With the backing of Greek prime minister, Costas Simitis, the Athens Organizing Committee wants to stage the shot put on Aug. 19 beside the original temples of Zeus and Hera and the altar where the Olympic flame is lighted, where the first Olympic event took place nearly 3,000 years ago.
The idea has been endorsed by the International Association of Athletics Federations and awaits approval this week by the International Olympic Committee on Thursday. Rejecting the concerns raised by Greek archeologists, Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos said there is no risk of damage to the antiquities and that having the shot put there would be sensational.
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