IOC Commission expresses renewed confidence that Athens will be ready
After three days of productive meetings in Athens, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission today confirmed its renewed confidence that the remaining venues to be completed for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games will be ready on time, and that Athens will host successful Games from 13 to 29 August. This assurance came as IOC members and officials of the Commission completed their 12th and final meeting with the Organising Committee for the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad (ATHOC) and the Greek authorities, witnessing for themselves the progress made by the organisers since the Commission’s last visit six months ago.
With fewer than 100 days to go until the Opening Ceremony, the Coordination Commission worked with ATHOC through the details of the preparations for all the organisational aspects of the Games, such as operations for the venues, the Olympic Village, the media and technology. It also examined the enormous efforts that have been made to serve the athletes, National Olympic Committees, International Federations, spectators, sponsors, press and broadcasters. The Commission members visited the venues where some 10,500 athletes from around the world will compete for Olympic glory, seeing for themselves the construction work being completed at key sites, including the Olympic Stadium, where half of the roof was slid into place during the Commission’s stay.
Coordination Commission Chairman Denis Oswald stated: “The amount of work undertaken by ATHOC since the visit of the Commission six months ago has been evident for all the members to see. We are looking forward to the remaining test events, where even further progress will be evident and the hard work of ATHOC will come to life. This will be further confirmation that the Games will be ready on 13 August. With more of the same inspiration, determination and teamwork the IOC has seen this week in Athens, all the remaining sports venues for the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games will be finished in time to deliver the conditions needed for the world's top athletes to perform at their best. As for the human preparations, Greece can argue it has been ready for 2,500 years. In just three months’ time the country will have the opportunity to prove it.”
Commenting on the progress on the Olympic Stadium roof, Oswald said, “Sliding the roof into place over the stadium is more than just an incredible feat of engineering. It is a symbol to the outside world of the progress that has been made. With the roof almost in place, ATHOC will now be able to implement the operational plans for the Olympic Stadium.”
ATHOC President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki commented: “Since we began meeting with the Coordination Commission, we have done seven years’ work in four years’ time. As the movement of the Stadium roof has revealed to the world, Athens has made enormous strides in our preparations for the 2004 Olympic Games. After hosting 38 sport events in our state-of-the-art sports venues – testing our security, our operations, and human resources – we can say with confidence: we will be ready for an Olympics that will be great for the athletes and good for the Games.”
IOC Coordination Commission Chairman Denis Oswald, IOC members and officials will make further visits to Athens during the months that remain before the Games, continuing to observe and give advice.