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15 Jan 2003
IOC News

Official Visit to Athens by the IOC President

The President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Jacques Rogge, officially visited Athens from 13 to 15 January to meet the organisers of the 2004 Olympic Games and Greek government representatives, as well as to visit the competition venues for the forthcoming Games. He was accompanied by Games Coordination Commission Chairman Denis Oswald and IOC Sports Director Gilbert Felli. The President had not been to Athens since May 2001, when he was still Chairman of the Coordination Commission himself.

During his visit, the IOC President met Greek Prime Minister Constantinos Simitis and the President of the New Democracy party, Constantinos Karamanlis. He also had meetings with representatives of the Hellenic Olympic Committee and the President of the Organising Committee for the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad (ATHOC), Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, and her team.

During a press conference in Athens, the IOC President said: "I had the opportunity the last couple of days to look at the preparation of the Games and I am glad to see that the progress is outstanding and evident. The deadlines are tight but reasonable and credible, but no time can be lost. The Games are far more that just the effort of an organising committee and a government. They are the responsibility of the whole country and its citizens. I am very hopeful for the success of the Games and I know that the Greek people will work together to achieve this.".

The President also attended the unveiling of the Olympic Torch for the 2004 Games (see photo) in the presence of the new Mayor of Athens, Dora Bakoyanis, at an official ceremony held at the ATHOC headquarters.

Read the transcript of the press conference

Discover the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Torch
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