IOC Executive Board wraps up last meeting of the year in Kuwait
The IOC Executive Board (EB) today concluded two days of meetings in Kuwait City. For their first gathering in the Middle East since 1967, IOC members were welcomed by IOC member and President of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, before flying to Doha, Qatar, to attend the XV Asian Games.
- the inclusion – pending the agreement of VANOC - of the event of Ski Cross into the programme of the Olympic Winter Games in 2010 in Vancouver. Ski Cross, whose appeal to the youth has grown tremendously over the last year, will be part of the Freestyle Skiing events which already include Aerials and Moguls. The EB also agreed upon the recommendations of the Olympic Programme Commission on the improvement of the Programme review process (see www.olympic.org/uk/news for more details).
- the release to AIBA of part of the money initially frozen by the IOC in recognition of the changes recently made by the federation to improve its judging system. The EB agreed to release US$ 450,000 to help national federations from developing nations to buy equipment. It also indicated that it would be monitoring closely the implementation of the changes before envisaging the release of the totality of the funds.
- the confirmation of the on-going support of the IOC to Iraqi athletes. The current instability in Iraq has led the Iraqi NOC to ask for the IOC’s support. The IOC, through Olympic Solidarity and in collaboration with the OCA, the European Olympic Committees (EOC) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), has taken a series of initiatives to help Iraqi sport. Through this collaboration, some 50 Iraqi athletes and coaches have been able to find adequate training opportunities within various NOCs for the Doha Asian Games this December and the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Depending on the results at the Doha Asian Games and the Olympic qualification systems, this assistance will continue with the selection of certain athletes to receive Olympic scholarships for Beijing.
The EB received comprehensive updates on Games preparations:
- Torino 2006 Coordination Commission Chairman Jean-Claude Killy was in Kuwait City to update the EB on the progress being made on the Commission’s final report for the Turin Games. In his report, which is based on feedback gathered from all stakeholders involved in the Games, Killy highlighted the Games ‘product’, specifically the gains that can be made by better leveraging, in an integrated way, the five elements of sport, torch relay, ceremonies, culture and education, and city activities. He also stressed the importance of a host city having a strong vision for its Games, not just in terms of what the Games can bring to them, but in terms of what they can bring to the Olympic Movement. The final report is expected to be delivered to the IOC EB early next year and to the Session in Guatemala City in July 2007.
- BOCOG was the only Organising Committee to present to the EB in Kuwait. The success of the first test events and recent meetings with broadcasters and international press was specifically noted as well as the great progress being made on venue construction. More than 26 est events are scheduled in 2007. BOCOG announced that it had released the ticket prices for the Games, priced so as to ensure local spectators have the chance to see the Games first hand. With 58% of all tickets for sale priced at or lower than RMB 100 and about 14% of tickets reserved for Chinese students, large Chinese crowds are likely to join the international spectators to enjoy this, the first Games in their country. BOCOG also presented concrete measures being undertaken by the authorities that will help improve air quality.
- Coordination Commission Chairman René Fasel noted the successful completion of the first venue for the Vancouver 2010 Games – the freestyle skiing venue on Cypress Mountain – and praised the quality of the work undertaken by the Organising Committee over the year.