What is most noticeable about the Pre-Olympic this year is the presence of social science and humanities research. There are a lot of papers discussing the law and philosophy of sport, which were not quite so present in Brisbane 2000. However, Brisbane was an important stage towards this presence and the role of John Nauright in 2000, who was able to put a lot of social science on the programme, was greatly appreciated. It is encouraging that some of the sport science congresses are now opening up to the less hard sciences. The ECSS meeting is also a good indication of this and its numbers are also quite staggering – around 1800 in 2003.
In the evenings we have the chance to explore a bit of the city. Thessaloniki has great food to offer, very different from the excessive touristy bias that tends to predominate in Athens most popular spots (there is not really a Plaka here, but rather plenty of little squares full of local unpretentious flavour).