental Handicap” with the same passion and passion that Barcelona had shown for the first part of the 1992 summer Paralympics. The opening ceremony was – unusually – held in an indoor stadium

GALLERY: “The flame that lit the world … is now slowly burning out.”

Scenes from the Closing Ceremony of the 1988 Seoul Paralympic Games.

Organisation and coordination was a strong feature of the Seoul Games

Spectators, wearing folded paper hats provided by a sponsor, enjoy the archery at the 1988 Seoul Summer Paralympics.

The Acropolis was made accessible to welcome Paralympic visitors

In preparation for hosting the 2004 summer Paralympics, the Greek Government undertook a number of initiatives to make Athens more ‘disability friendly’. The new metro lines and stations were modern and accessible and there were some changes to the Athens streetscape. Possibly the most notable change was the addition of an inclinator and elevator on the side of the Acropolis to take people to the top of this ancient hill so that those with mobility impairments could experience the Parthenon and other sites.

“Ma fissika” – the familiar words in the lead-up to the Games

There was widespread anticipation that Athens would host the 1996 Olympic and Paralympic Games to mark the centenary of the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896. However, those Games were won by Atlanta and then the ‘millenium Games’ went to Sydney in 2000. So when Athens won the 2004 Games it was something of an anticlimax but the organisers had a point to prove and set out to make the Games special. Australian officials visited Athens on site visits in 2002 (Chef de Mission Paul Bird and Sport Manager Tony Naar) and March 2004 (APC CEO Darren Peters, Director of Operations Jason Hellwig and Team Coordinator Kylie Elliott). In those visits, it seemed that the organising committee would be struggling to be ready in time. However, the standard response to any questions about the organisers’ readiness was “ma fissika” – “but of course”. Even the Greeks admitted that the national approach was that things would work out on the day. While this could be frustrating in advance, during the Games it would mean that there was flexibility to ‘bend the rules’ when necessary to achieve outcomes.

The flag was passed to Sydney

Michael Knight, New South Wales Minister for the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, was handed the IPC flag at the closing ceremony of the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games, symbolising the transfer of the Games from one host city to the next.

Transport wasn’t quite as smooth as it had been at other Games

Unlike previous Games, which had ramps and an efficient system of buses for transporting athletes and team staff between the Games Village and competition venues, the approach at the 1996 summer Paralympics was less organised. As with the Olympics, participants reported drivers that didn’t seem to know where they were going and long delays.

Ron Finneran on the assurance that got Australia’s bid over the line.

Interviewer: Mick Fogarty
Interviewee: Ron Finneran
Publisher: National Library of Australia
Recorded: 5 July 2011
Location: Merimbula, NSW
Listen to the full interview here.

The final pitch for Paralympics was two weeks before the Olympic decision

On 12 September 1993, the bidding cities for the 2000 summer Paralympics made their final presentations to the International Paralympic Committee in Berlin. Australia’s bid had been undertaken by the Australian Paralympic Federation and it was represented in Berlin by this team: (L to R) Paul Griffiths, George Dunstan, Adrienne Smith, Bob Elphinston, Marie Little, Brendan Burkett (back), Ron Finneran, Unknown, Paul Bird, Anne Green. Elphinston represented the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games bid and his statement on the day of the presentation that the Games would be underwritten by the New South Wales and Australian governments was crucial to the selection of Sydney as the host of the 2000 summer Paralympics.

The “Community of Madrid” was ready for the Games to begin

The Community of Madrid hosted the 1992 “Paralympic Games for Persons with Mental Handicap” with the same passion and passion that Barcelona had shown for the first part of the 1992 summer Paralympics. The opening ceremony was – unusually – held in an indoor stadium

GALLERY: “The flame that lit the world … is now slowly burning out.”

Scenes from the Closing Ceremony of the 1988 Seoul Paralympic Games.

Organisation and coordination was a strong feature of the Seoul Games

Spectators, wearing folded paper hats provided by a sponsor, enjoy the archery at the 1988 Seoul Summer Paralympics.

