IOC President reflects on EB meeting in Seoul
Two months after meeting in Turin prior to the XX Olympic Winter Games, the Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in its new composition convened in Seoul where National Olympic Committees (NOCs), Summer Olympic International Federations, Winter Olympic International Federations, and the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) also held a series of meetings earlier in the week.
Speaking at the closing press conference of the EB meeting, IOC President Jacques Rogge said: “It has been pleasing to see the sense of unity that came out of the discussions held with the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and International Federations (IFs) this week in Seoul. It is most encouraging to see that progress has been made in the two key areas where a lot of work has been done over the last four years.
“First, we can feel that the philosophy behind the systematic review of Olympic Programme has now been well understood and accepted and that there is a clear convergence of views towards an agreed procedure. We always knew that the work on the Olympic Programme would be emotional and would take time. But now, everyone agrees a review is needed. We will fine tune things and final proposals will be presented to the next EBs and Session in order to be ready for the next review of the programme in 2009.
“Second, we are encouraged by the fact that the 117 recommendations made by the Olympic Games Study Commission to control the cost, size and complexity of the Games are being implemented and endorsed by the different stakeholders. Beijing and Vancouver anticipate over 90 per cent will be implemented for 2008 and 2010. The target for London is 100 per cent.
“Overall therefore, the understanding and acceptance of both concepts clearly shows a mindset change that is key to the future of the Olympic Movement and to maintaining the magic of the Olympic Games.”
During its one day of meeting, the EB reflected on the success of the Turin Games, specifically on the record number of 80 participating National Olympic Committees (NOCs); the quality of the sports competitions, thanks to the excellent organisation and the presence of the best athletes; the exceptionally high standard of televised images; the successful blend of sport and culture; the fact that 90 per cent of the tickets were sold; and the sustainable legacy that the Games left to the city of Turin and its region.
The first phase of the evaluation process of the Turin Games will be carried out from March to June 2006, when the IOC will collect feedback from the various stakeholders. The official debriefing meeting will take place from 10 to 14 July in Vancouver, where the Turin organisers will be present and will share their experiences with the Vancouver Organising Committee. The final report of the IOC Coordination Commission for Torino 2006 is due in October.
In a similar vein, the IOC will hold debriefing meetings with the five 2012 Candidate Cities in Lausanne. These meetings will be chaired by IOC Vice-President Thomas Bach.
While in Seoul, the IOC took the opportunity to launch the TV rights negotiations for the 2010 and 2012 Games with Korean broadcasters. Initial meetings with the main players on the market were held this week. Using the same open and transparent bidding process that has already led to successful negotiations in the United States, Canada and Europe (except Italy), the IOC is now looking at the Korean market and its distinctiveness. First contacts were established and the intention to negotiate a full package of rights integrating new media was explained to Korean broadcasters, who have been asked to indicate their interest in entering the negotiation process by 1 May 2006.
During its meeting, the EB selected Genting Highlands Resort, Malaysia, from the six cities bidding to host the 12th World Sport for All Congress in 2008. Held every two years, these congresses are the ideal forums for exchanging ideas and experiences in the field of Sport for All at an international level.