IOC Praises Steady Progress in Athens
Organizing Committee, Government Ready to Turn Attention to Operational Phase of Games Organization
ATHENS (5 April 2002) - New energy and synergy among the organizers, both private and public, has resulted in steady progress in all aspects of Olympic Games preparation, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission found following its three-day review of the Olympic Games organization in Athens.
"The progress in construction is both obvious and encouraging, as is the new-level of collaboration achieved among the organizers," said Denis Oswald, chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission (CoComm). "The time pressure remains, as you can't add pages to the calendar, but the enhanced synergy bodes well for continued progress. The fact is the core of the Games organization - management of the needs and services for the athletes - is now quite healthy, and we remain confident our Greek friends can deliver the other elements needed to organize magical Olympic Games."
Despite the overall progress, the CoComm highlighted a few areas needing improvement. They include: the completion of planning for accommodation for official delegations and required personnel as well as for spectators; the acceleration of the construction of venues at Faliron, Hellenikon (especially basketball, canoe slalom, and hockey), and Aghios Kosmas; the on-time delivery of all planned road projects; and the continued coordination of the government's security planning.
The achievements since the last CoComm meeting include: the licensing program that has already generated almost twice as much revenue as projected; the management of relations with the International Sports Federations (IFs) and National Olympic Committees (NOCs), which has already established strong contacts with all 199 NOCs and 28 IFs; the procurement of training facilities adjacent to the Olympic Village; the adoption of a cutting edge waste management system; and the successful launch of the Olympic Games mascots.
The next challenge for the organizers will require both the government ministries involved and the organizing committee, ATHOC, to evolve from planning organizations to operational ones. ATHOC, in charge of all activities inside the venues, must determine how best to coordinate the tasks necessary to run what amounts to 35 world championships at the same time, in the same place, with finite resources. The government, which plays a central role in managing the happenings outside the venues, will have to determine how best to manage an event that will simultaneously draw upon several major functions of government.
This means the ministries of the federal government and the municipalities in Attica should coordinate their activities, as has never been required in the past. The 2000 Olympic Games greatly benefited from a seemless interaction among government agencies and the organizing committee.
In the coming months, working groups of the CoComm will continue to meet periodically with their ATHOC counterparts, and the entire Commission will officially reconvene in Athens in September.
The IOC Coordination Commission includes external experts in the various areas of Olympic Games management; former organizing committee executives; representatives of the athletes, the National Olympic Committees (NOCs), the International Olympic Sports Federations (IFs), and the IOC; and the directors of the IOC administration who manage functions relevant to the organization of the Olympic Games. An advisory panel to the IOC Executive Board, the Commission regularly meets with the Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games (OCOG) in order to assist and in some cases recommend approval of the OCOG's planning.