Postcard from Athens

Athens 2004 Olympics

August 28, 2004|By CANDUS THOMSON

The ladies of the night are getting restless.

Coming into these Summer Games with visions of prosperity dancing in their heads, the city's 700 licensed red-light district workers have gotten just that, the red light. Unlike Sydney in 2000, where 10,000 prostitutes reportedly worked overtime and 1,000 others rushed to Australia for big paydays, there has been no surge in demand here.

Has Athens outsourced its sex trade to visiting freelancers, who don't get required health checkups and pay for insurance? The head of the prostitutes union isn't sure. But Dimitra Kanellopoulou has another looming worry: a government crackdown on legal brothels after the Olympic caldron is extinguished.

"We believe that this work is only for adults who freely choose to do this line of work," she told the Athens News. "This profession is even older than the Olympics."

And, given the doping scandals, maybe cleaner, too.

What's ahead today

In the men's 5,000 meters, world-record holder Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia tries to become the seventh person to sweep the 5K and 10K, while Morocco's Hicham El Guerrouj will be trying to become just the second to win the 1,500 and 5K.

The American women's basketball team seeks a gold medal in the final against Australia.

The U.S. men can still win a medal in basketball, but it can only be bronze.

The men's soccer title comes down to Argentina and Paraguay.

Today's TV schedule

NBC

Noon--6 p.m.: men's basketball*, women's volleyball*, wrestling, canoeing 8 p.m.--midnight: track and field, diving, wrestling, canoeing CNBC

3 a.m.--5 p.m.: men's soccer*, men's basketball*, women's basketball*, gymnastics, women's volleyball*, wrestling, men's handball, women's handball*, sailing, taekwondo USA

9 a.m.--noon: women's basketball* MSNBC

Noon--5 p.m.: boxing*, men's soccer Telemundo

Noon--8 p.m.: boxing*, men's basketball, men's soccer

Tomorrow's early TV schedule

NBC

12:30 a.m.--2 a.m.: cycling 2 a.m.--6 a.m.: prime time replay CNBC

3 a.m.--noon: wrestling, men's volleyball*, water polo*, team handball*, taekwondo* Telemundo

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

*-indicates live coverage. Note: NBC carried by WBAL/Channel 11 and WRC/Channel 4.

On baltimoresun.com

For breaking news and results from the Summer Games, go to baltimoresun.com/olympics

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