Interaction: Does your delegation feel safe?
Myers: Good evening, and welcome to Athens, Greece for another edition of Interaction. We're here to talk about the 2004 Summer Olympics being held here this month. There are numerous issues to discuss on the field of play, but we'll be discussing those next week. For now, we'll be talking about security, transportation, and various other issues at these Games. Do the athletes feel safe? Are they playing fairly? Are they happy to be here? Are they stockpiling the free condoms or are they only taking what they need? These and other questions tonight, but first it's time for our Interaction IQ, the Initial Question. This week it comes by E-mail from Marcus in Prague, Czech Republic. He asks if Paul Hamm should be stripped of his gold medal in men's individual all around gymnastics after a scoring error was revealed. First to the associate administrator of Security Solutions of Cities, Ms Stacy Dagobert.
Dagobert: Yeah, that would be funny. You know how whenever they take medals from somebody, that guy always looks like somebody shot his puppy? That's great. They should do that.
Myers: A columnist at Sport Examiner magazine, Mr Rick Nadcliff.
Nadcliff: Absolutely not. He won the freaking thing. He was better than everybody else. It would be like taking the gold from Nadia Comaneci because she sneezed during the medal ceremony or something.
Myers: The director of the Chinese Transportation Analysis Association, Mr Liu Ming.
Liu: Yes, of course. If it had been the other way round, don't you think Hamm would have been given gold?
Myers: And the director of the Traffic Safety Commission of Athens, Ms Vasilia Kiroporodis.
Kiroporodis: What was the question?
Myers: And I'm Debbie Myers. I don't care one way or the other. Another important event this week was that guy who escaped the crowd and jumped into the diving pool in between rounds of the synchronised diving competition earlier this week. Stacy, what can be done to prevent this sort of thing?
Dagobert: One idea that has been proposed on several occasions is that of the force shield surrounding the playing area. That's mostly because of... you know how people throw stuff onto the field sometimes? It's because of that.
Myers: Rick, what would you add to that?
Nadcliff: Well, I would add something funny, if I could think of anything.
Myers: All right then. Let's move on to some more viewer questions, with several different ways for you to submit your own questions. You can see them now, and if you can't see them, well, maybe you weren't meant to send in your question at all. So let's go now to a telephone question from Chrissy in St Paul, MN, USA. Chrissy, are you there?
Chrissy in St Paul: Am I on?
Myers: Yes. What is your question?
Chrissy in St Paul: Oh, oh, oh! Oh, wow! This is so... wow! This is great! Wow! I've always wanted to be on!
Myers: Do you have a question?
Chrissy in St Paul: Yeah, I have a question. I wanted to know... oh... I was asking about the way that... oh, crap. Can I start over?
Kiroporodis: I don't know. I guess you can. I'm not sure whether you would want to, though.
Myers: All right then. Thank you for that question, Chrissy. Let's move on to another telephone question and speak with Kyros in Heraklion, Greece. Kyros, are you there?
Kyros in Heraklion: Yes. Hi.
Chrissy in St Paul: Hey! I didn't get to ask my question!
Myers: Yes you did. Shut up.
Chrissy in St Paul: But that wasn't my question! I should be able to ask my real question!
Myers: Well, that's too bad for you. Kyros, what is your question?
Kyros in Heraklion: Well, wait. Now I want Chrissy to ask her question.
Myers: She already has. It's your question now.
Kyros in Heraklion: Well, can I let her use my question?
Myers: An interesting thought there. Liu, can Kyros let Chrissy use his question?
Liu: Of course not. If it had been the other way round, don't you think the questions would be flying?
Myers: No. Let's move on now to a question received by facsimile today from Gina in Frankfurt, Germany. Gina asks how horse rider Bettina Hoy had her gold medal taken away after the fact when she did nothing wrong. Well, that's exactly what is at issue, is it not, Rick?
Nadcliff: Absolutely. I cannot understand why this should be such a big thing. You can't cross the start line twice. That's the point of having a start line. They start the clock when you cross the start line. Hence the name. It's the line where you start. I mean, anybody who argues this should be put to pasture. Just, you know, sent out to graze on a grass field or something. I just don't get it.
Myers: I see. So what would you suggest should happen to people who send in questions saying that no wrong was done?
Nadcliff: They should have their toasters catch on fire.
Myers: Liu, would you agree?
Liu: Yes, of course. If it had been the other way round, wouldn't you want your toaster to ignite?
Kiroporodis: Sorry, why am I on this programme?
Myers: Well, you're here so you can answer questions like this next one from Chet in North Bergen, NJ, USA. Chet, are you there?
Chet in North Bergen: Yeah. How ya doing.
Myers: What is your question, Chet?
Chet in North Bergen: Well, ya see, I drive a cab in New York. And now they wanna bring the Olympics to New York in 2012. So, naturally, as a cabdriver in New York, I'm highly interested in this process. My question is, how much business are the Athens cabdrivers getting during this Olympiad, and is it affected by how much they swear at their fellow cabdrivers?
Kiroporodis: Well, in fact, that's - sorry Debbie, can I just answer this question very quickly?
Myers: Yes, of course.
Kiroporodis: Thanks. You see, Athens cabdrivers consider swearing at one another an art form, just like New York cabdrivers. And Athenians consider that part of the territory, just like New Yorkers. And visitors to Athens are entertained by it even if they can't understand it, just like visitors to New York. So, if you're concerned about whether you'll still be able to succeed as a cabdriver at the New York Games, all I can say is, Δαγκώστε το λαμπρό γάιδαρο μετάλλων μου.
Dagobert: You know when people say something that you don't understand? That's what just happened there.
Myers: Yes, and that means it's time to put this edition of Interaction to bed so that we can all go to the gold medal match in women's singles tennis. Thanks to Ms Vasilia Kiroporodis, Mr Liu Ming, Mr Rick Nadcliff, and Ms Stacy Dagobert for being with us this week. Next week, we'll remain here in Athens to discuss the various sporting events at these Summer Games. Mr Rick Nadcliff will join us again, and we'll also be joined by the editor of Football on Earth magazine, the photographic coordinator at Greek Sport Daily, and a leading historian of sport in Sierra Leone. Until then, good night.
Dagobert: Hey Vasilia, what did that mean?
Kiroporodis: I don't know. I heard it on TV the other day. Some guy with a pointy head said it.
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