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27 Nov 2003
IOC News

IOC President pays tribute to ATHOC staff

On the occasion of his visit to the headquarters of the Organising Committee (ATHOC) in Athens, IOC President Jacques Rogge addressed the ATHOC staff. The IOC President thanked everyone for the great effort they were making, stressing that the organisation of the Olympic Games is a difficult task.

Good news is no news
"I want to pay tribute to you for the excellent work that you have done and that you will continue to do. There have been, as you know, questions from the public, questions from the international media, about whether Athens will be ready. Unfortunately, these questions crop up, because as you know, in the media good news is no news, and bad news seems to be needed in the newspapers. I have personally always expressed my great confidence in you and in ATHOC, and the IOC as an organisation has always done that."

Tremendous legacy
"Beyond the added value of the Olympic Games, you will also leave a tremendous legacy for your country. Those who knew Athens 2 or 3 years ago, and those who discover Athens today, see two different cities and that legacy is more than Athens alone, it is a legacy for the whole country, for the Greek people. The legacy is much more than roads, than the airport, than venues, it is about mentality, pride, the ambition of a nation."

Furthermore, the IOC President made the following remarks:

A lot remains do be done
Rogge concluded his visit with the following appeal: "A lot remains to be done, I need not remind you of that, you know better than we do. We will definitely have difficult moments in the future - there is no doubt about that. Nevertheless, we are sure that you will succeed. You all have a great responsibility towards the world and the athletes of the world. You are also responsible before Greece; all of Greece expects you to succeed, because all of Greece wants the Games to be successful. Well, I am convinced that at the Closing Ceremony I will have the opportunity and the privilege of expressing the IOC's opinion of the Games, and I am quite sure that I will be a very happy man, and that all of you will be proud, as will the whole of Greece."

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