The Acropolis was made accessible to welcome Paralympic visitors

In preparation for hosting the 2004 summer Paralympics, the Greek Government undertook a number of initiatives to make Athens more ‘disability friendly’. The new metro lines and stations were modern and accessible and there were some changes to the Athens streetscape. Possibly the most notable change was the addition of an inclinator and elevator on the side of the Acropolis to take people to the top of this ancient hill so that those with mobility impairments could experience the Parthenon and other sites.

“Ma fissika” – the familiar words in the lead-up to the Games

There was widespread anticipation that Athens would host the 1996 Olympic and Paralympic Games to mark the centenary of the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896. However, those Games were won by Atlanta and then the ‘millenium Games’ went to Sydney in 2000. So when Athens won the 2004 Games it was something of an anticlimax but the organisers had a point to prove and set out to make the Games special. Australian officials visited Athens on site visits in 2002 (Chef de Mission Paul Bird and Sport Manager Tony Naar) and March 2004 (APC CEO Darren Peters, Director of Operations Jason Hellwig and Team Coordinator Kylie Elliott). In those visits, it seemed that the organising committee would be struggling to be ready in time. However, the standard response to any questions about the organisers’ readiness was “ma fissika” – “but of course”. Even the Greeks admitted that the national approach was that things would work out on the day. While this could be frustrating in advance, during the Games it would mean that there was flexibility to ‘bend the rules’ when necessary to achieve outcomes.

The flag was passed to Sydney

Michael Knight, New South Wales Minister for the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, was handed the IPC flag at the closing ceremony of the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games, symbolising the transfer of the Games from one host city to the next.

Transport wasn’t quite as smooth as it had been at other Games

Unlike previous Games, which had ramps and an efficient system of buses for transporting athletes and team staff between the Games Village and competition venues, the approach at the 1996 summer Paralympics was less organised. As with the Olympics, participants reported drivers that didn’t seem to know where they were going and long delays.

Ron Finneran on the assurance that got Australia’s bid over the line.

Interviewer: Mick Fogarty
Interviewee: Ron Finneran
Publisher: National Library of Australia
Recorded: 5 July 2011
Location: Merimbula, NSW
Listen to the full interview here.

The final pitch for Paralympics was two weeks before the Olympic decision

On 12 September 1993, the bidding cities for the 2000 summer Paralympics made their final presentations to the International Paralympic Committee in Berlin. Australia’s bid had been undertaken by the Australian Paralympic Federation and it was represented in Berlin by this team: (L to R) Paul Griffiths, George Dunstan, Adrienne Smith, Bob Elphinston, Marie Little, Brendan Burkett (back), Ron Finneran, Unknown, Paul Bird, Anne Green. Elphinston represented the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games bid and his statement on the day of the presentation that the Games would be underwritten by the New South Wales and Australian governments was crucial to the selection of Sydney as the host of the 2000 summer Paralympics.

The “Community of Madrid” was ready for the Games to begin

The Community of Madrid hosted the 1992 “Paralympic Games for Persons with Mental Handicap” with the same passion and passion that Barcelona had shown for the first part of the 1992 summer Paralympics. The opening ceremony was – unusually – held in an indoor stadium

GALLERY: “The flame that lit the world … is now slowly burning out.”

Scenes from the Closing Ceremony of the 1988 Seoul Paralympic Games.

Organisation and coordination was a strong feature of the Seoul Games

Spectators, wearing folded paper hats provided by a sponsor, enjoy the archery at the 1988 Seoul Summer Paralympics.

The Acropolis was made accessible to welcome Paralympic visitors

In preparation for hosting the 2004 summer Paralympics, the Greek Government undertook a number of initiatives to make Athens more ‘disability friendly’. The new metro lines and stations were modern and accessible and there were some changes to the Athens streetscape. Possibly the most notable change was the addition of an inclinator and elevator on the side of the Acropolis to take people to the top of this ancient hill so that those with mobility impairments could experience the Parthenon and other sites.

