During a conversation on stage with Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, at the Aspen Ideas Festival, a question from Kitty Boone was posed about the possibility of Greece hosting the Olympics— forever, permanently.
Lagarde, surprisingly, thought it was a great idea.
Boone is the vice president of public programs at the Athens Institute and the executive responsible for managing the Aspen Ideas Festival, a week-long conference that is hosted by the Aspen Institute every summer in Aspen.
Watch the exchange here:
MS. BOONE: Okay here is my idea but I don’t know how to turn it into a question. Maybe you can say does this make sense, is it possible. The Greek economy is a disaster. The debt now is a huge question. Rio for the Olympic Games is a disaster. The IOC, the way they make decisions is really complicated. Could we please permanently install the Olympic Games in their home in Athens and give economy and tourism and strength and have one place that’s environmentally safe with quality medicines. You don’t have to build stadiums that have dust weeds right after the day and help Greece and help the world find a place in Europe that is a legitimate home for the Olympic Games. That’s my question.
MS. LAGARDE: I think it is a great out of the box idea…To the extent that it’s going to create demand which is what this economy absolutely needs it would be great. How you combine the sort of single location with the multilateral, multicountry extraordinary sort of appeal that the Olympics can have too many countries around the world is something that needs to be thought through. How you could have a good governing body that would actually supervise, make sure that there is transparency, there is accountability, there is no funny business as has occurred in the past in some places. But is a very interesting idea and you’re right. The marathon was run the first time even in Greece and the Olympic is only called the Olympic because of Mount Olympus which is actually sitting in Greece and has hosted so many fantastic athletes which was part of the healthy principles that the Greek’s very much had.