How Acropolis’s stadium stage became a training ground for Greek police

It's a great example of how the Acropolis organizers and Greek government are working together


The fastest thing around the EKO SSS Olympic Stadium stage at Acropolis Rally of Gods? Thierry Neuville. We all know that, right? He took a smidge under two minutes to cover the 1.21-mile stage.

Not bad going.

But was he really fastest? Across the last week, Greece’s emergency services might well have bested the Belgian.

In another sublime example of the co-operation between the Greek government and the organizers of the nation’s World Rally Championship round, the purpose-built stage remained in place as a training ground for the police, ambulance and fire services.

Rally director Pavlos Athanassoulas explained the thinking to DirtFish.


“This is something that came from the two government ministers,” he said. “The minister in charge of sport and the emergency services talked for five minutes and agreed this is something that would work.

“We made it happen. It’s been a fantastic opportunity for the [emergency] services to work on response driving and high-speed skills in a safe environment.

“As well as that, we’ve had the minister for education present with us, building the bond between children and the police force and other emergency services. It’s been a really valuable week for everybody. And it really shows the cross-department collaboration in government and the strength of support we are fortunate to enjoy from the government.”

Despite the stage rubbering in across the week and times tumbling, we’re confident Thierry’s benchmark remains.

Words:David Evans