“Ma fissika” – the familiar words in the lead-up to the Games

There was widespread anticipation that Athens would host the 1996 Olympic and Paralympic Games to mark the centenary of the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896. However, those Games were won by Atlanta and then the ‘millenium Games’ went to Sydney in 2000. So when Athens won the 2004 Games it was something of an anticlimax but the organisers had a point to prove and set out to make the Games special. Australian officials visited Athens on site visits in 2002 (Chef de Mission Paul Bird and Sport Manager Tony Naar) and March 2004 (APC CEO Darren Peters, Director of Operations Jason Hellwig and Team Coordinator Kylie Elliott). In those visits, it seemed that the organising committee would be struggling to be ready in time. However, the standard response to any questions about the organisers’ readiness was “ma fissika” – “but of course”. Even the Greeks admitted that the national approach was that things would work out on the day. While this could be frustrating in advance, during the Games it would mean that there was flexibility to ‘bend the rules’ when necessary to achieve outcomes.

The flag was passed to Sydney

Michael Knight, New South Wales Minister for the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, was handed the IPC flag at the closing ceremony of the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games, symbolising the transfer of the Games from one host city to the next.

Transport wasn’t quite as smooth as it had been at other Games

Unlike previous Games, which had ramps and an efficient system of buses for transporting athletes and team staff between the Games Village and competition venues, the approach at the 1996 summer Paralympics was less organised. As with the Olympics, participants reported drivers that didn’t seem to know where they were going and long delays.

Ron Finneran on the assurance that got Australia’s bid over the line.

Interviewer: Mick Fogarty
Interviewee: Ron Finneran
Publisher: National Library of Australia
Recorded: 5 July 2011
Location: Merimbula, NSW
Listen to the full interview here.

The final pitch for Paralympics was two weeks before the Olympic decision

On 12 September 1993, the bidding cities for the 2000 summer Paralympics made their final presentations to the International Paralympic Committee in Berlin. Australia’s bid had been undertaken by the Australian Paralympic Federation and it was represented in Berlin by this team: (L to R) Paul Griffiths, George Dunstan, Adrienne Smith, Bob Elphinston, Marie Little, Brendan Burkett (back), Ron Finneran, Unknown, Paul Bird, Anne Green. Elphinston represented the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games bid and his statement on the day of the presentation that the Games would be underwritten by the New South Wales and Australian governments was crucial to the selection of Sydney as the host of the 2000 summer Paralympics.

The “Community of Madrid” was ready for the Games to begin

The Community of Madrid hosted the 1992 “Paralympic Games for Persons with Mental Handicap” with the same passion and passion that Barcelona had shown for the first part of the 1992 summer Paralympics. The opening ceremony was – unusually – held in an indoor stadium

GALLERY: “The flame that lit the world … is now slowly burning out.”

Scenes from the Closing Ceremony of the 1988 Seoul Paralympic Games.

Organisation and coordination was a strong feature of the Seoul Games

Spectators, wearing folded paper hats provided by a sponsor, enjoy the archery at the 1988 Seoul Summer Paralympics.

The Acropolis was made accessible to welcome Paralympic visitors

In preparation for hosting the 2004 summer Paralympics, the Greek Government undertook a number of initiatives to make Athens more ‘disability friendly’. The new metro lines and stations were modern and accessible and there were some changes to the Athens streetscape. Possibly the most notable change was the addition of an inclinator and elevator on the side of the Acropolis to take people to the top of this ancient hill so that those with mobility impairments could experience the Parthenon and other sites.

