Beijing, Vancouver, London And 2014
Day two of the IOC’s Executive Board (EB) meeting was mainly focused on the Olympic Games, with the selection of the candidate cities for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games (see earlier news story) and reports from the Organising Committees of Beijing 2008 (BOCOG), Vancouver 2010 (VANOC) and London 2012 (LOCOG). The Organising Committees (OCOGs) from across the globe were able to make their presentations by video conference to the EB, who from the Pierre de Coubertin meeting room in Lausanne, Switzerland, were able to speak directly to the OCOG leaders in their OCOG offices in Beijing, Vancouver and London.The EB also heard reports from different IOC departments, such as Marketing, Technology, Legal Affairs, International Cooperation and Development, the Olympic Museum, Finance & Administration, and Communications and the TV Rights and New Media Commission.
The EB heard reports given by Liu Qi, President of BOCOG, and by Gilbert Felli, the IOC’s Olympic Games Executive Director, on the state of BOCOG’s preparations. Liu Qi outlined the work that BOCOG is doing in many areas, as it starts to move from a planning phase to a more operational phase in its lifecycle. He outlined how BOCOG had named 200 Olympic model schools as part of BOCOG’s Olympic Education Programme and the work that it was doing on subjects as varied as venue construction and ticketing. The BOCOG President also iterated the upcoming events that Beijing would host this year, notably the 1st World Press Briefing, a World Broadcaster Meeting, two test events (the International Softball Federation’s XI Women’s Fast Pitch World Championship and the International Sailing Regatta in Qingdao), the 5th World Forum on Sport, Education and Culture and the 4th “Beijing 2008” Cultural Festival, which will get underway tomorrow.
Reporting on behalf of VANOC, CEO John Furlong spoke to the EB on a number of areas of Games preparations. He discussed the current progress of venue construction, the positive results that VANOC is having in sponsorship, the “Own The Podium” project that is now up and running to help Canadian athletes ahead of 2010, and of VANOC’s desire to create a memorable spectator experience. Furlong also commented on the positive experience that VANOC staff had had when they participated in the IOC’s Observer Programme during the Turin Games and how it would undoubtedly stand them in good stead as they organised the Games for 2010. He continued by talking about VANOC’s delight in hosting the official Torino 2006 debrief this July, where the Turin Games will be analysed and the lessons passed on to VANOC, BOCOG, LOCOG and the three cities in the running for 2014. IOC Coordination Commission Chairman René Fasel told the EB how impressed the Commission had been during its visit to Vancouver this month, but he reminded the EB Members that there was still a long way to go. He concluded by congratulating VANOC on its work.
The LOCOG presentation was led by LOCOG Chairman Lord Coe and LOCOG CEO Paul Deighton. They initially spoke of the interest and excitement that is surrounding the London Games, not only within LOCOG but across Great Britain as a whole. They also described to the EB members the final Master Plan of the London Olympic Park, the progression of their recruitment programme and spoke of how the master schedule that LOCOG works on with the IOC was allowing them to move smoothly through the early stages of Games preparations. IOC Coordination Commission Chairman for London 2012, Denis Oswald, reported to the EB that the Commission was happy with the pace of preparations for the London Games and was pleased with the good integration between LOCOG and the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), as well as the progress that LOCOG was making on their Olympic Park project.