Visa Olympians meeting centre

After a big breakfast with our hosts, we get to the ZPC and spend some time taking photographs at the Olympic Truce stand. We will use these for our university press release and to distribute information about the Truce more widely. We also go around the Panathenaiko stadium to take some photographs while it is empty. It is such a beautiful and memorable stadium. Later on today we will come here to see the end of the women’s marathon.

After lunch, we go to the Visa Olympians Meeting Centre to attend the International Olympic Academy Participants Association (IOAPA) reunion. It is a good chance to catch up with old ‘Olympic circle’ friends. Amongst the best surprises is seeing Thomas Kaptain, who is in excellent shape and funny as ever. We also see Kostas Georgiadis and his wife. Norbert Muller and Manfred Messing from Mainz University are also there. As is Holger Preuss from the same university with whom we have a brief chat.

We also have a chat with Evi, and a quick hello to Elisabeth Hanley who makes a speech to congratulate Laurel Iversen for her dedication to the IOAPA. We see Bob Barney, John Lucas and Cesar Torres but have no chance to say hi. We meet a UN culture and sport officer working in Kosovo who knows Ana Belen Moreno (from the Olympic Studies Centre in Barcelona). Ana Belen was working with him the year she went to Kosovo. He is an interesting person with a very interesting job. To be followed up. As always a bit of surprise as, in the end, we do not know so many people within the IOA world!

The longest time is spent with Noemi Monin from the Museum/OSC, now in charge of Summer Games Coordination – a post briefly held by Nuria Puig, who is now back at the OSC in Lausanne. She will be working on the Beijing links. We discuss our views about the Athens cultural programme. Few people knows about the ‘cultureguide’ and are often confused about the diversity of activity on offer.

We share most of the afternoon/ evening with Berta and Chris (from the Centre for Olympic Studies in Barcelona), who have had the chance to see some events through IOC support. They have collected lots of material (25kg) mainly through the Main Press Centre, where they were based. They also visited the ZPC and found it very useful and accessible.