“Ma fissika” – the familiar words in the lead-up to the Games

There was widespread anticipation that Athens would host the 1996 Olympic and Paralympic Games to mark the centenary of the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896. However, those Games were won by Atlanta and then the ‘millenium Games’ went to Sydney in 2000. So when Athens won the 2004 Games it was something of an anticlimax but the organisers had a point to prove and set out to make the Games special. Australian officials visited Athens on site visits in 2002 (Chef de Mission Paul Bird and Sport Manager Tony Naar) and March 2004 (APC CEO Darren Peters, Director of Operations Jason Hellwig and Team Coordinator Kylie Elliott). In those visits, it seemed that the organising committee would be struggling to be ready in time. However, the standard response to any questions about the organisers’ readiness was “ma fissika” – “but of course”. Even the Greeks admitted that the national approach was that things would work out on the day. While this could be frustrating in advance, during the Games it would mean that there was flexibility to ‘bend the rules’ when necessary to achieve outcomes.

The flag was passed to Sydney

Michael Knight, New South Wales Minister for the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, was handed the IPC flag at the closing ceremony of the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games, symbolising the transfer of the Games from one host city to the next.

Transport wasn’t quite as smooth as it had been at other Games

Unlike previous Games, which had ramps and an efficient system of buses for transporting athletes and team staff between the Games Village and competition venues, the approach at the 1996 summer Paralympics was less organised. As with the Olympics, participants reported drivers that didn’t seem to know where they were going and long delays.

Ron Finneran on the assurance that got Australia’s bid over the line.

Interviewer: Mick Fogarty
Interviewee: Ron Finneran
Publisher: National Library of Australia
Recorded: 5 July 2011
Location: Merimbula, NSW
Listen to the full interview here.

The final pitch for Paralympics was two weeks before the Olympic decision

On 12 September 1993, the bidding cities for the 2000 summer Paralympics made their final presentations to the International Paralympic Committee in Berlin. Australia’s bid had been undertaken by the Australian Paralympic Federation and it was represented in Berlin by this team: (L to R) Paul Griffiths, George Dunstan, Adrienne Smith, Bob Elphinston, Marie Little, Brendan Burkett (back), Ron Finneran, Unknown, Paul Bird, Anne Green. Elphinston represented the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games bid and his statement on the day of the presentation that the Games would be underwritten by the New South Wales and Australian governments was crucial to the selection of Sydney as the host of the 2000 summer Paralympics.

The “Community of Madrid” was ready for the Games to begin

The Community of Madrid hosted the 1992 “Paralympic Games for Persons with Mental Handicap” with the same passion and passion that Barcelona had shown for the first part of the 1992 summer Paralympics. The opening ceremony was – unusually – held in an indoor stadium

GALLERY: “The flame that lit the world … is now slowly burning out.”

Scenes from the Closing Ceremony of the 1988 Seoul Paralympic Games.

Organisation and coordination was a strong feature of the Seoul Games

Spectators, wearing folded paper hats provided by a sponsor, enjoy the archery at the 1988 Seoul Summer Paralympics.

The Acropolis was made accessible to welcome Paralympic visitors

In preparation for hosting the 2004 summer Paralympics, the Greek Government undertook a number of initiatives to make Athens more ‘disability friendly’. The new metro lines and stations were modern and accessible and there were some changes to the Athens streetscape. Possibly the most notable change was the addition of an inclinator and elevator on the side of the Acropolis to take people to the top of this ancient hill so that those with mobility impairments could experience the Parthenon and other sites.

“Ma fissika” – the familiar words in the lead-up to the Games

There was widespread anticipation that Athens would host the 1996 Olympic and Paralympic Games to mark the centenary of the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896. However, those Games were won by Atlanta and then the ‘millenium Games’ went to Sydney in 2000. So when Athens won the 2004 Games it was something of an anticlimax but the organisers had a point to prove and set out to make the Games special. Australian officials visited Athens on site visits in 2002 (Chef de Mission Paul Bird and Sport Manager Tony Naar) and March 2004 (APC CEO Darren Peters, Director of Operations Jason Hellwig and Team Coordinator Kylie Elliott). In those visits, it seemed that the organising committee would be struggling to be ready in time. However, the standard response to any questions about the organisers’ readiness was “ma fissika” – “but of course”. Even the Greeks admitted that the national approach was that things would work out on the day. While this could be frustrating in advance, during the Games it would mean that there was flexibility to ‘bend the rules’ when necessary to achieve outcomes.

