IOC President Visits Italy for an Update on Preparations for 2006 Olympic Winter Games
The President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Jacques Rogge, concluded yesterday a visit to Italy where he travelled to Rome and Turin for meetings regarding preparations for the
XX Olympic Winter Games that will be held in the Piedmont capital in 2006.
Accompanied by the Chairman of the Games Coordination Commission, Jean-Claude Killy, and IOC Executive Director for the Olympic Games Gilbert Felli, Rogge first visited Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in Rome to discuss the government's input in Games organisation. Most specifically, Rogge asked for governmental support in five key areas to help accelerate construction; to improve the synergy between the Turin Organising Committee (TOROC) and the Agenzia Torino 2006 (the public agency in charge of constructions); to bring in the support of state companies for TOROC; to help promote the Olympic Games throughout Italy; and to maximise support for the Italian Olympic team.
Flying into Turin yesterday morning, the President had constructive discussions with the Board of TOROC and met with representatives of the parties involved in the organisation of the Games including the city and province of Turin, the region of Piedmont, the cities that will host Olympic events and Agenzia Torino 2006. Before going on a tour of some of the sports venues, the President took the opportunity to address the staff of TOROC and praise the quality of the work undertaken so far by the 250-member team.
Commenting on his visit at a post-event press conference, the President said: "This visit has been extremely fruitful. I had an excellent meeting yesterday in Rome with Prime Minister Berlusconi and asked for his support in some key aspects linked with preparations for the Turin 2006 Games, including helping to boost the success of Italian athletes in winter sport. The Prime Minister is a sports lover and he has pledged us his support. I have found a great deal of goodwill with all the partners working on Games preparations and we have high confidence in TOROC. But a sense of urgency needs to be found. Once it is found, then there is no question that the Games in Turin in 2006, with all the passion that Italians can bring to what they do, will be superb Games."