Postcard from Athens

Athens 2004

August 17, 2004|By Candus Thomson

Things aren't going well for Jim ("No last names; I'm not sure this is legal") from Wisconsin.

Jim is a ticket scalper with a fistful of his financial future flapping in the breeze. But his prime tickets for fencing and baseball go unnoticed as he stands at the top of the escalator at the Aghios Dimitrious metro station near the Helliniko Olympic Complex. "I started at face value the first day," says Jim, who has scalped tickets for 27 years at World Series, Super Bowls and Final Fours. "Today, you try to sell your tickets for half-price."

Or less. In one transaction with an American from San Francisco, Jim drops his price from 20 euros to 10 euros to 5 euros before closing the deal.

"There's not enough Americans," he says, shaking his head. "And the Greeks are afraid to buy and afraid of the police."

What's ahead today

Another major hurdle for the U.S. softball team: China, which finished fourth in 2000.

Will Martha Karolyi find the perfect blend of teenagers and older gymnasts to win the gold medal in the team competition finals?

Michael Phelps is heavily favored in the 200 butterfly, but he and the Americans will be underdogs to the Australians in the 800 freestyle relay.

Katie Hoff tries to continue her rebound in the 200 individual medley final.

Today's TV schedule

NBC

12:30 p.m.-4 p.m.: swimming, men's beach volleyball*, rowing, canoeing

8 p.m.-midnight: gymnastics, swimming, women's beach volleyball

MSNBC

2 a.m.-4 p.m.: women's soccer*, men's water polo*, softball*, men's soccer*, rowing, team handball*, men's field hockey, table tennis, shooting, baseball

Bravo

5 a.m.-noon: tennis*, equestrian, badminton

5 p.m.-8 p.m.: tennis, fencing

USA

3 p.m.-5 p.m.: men's basketball*

CNBC

5 p.m.-8 p.m.: boxing

Telemundo

1 p.m.-8 p.m.: men's soccer*, women's soccer, boxing

Tomorrow's early TV schedule

NBC

12:35 a.m.-2 a.m.: men's volleyball

2 a.m.-5 a.m.: prime time replay

MSNBC

1:30 a.m.- 7 a.m.: track and field*, men's beach volleyball*, canoeing, rowing, team handball

Bravo

Midnight-1 a.m.: sailing, judo

Telemundo

1:30 a.m.-3:30 a.m.: soccer

*-indicates live coverage.

Note: NBC carried by WBAL/Channel 11 and WRC/Channel 4.

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