The flag was passed to Sydney

Michael Knight, New South Wales Minister for the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, was handed the IPC flag at the closing ceremony of the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games, symbolising the transfer of the Games from one host city to the next.

Transport wasn’t quite as smooth as it had been at other Games

Unlike previous Games, which had ramps and an efficient system of buses for transporting athletes and team staff between the Games Village and competition venues, the approach at the 1996 summer Paralympics was less organised. As with the Olympics, participants reported drivers that didn’t seem to know where they were going and long delays.

Ron Finneran on the assurance that got Australia’s bid over the line.

Interviewer: Mick Fogarty
Interviewee: Ron Finneran
Publisher: National Library of Australia
Recorded: 5 July 2011
Location: Merimbula, NSW
Listen to the full interview here.

The final pitch for Paralympics was two weeks before the Olympic decision

On 12 September 1993, the bidding cities for the 2000 summer Paralympics made their final presentations to the International Paralympic Committee in Berlin. Australia’s bid had been undertaken by the Australian Paralympic Federation and it was represented in Berlin by this team: (L to R) Paul Griffiths, George Dunstan, Adrienne Smith, Bob Elphinston, Marie Little, Brendan Burkett (back), Ron Finneran, Unknown, Paul Bird, Anne Green. Elphinston represented the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games bid and his statement on the day of the presentation that the Games would be underwritten by the New South Wales and Australian governments was crucial to the selection of Sydney as the host of the 2000 summer Paralympics.

The “Community of Madrid” was ready for the Games to begin

The Community of Madrid hosted the 1992 “Paralympic Games for Persons with Mental Handicap” with the same passion and passion that Barcelona had shown for the first part of the 1992 summer Paralympics. The opening ceremony was – unusually – held in an indoor stadium

GALLERY: “The flame that lit the world … is now slowly burning out.”

Scenes from the Closing Ceremony of the 1988 Seoul Paralympic Games.

Organisation and coordination was a strong feature of the Seoul Games

Spectators, wearing folded paper hats provided by a sponsor, enjoy the archery at the 1988 Seoul Summer Paralympics.

The Acropolis was made accessible to welcome Paralympic visitors

In preparation for hosting the 2004 summer Paralympics, the Greek Government undertook a number of initiatives to make Athens more ‘disability friendly’. The new metro lines and stations were modern and accessible and there were some changes to the Athens streetscape. Possibly the most notable change was the addition of an inclinator and elevator on the side of the Acropolis to take people to the top of this ancient hill so that those with mobility impairments could experience the Parthenon and other sites.

“Ma fissika” – the familiar words in the lead-up to the Games

There was widespread anticipation that Athens would host the 1996 Olympic and Paralympic Games to mark the centenary of the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896. However, those Games were won by Atlanta and then the ‘millenium Games’ went to Sydney in 2000. So when Athens won the 2004 Games it was something of an anticlimax but the organisers had a point to prove and set out to make the Games special. Australian officials visited Athens on site visits in 2002 (Chef de Mission Paul Bird and Sport Manager Tony Naar) and March 2004 (APC CEO Darren Peters, Director of Operations Jason Hellwig and Team Coordinator Kylie Elliott). In those visits, it seemed that the organising committee would be struggling to be ready in time. However, the standard response to any questions about the organisers’ readiness was “ma fissika” – “but of course”. Even the Greeks admitted that the national approach was that things would work out on the day. While this could be frustrating in advance, during the Games it would mean that there was flexibility to ‘bend the rules’ when necessary to achieve outcomes.

The flag was passed to Sydney

Michael Knight, New South Wales Minister for the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, was handed the IPC flag at the closing ceremony of the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games, symbolising the transfer of the Games from one host city to the next.

Transport wasn’t quite as smooth as it had been at other Games

Unlike previous Games, which had ramps and an efficient system of buses for transporting athletes and team staff between the Games Village and competition venues, the approach at the 1996 summer Paralympics was less organised. As with the Olympics, participants reported drivers that didn’t seem to know where they were going and long delays.

