Beijing 2008: On track with bid assurances materialising
The IOC’s Coordination Commission for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad – Beijing 2008 today concluded its seventh visit to Beijing since the Chinese capital was awarded the Olympic Games in 2001. The meetings between the IOC Commission and the Organising Committee (BOCOG) indicated that the assurances made during the bidding phase are taking shape, and that organisers are beginning to integrate their operations in order to deliver the service levels needed to make the Games experience a success for all stakeholder groups – from athletes to spectators to media.
Commenting on the week’s works, Commission Chairman Hein Verbruggen said, “It is reassuring to see that each time that we return to Beijing, the 2008 project continues to advance at the right pace. We are now just under two years away from the Olympic Games in Beijing, and it is important that this rhythm continues so that on 8 August 2008 Beijing is ready to welcome the world. Particularly significant from our work this week is to see that assurances made during the bidding phase are becoming a reality. This is no small achievement given that the economic landscape of this city and country is changing so remarkably, resulting in a challenging backdrop against which the journey to Games time is progressing.”
The meetings, which took place over three days, included venue tours that allowed the Commission members to get a first-hand look at the development of the university venues, where sports such as judo, wrestling, taekwondo, badminton, table tennis and rhythmic gymnastics will take place, as well as the rowing and triathlon venues. The Commission was joined by IOC President Jacques Rogge, who was able to see Beijing’s progress for himself when he visited the Olympic Green site. Rogge also met with Prime Minister Wen Jiabao for a productive discussion on a wide range of Games-related matters.
Continuing his appraisal, Verbruggen said, “The next phase is critical for BOCOG. Their Games are now truly becoming something on the radar of the global community, a fact that brings challenges and opportunities. The test will be how these are met. The cultural interchange which we have no doubt will take place during the Olympic and Paralympic Games can begin in the coming months as the organisers respond to heightened interest in their event, and as they recruit service providers, contractors, staff and volunteers internationally.“
BOCOG President Liu Qi extended his gratitude to all members of the Coordination Commission for their support of the preparatory work for the 2008 Olympic Games. “The Chinese government has attached great importance to the preparations for the 2008 Olympic Games,” said Liu, who is also member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and secretary of CPC Beijing Municipal Committee.
Liu continued, “On 1 October, Chinese President Hu Jintao paid a special visit to Olympic venues and heard a report on the Olympic preparations. The President highly commended the achievements in the construction of the Olympic venues and the progress made so far in the Olympic preparatory work, and urged more efforts in this regard. President Hu stressed that we must honour and fulfil our commitment we solemnly made to the international community, and keep a good image of sincerity and honesty for our country. He asked BOCOG to strengthen cooperation with international organisations such as the IOC, IPC, and international sports federations.”
The IOC also announced that, as part of its zero tolerance approach to fighting doping, the number of tests will be significantly increased. Final numbers are to be confirmed, but are expected to be around 4,500, a 25 per cent increase on Athens 2004. The IOC also confirmed that the IOC Executive Board has agreed to the competition schedule for the Beijing Games. Hein Verbruggen noted that, “After a thorough consultation process, the IOC Executive Board has approved a final version of the competition schedule which sees a spread of events throughout the day, with some finals in the morning, and some in the evening. There can never be a perfect ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution which suits each and every stakeholder equally, but the IOC decision has endeavoured to find the best balance for the Olympic Movement as a whole.”
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About the IOC Coordination Commission
The IOC, as the guardian of the Olympic Games, assists and monitors the work of Organising Committees for the Olympic Games through the work of the Coordination Commission. The Commission visits the host city once a year until four years from the Games, when the visits become twice yearly until the Games are held. The Commission’s full meetings are supplemented by the regular visits of smaller IOC teams involving the Commission Chairman, selected members of the Commission and members of the IOC administration. The next full visit of the Commission to Beijing will be in the first half of next year.
About the International Olympic Committee
The International Olympic Committee (IOC), created in 1894, is a non-governmental organisation with volunteer members who represent its work around the world, and an administrative staff based in Lausanne, Switzerland. The IOC and its 203 National Olympic Committees worldwide promote the Olympic Movement, whose vision is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport. In addition to selecting the host city and coordinating the staging of the Olympic Games, the IOC and NOCs collaborate with a range of organisations and their members in the public and private sectors to place sport at the service of society. The main goal is to promote the values of Olympism, which include excellence, respect and friendship.
For more information please contact the IOC Communications Department, Tel: +41 21 621 61 11 or Robert Roxburgh, Communications Officer – Olympic Games, mobile: +41 79 216 86 31