IOC holds first round of meetings in Turin
The Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) today concluded two days of meetings in Turin where the XX Olympic Winter Games are due to start in less than four days.
Over the last two days, the EB heard the reports of the IOC directors, received updates from various commissions and took a series of decisions. It decided to present the case of the Marshall Islands to be recognised as a National Olympic Committee (NOC) by the 118th IOC Session, which will convene from 8 to 10 February. If recognised by the Session, the Marshall Islands would be the 16th NOC of the Oceania region, and would increase the total number of NOCs to 203.
The EB also acknowledged an IOC operational budget surplus of USD 11 million, confirming the sound financial state of the IOC.
Also on the agenda was the review of pending requests from a number of International Federations concerning their quotas for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Decisions were made (please see details available on www.olympic.org) that led to an increase in the number of female athletes who will participate in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. The EB also approved the qualification system for the same Games.
For the last time, the EB heard an update from the Torino 2006 Organising Committee (TOROC). A three-person team, comprising IOC member and Italian Government Games Supervisor, Mario Pescante, TOROC President Valentino Castellani, and TOROC CEO Cesare Vaciago, supported by Italian NOC (CONI) President Gianni Petrucci, and CONI Secretary General Raffaele Pagnozzi, gave an overview of the final state of preparations and issues that have been tackled since their last report to the EB. President Castellani also commented on the actions that still need to be taken in the final days before the Games begin. The EB also heard from IOC Coordination Commission Chairman for Torino 2006, Jean-Claude Killy, who expressed his confidence in the organisers.
The Executive Board also heard from the Beijing 2008 Organising Committee (BOCOG), represented by Wang Wei, an Executive Vice-President of BOCOG, and Zhang Qing, Director of International Relations. Their report covered a number of general points on construction, Games preparations, Games services and communications. This report was followed by the reports of Beijing 2008 Coordination Commission members Richard Kevan Gosper and Hein Verbruggen, who commented on the fact that this was a key moment for BOCOG, as it moves from the planning stage to the operational stage of the Olympic Games lifecycle.
Gilbert Felli, Olympic Games Executive Director, reported on preparations for the next Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver in 2010. An IOC team visited Vancouver at the beginning of the year to meet the new mayors of both Vancouver and Whistler and noted that excellent work has been accomplished across a number of areas and specifically in the field of marketing.
Regarding the 2012 Olympic Games in London, the Chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission, Denis Oswald, who is also an EB member, reported that the London organisers have made good progress in their first months. He confirmed that approval has been given to amendments to London Olympic Park plans on the grounds that they were common sense proposals.