Ron Finneran on the assurance that got Australia’s bid over the line.

Interviewer: Mick Fogarty
Interviewee: Ron Finneran
Publisher: National Library of Australia
Recorded: 5 July 2011
Location: Merimbula, NSW
Listen to the full interview here.

The final pitch for Paralympics was two weeks before the Olympic decision

On 12 September 1993, the bidding cities for the 2000 summer Paralympics made their final presentations to the International Paralympic Committee in Berlin. Australia’s bid had been undertaken by the Australian Paralympic Federation and it was represented in Berlin by this team: (L to R) Paul Griffiths, George Dunstan, Adrienne Smith, Bob Elphinston, Marie Little, Brendan Burkett (back), Ron Finneran, Unknown, Paul Bird, Anne Green. Elphinston represented the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games bid and his statement on the day of the presentation that the Games would be underwritten by the New South Wales and Australian governments was crucial to the selection of Sydney as the host of the 2000 summer Paralympics.

The “Community of Madrid” was ready for the Games to begin

The Community of Madrid hosted the 1992 “Paralympic Games for Persons with Mental Handicap” with the same passion and passion that Barcelona had shown for the first part of the 1992 summer Paralympics. The opening ceremony was – unusually – held in an indoor stadium

GALLERY: “The flame that lit the world … is now slowly burning out.”

Scenes from the Closing Ceremony of the 1988 Seoul Paralympic Games.

Organisation and coordination was a strong feature of the Seoul Games

Spectators, wearing folded paper hats provided by a sponsor, enjoy the archery at the 1988 Seoul Summer Paralympics.

The Acropolis was made accessible to welcome Paralympic visitors

In preparation for hosting the 2004 summer Paralympics, the Greek Government undertook a number of initiatives to make Athens more ‘disability friendly’. The new metro lines and stations were modern and accessible and there were some changes to the Athens streetscape. Possibly the most notable change was the addition of an inclinator and elevator on the side of the Acropolis to take people to the top of this ancient hill so that those with mobility impairments could experience the Parthenon and other sites.

“Ma fissika” – the familiar words in the lead-up to the Games

There was widespread anticipation that Athens would host the 1996 Olympic and Paralympic Games to mark the centenary of the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896. However, those Games were won by Atlanta and then the ‘millenium Games’ went to Sydney in 2000. So when Athens won the 2004 Games it was something of an anticlimax but the organisers had a point to prove and set out to make the Games special. Australian officials visited Athens on site visits in 2002 (Chef de Mission Paul Bird and Sport Manager Tony Naar) and March 2004 (APC CEO Darren Peters, Director of Operations Jason Hellwig and Team Coordinator Kylie Elliott). In those visits, it seemed that the organising committee would be struggling to be ready in time. However, the standard response to any questions about the organisers’ readiness was “ma fissika” – “but of course”. Even the Greeks admitted that the national approach was that things would work out on the day. While this could be frustrating in advance, during the Games it would mean that there was flexibility to ‘bend the rules’ when necessary to achieve outcomes.

The flag was passed to Sydney

Michael Knight, New South Wales Minister for the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, was handed the IPC flag at the closing ceremony of the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games, symbolising the transfer of the Games from one host city to the next.

Transport wasn’t quite as smooth as it had been at other Games

Unlike previous Games, which had ramps and an efficient system of buses for transporting athletes and team staff between the Games Village and competition venues, the approach at the 1996 summer Paralympics was less organised. As with the Olympics, participants reported drivers that didn’t seem to know where they were going and long delays.

Ron Finneran on the assurance that got Australia’s bid over the line.

Interviewer: Mick Fogarty
Interviewee: Ron Finneran
Publisher: National Library of Australia
Recorded: 5 July 2011
Location: Merimbula, NSW
Listen to the full interview here.

