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Washington DC, le 27 novembre 2001 - Le président du Comité International Olympique (CIO), le Dr Jacques Rogge, a rencontré aujourd’hui le président des Etats-Unis d’Amérique, M. George W. Bush. La réunion a eu lieu dans le bureau ovale de la Maison blanche.

Les préparatifs des Jeux Olympiques d’hiver de 2002 à Salt Lake City ont été discutés. Le président Bush a réitéré l’engagement pris par l’administration américaine de soutenir pleinement les Jeux Olympiques et de prendre toutes les mesures de sécurité nécessaires. Le président Rogge a remercié le président Bush de son soutien et a rappelé le rôle important que doivent jouer les Jeux Olympiques dans le monde actuel.

Parmi les autres sujets discutés durant la réunion, citons les préparatifs des Jeux Olympiques à Athènes en 2004 et à Beijing en 2008.

Avant la réunion avec le président Bush, le président du CIO a prononcé un discours au National Press Club, dont le texte figure ci-après. Le discours et la séance de questions/réponses peuvent être écoutés sur le site suivant :

Le président du CIO rencontrera des dirigeants du Congrès demain, le 28 novembre 2001.

Prepared Text
Check Against Delivery

The Important Role of Sport in Today's World

Dr. Jacques Rogge
President, International Olympic Committee

National Press Club
Washington, D.C.
27 November 2001

Thank you for that gracious introduction. I would also like to thank the National Press Club for providing me with such a distinguished forum so I can discuss one of my favorite subjects: sport - the important role it plays in today's world and what we must do to sustain it.

Senator, Mayors, Olympic officials and athletes, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. It is great to be in Washington, DC, the capital of the United States, which has hosted so many Olympic Games and produced so many great Olympians, such as the ones we have with us today. They are the reasons the United States will always hold a special place in Olympic history.

[ SLC 2002 ]

February will add yet another chapter to the U.S.'s storied Olympic past. The 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City will open ten Fridays from now, bringing the world's elite winter sports athletes together for a celebration of humanity and athletic performance.

The IOC is fully confident Salt Lake City will provide successful Olympic Winter Games. Seven years of hard work have gone into developing the organization. Mitt Romney and the Salt Lake organizers, building on the more than $600 million provided by the IOC, have done a superb job to ensure the athletes will be well served and provided with the optimum chances to perform at their best. The venues are fantastic, and it has even started to snow.

We are also confident the Winter Games will be secure. The security and safety of the athletes and other participants is always the IOC's Number One priority. Involving the leadership of the U.S. Secret Service and the participation of other relevant agencies, including the U.S. military, security planning for the Winter Games has been underway for several years. This is why we were not surprised to find, after a post-September 11 review, that sufficient security strategies and planning were already in place. However, the tragedies of that day have made us adjust to the new realities the world now faces.

We have added more resources and personnel in certain areas to tighten what was already a very secure perimeter.

We remain confident because the u.s. Government has recently reconfirmed its commitment to provide for the security of the Games and has allocated $40 million over the $200 million it had already promised. This is in addition to the $35 million granted by the State of Utah and the $35 million included in the organizing budget. This total amount is providing for the personnel and equipment needed to provide the highest level of security possible.

These extra efforts are important because the Olympic Winter Games must go on. There was never a doubt about that. These Games should be an answer to violence, not a victim of it.

On all my travels, across this country and throughout the world, everyone has been telling me the Games are needed now more than ever. The elected representatives of the athletes, the National Olympic Committees, the International Sports Federations, the members of the IOC, our sponsors, and many others have all repeated the same message: the world needs these Games. This is because the Games are more than sport; they are a celebration of humanity.

The Olympic Games provide the elite athletes of the world a stage on which to demonstrate fair play, respect for others, the balance between a strong body and mind, and, of course, the joy of taking part in a pursuit of excellence. They demonstrate a c
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