Positive Progress Marks Beijing's First Year Since Bid Victory for 2008 Olympic Games
One year after awarding the 2008 Olympic Games to Beijing, a delegation from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has visited the Chinese capital to meet the Beijing Organising Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG), Government Ministers and officials, to track the progress of preparations.
The 23-strong IOC team, headed by Coordination Commission Chairman Hein Verbruggen, and comprising IOC members plus experts in various fields, began the three-day visit with a venue tour during which BOCOG outlined plans for the development of the "Olympic Green". This is an area of some 1,120 hectares which has been put out to international tender to be developed into not only a showpiece for the Games, but also a symbolic and lasting legacy of China's sporting, economic and social development. Two subsequent days of working group meetings covered the areas of sport, construction, environment, finance, communications, marketing, security and transport.
Commenting on the visit, Hein Verbruggen said: "The progress BOCOG has made, in only its first year of operations, is most impressive, as is its understanding of the issues critical to the success of an Olympic Games. It is abundantly clear that Beijing is extremely proud to be hosting the 2008 Olympic Games, and that the city and the people of China enthusiastically welcome the opportunities which hosting the world's greatest sporting event brings. Our Coordination Commission has seen a great deal of positive developments, and we look forward to returning in December for the first full Coordination Commission meeting."
BOCOG Executive Vice President Liu Jingmin said: "Our meetings with the IOC have been most productive. We are only at the beginning of our planning process for the Olympic Games in 2008, and we have many years of hard work ahead of us, but already we sense the exciting impact which hosting the Games will have on our city and country. The working group meetings have helped establish closer coordination with the IOC, and we look forward to welcoming the full Coordination Commission in December."