The final pitch for Paralympics was two weeks before the Olympic decision

On 12 September 1993, the bidding cities for the 2000 summer Paralympics made their final presentations to the International Paralympic Committee in Berlin. Australia’s bid had been undertaken by the Australian Paralympic Federation and it was represented in Berlin by this team: (L to R) Paul Griffiths, George Dunstan, Adrienne Smith, Bob Elphinston, Marie Little, Brendan Burkett (back), Ron Finneran, Unknown, Paul Bird, Anne Green. Elphinston represented the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games bid and his statement on the day of the presentation that the Games would be underwritten by the New South Wales and Australian governments was crucial to the selection of Sydney as the host of the 2000 summer Paralympics.

The “Community of Madrid” was ready for the Games to begin

The Community of Madrid hosted the 1992 “Paralympic Games for Persons with Mental Handicap” with the same passion and passion that Barcelona had shown for the first part of the 1992 summer Paralympics. The opening ceremony was – unusually – held in an indoor stadium

GALLERY: “The flame that lit the world … is now slowly burning out.”

Scenes from the Closing Ceremony of the 1988 Seoul Paralympic Games.

Organisation and coordination was a strong feature of the Seoul Games

Spectators, wearing folded paper hats provided by a sponsor, enjoy the archery at the 1988 Seoul Summer Paralympics.

The Acropolis was made accessible to welcome Paralympic visitors

In preparation for hosting the 2004 summer Paralympics, the Greek Government undertook a number of initiatives to make Athens more ‘disability friendly’. The new metro lines and stations were modern and accessible and there were some changes to the Athens streetscape. Possibly the most notable change was the addition of an inclinator and elevator on the side of the Acropolis to take people to the top of this ancient hill so that those with mobility impairments could experience the Parthenon and other sites.

“Ma fissika” – the familiar words in the lead-up to the Games

There was widespread anticipation that Athens would host the 1996 Olympic and Paralympic Games to mark the centenary of the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896. However, those Games were won by Atlanta and then the ‘millenium Games’ went to Sydney in 2000. So when Athens won the 2004 Games it was something of an anticlimax but the organisers had a point to prove and set out to make the Games special. Australian officials visited Athens on site visits in 2002 (Chef de Mission Paul Bird and Sport Manager Tony Naar) and March 2004 (APC CEO Darren Peters, Director of Operations Jason Hellwig and Team Coordinator Kylie Elliott). In those visits, it seemed that the organising committee would be struggling to be ready in time. However, the standard response to any questions about the organisers’ readiness was “ma fissika” – “but of course”. Even the Greeks admitted that the national approach was that things would work out on the day. While this could be frustrating in advance, during the Games it would mean that there was flexibility to ‘bend the rules’ when necessary to achieve outcomes.

The flag was passed to Sydney

Michael Knight, New South Wales Minister for the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, was handed the IPC flag at the closing ceremony of the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games, symbolising the transfer of the Games from one host city to the next.

Transport wasn’t quite as smooth as it had been at other Games

Unlike previous Games, which had ramps and an efficient system of buses for transporting athletes and team staff between the Games Village and competition venues, the approach at the 1996 summer Paralympics was less organised. As with the Olympics, participants reported drivers that didn’t seem to know where they were going and long delays.

Ron Finneran on the assurance that got Australia’s bid over the line.

Interviewer: Mick Fogarty
Interviewee: Ron Finneran
Publisher: National Library of Australia
Recorded: 5 July 2011
Location: Merimbula, NSW
Listen to the full interview here.

The final pitch for Paralympics was two weeks before the Olympic decision

On 12 September 1993, the bidding cities for the 2000 summer Paralympics made their final presentations to the International Paralympic Committee in Berlin. Australia’s bid had been undertaken by the Australian Paralympic Federation and it was represented in Berlin by this team: (L to R) Paul Griffiths, George Dunstan, Adrienne Smith, Bob Elphinston, Marie Little, Brendan Burkett (back), Ron Finneran, Unknown, Paul Bird, Anne Green. Elphinston represented the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games bid and his statement on the day of the presentation that the Games would be underwritten by the New South Wales and Australian governments was crucial to the selection of Sydney as the host of the 2000 summer Paralympics.

