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24 Sep 2008
IOC News , Beijing 2008

Agora - Beijing 2008, the Review

An exciting Agora was held on Tuesday evening at the Olympic Museum, entitled Beijing 2008 – the Review. The aim of the evening: to assess the positive aspects and the lessons learnt from these Games of the XXIX Olympiad in Beijing, and to address, among other things, the theme of the limits of sporting exploits, since there were so many world records set in various sports.
Top speakers
Alongside the two presenters, Jean-Philippe Rapp and Jean-François Develey, there were a number of top speakers: Jacques Rogge, IOC President, and Gilbert Felli, IOC Olympic Games Executive Director; Stanislas Wawrinka, Olympic doubles champion alongside Roger Federer; Anne-Caroline Chausson, Olympic BMX champion; Sergei Aschwanden, judo bronze medallist; Fabien Ohl, UNIL social sciences professor; and Pierre-Étienne Bourban, the EPFL’s Deputy Vice-President and material sciences professor.
Successful Games
How did the IOC President feel about these Games? Without claiming that they were the best Games ever organised (!), Jacques Rogge spoke about the Opening Ceremony’s three billion spectators, the perfect organisation, the exceptional architecture of the venues, the Olympic Village that the athletes themselves said was the best ever, the 41 world records set, etc. In short, an exceptional adventure, as confirmed by the three Olympic medallists on the stage.
OG legacy
The legacy of the Games was then addressed, with President Rogge underlining that the venues would serve some 100,000 students from local universities on a daily basis. Without forgetting a new airport, ring roads, new metro lines, the creation of two million jobs and almost 400 million children initiated into the Olympic values.
Doping and security
Also discussed was the progress made in the fight against doping, with prevention and detection methods becoming increasingly efficient. There were fewer than 10 medals withdrawn during the Games, as numerous athletes had tested positive beforehand and were therefore not allowed to compete in Beijing. The problem of security was also addressed. Recalling the Munich and Atlanta attacks, as well as the many heads of state present in the Chinese capital, Jacques Rogge said that there could never be too many security measures. Sergei Aschwanden thought that security was no tighter than in Sydney and Athens!
New technology
The final subject was new technology (new swimming pools, equipment, wetsuits and shoes, etc.) Prof. Bourdan opined that this progress was nothing new, and was likely to develop further. It certainly improved athletes’ performances, as well as their wellbeing and safety.

This Olympic Agora will be broadcast on TSR2 on Monday 20 October at 8.15 p.m.
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