Olympic Pool Roof Won’t Be Ready for Games

ATHENS, March 17. THE Athens Olympic Organizing Committee acknowledged today that it will be unable to complete the construction of a permanent roof over the swimming venue in time for this summer's Games, the Voice of America (VOA) and the Agence France Presse (AFP) reported today.

The 2004 Olympic Games are slated to begin on August 13.

In place of the roof, a temporary plastic-coated tarpaulin roof will be installed.

As a result of the problems, organizers have postponed the swimming test event planned for April until May, impacting the training and competition plans of many of the world's top swimmers. This marks the first time an Olympic test event has been postponed because a venue was not ready.

Original plans to cover the Olympic swimming pool will be modified using a temporary roof hung from four steel pylons. The roof will be open-ended to allow air flow, and competition will take place at night as was done in the 1992 Barcelona and 1996 Atlanta Games. Nightime competition will help athletes and fans cope with Greece's ennervating summer heat and humidity.

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