The “Community of Madrid” was ready for the Games to begin

The Community of Madrid hosted the 1992 “Paralympic Games for Persons with Mental Handicap” with the same passion and passion that Barcelona had shown for the first part of the 1992 summer Paralympics. The opening ceremony was – unusually – held in an indoor stadium

GALLERY: “The flame that lit the world … is now slowly burning out.”

Scenes from the Closing Ceremony of the 1988 Seoul Paralympic Games.

Organisation and coordination was a strong feature of the Seoul Games

Spectators, wearing folded paper hats provided by a sponsor, enjoy the archery at the 1988 Seoul Summer Paralympics.

The Acropolis was made accessible to welcome Paralympic visitors

In preparation for hosting the 2004 summer Paralympics, the Greek Government undertook a number of initiatives to make Athens more ‘disability friendly’. The new metro lines and stations were modern and accessible and there were some changes to the Athens streetscape. Possibly the most notable change was the addition of an inclinator and elevator on the side of the Acropolis to take people to the top of this ancient hill so that those with mobility impairments could experience the Parthenon and other sites.

“Ma fissika” – the familiar words in the lead-up to the Games

There was widespread anticipation that Athens would host the 1996 Olympic and Paralympic Games to mark the centenary of the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896. However, those Games were won by Atlanta and then the ‘millenium Games’ went to Sydney in 2000. So when Athens won the 2004 Games it was something of an anticlimax but the organisers had a point to prove and set out to make the Games special. Australian officials visited Athens on site visits in 2002 (Chef de Mission Paul Bird and Sport Manager Tony Naar) and March 2004 (APC CEO Darren Peters, Director of Operations Jason Hellwig and Team Coordinator Kylie Elliott). In those visits, it seemed that the organising committee would be struggling to be ready in time. However, the standard response to any questions about the organisers’ readiness was “ma fissika” – “but of course”. Even the Greeks admitted that the national approach was that things would work out on the day. While this could be frustrating in advance, during the Games it would mean that there was flexibility to ‘bend the rules’ when necessary to achieve outcomes.

The flag was passed to Sydney

Michael Knight, New South Wales Minister for the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, was handed the IPC flag at the closing ceremony of the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games, symbolising the transfer of the Games from one host city to the next.

Transport wasn’t quite as smooth as it had been at other Games

Unlike previous Games, which had ramps and an efficient system of buses for transporting athletes and team staff between the Games Village and competition venues, the approach at the 1996 summer Paralympics was less organised. As with the Olympics, participants reported drivers that didn’t seem to know where they were going and long delays.

Ron Finneran on the assurance that got Australia’s bid over the line.

Interviewer: Mick Fogarty
Interviewee: Ron Finneran
Publisher: National Library of Australia
Recorded: 5 July 2011
Location: Merimbula, NSW
Listen to the full interview here.

The final pitch for Paralympics was two weeks before the Olympic decision

On 12 September 1993, the bidding cities for the 2000 summer Paralympics made their final presentations to the International Paralympic Committee in Berlin. Australia’s bid had been undertaken by the Australian Paralympic Federation and it was represented in Berlin by this team: (L to R) Paul Griffiths, George Dunstan, Adrienne Smith, Bob Elphinston, Marie Little, Brendan Burkett (back), Ron Finneran, Unknown, Paul Bird, Anne Green. Elphinston represented the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games bid and his statement on the day of the presentation that the Games would be underwritten by the New South Wales and Australian governments was crucial to the selection of Sydney as the host of the 2000 summer Paralympics.

The “Community of Madrid” was ready for the Games to begin

The Community of Madrid hosted the 1992 “Paralympic Games for Persons with Mental Handicap” with the same passion and passion that Barcelona had shown for the first part of the 1992 summer Paralympics. The opening ceremony was – unusually – held in an indoor stadium