I agree that Sydney did an outstanding job, and even though Mx-5 and Prissie_Lions have been major pr--cks for much of the past week, they are right in being very proud of what was accomplished. No, they weren't perfect (nothing ever is), and the too low vault wasn't detected until the third rotation (not a minor issue for the gymnasts affected), but the overall games were a tremendous success.
I am in no way comparing the Sydney games with recent games held in the U.S., because the Sydney games were their own unique and special entity, but I do want to collectively address the comments I've seen about the '84 LA and '96 Atlanta games. The LA games were a spectacular success. Despite the Eastern Bloc boycott, more countries participated than had participated in any games to that point. Blame the boycott on ex-Pres Jimmy Carter, whose misguided boycott of the '80 Moscow games only served to hurt the American athletes. The LA games were, however, a tremendous success. The Atlanta games were less so, chiefly because of the tragic bombing. There were numerous other problems, though, from a ridiculous procedure for obtaining advance tickets which extorted processing fees of $45 dollars from thousands of people who got no tickets (all "sold out"), to embarrassingly redneck opening ceremonies and overcommercialization. I'm from the south, but I was offended by the whole southern redneck tone of the games.
On the off chance that Athens loses the '04 games, LA would be an excellent back-up for the very same reasons it was so successful in '84. Everything that's needed is already there. Neo or Mirage (whichever nimrod said it's too soon for LA to be awarded another games) obviously doesn't realize that Innsbruck held the '76 winter games just 12 years after hosting the '64 games, after Denver backed out. Anything in a pinch, you could say, and if Athens crumbles, ready-made LA would be a prime candidate. I hope Athens pulls it off, though, and does a great job.
Congratulations to Sydney, however, for a spectacular job and for being the fantastic city it is. I've been to all seven continents, and if I were going to live outside the U.S., Sydney would be my first choice.
I'm not dumb. I just have a command of thoroughly useless information.