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27 Feb 2004
IOC News

Optimistic Concern as ATHENS 2004 Addresses IOC Executive Board

"The Olympic Games are so close you can almost reach out and touch them. No matter how you measure it – one Executive Board Meeting to go, 24 weeks remaining – these Games are happening very soon," continued Mrs. Angelopoulous-Daskalaki. Indeed the Olympic Flame will be lit in Ancient Olympia on March 25, less than a month away.

Sprinting to the Finish
In Athens, much construction work remains to be completed before for the Games begin on August 13. Meanwhile, operational preparations are in full flight across the full range of Olympic activity: from laying pitches to installing cafeterias, from training volunteers to installing TV broadcast equipment.

Hurdles on the Home Stretch
Teams of IOC officials and experts conducted progress reviews during the week leading up to the Executive Board meeting. They observed the first paddling session on the new canoe / kayak course at Hellenikon, Athens's former airport, looking closely at all key competition, non-competition, infrastructure and transport sites. "We are concerned with the roof of the Olympic stadium and also the roof of the swimming pool," said Olympic Games Executive Director Gilbert Felli, explaining that enough time still remains for preparations still to be completed. "Our experts following the work are telling us that if we keep the current pace, we should have in place the elements we need to operate the Olympic Games," said Felli.

A Great Effort
Concluding her presentation to the IOC Executive Board, Mrs. Angelopoulou-Daskalaki said: "It will take a great effort to get these things done. But we haven’t come this far to let challenges like these stop us now."

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