Record number of attendees at the first World Press Briefing in Beijing
Over 200 editors and journalists representing the written press gathered in Beijing over the last two days to attend the First World Press Briefing. Organised by the Beijing Organising Committee for the 2008 Olympic Games (BOCOG) and supported by the IOC, the briefing, which focuses on media operations for Games time such as accommodation and transportation, has also been an opportunity for BOCOG to give the media updates on Games preparations as well as outlining the range of services available to them at Games time.
Venue Tour for press representatives
Presentations by BOCOG
Press representatives took part in a venue tour yesterday that led them through the Chinese Capital and stopped at some of the major venues including the National Stadium. Created by a Swiss architect, the National Stadium has a very impressive, eye catching design. Also impressive is the National Aquatic Center, nicknamed the ‘water cube’. The tour also included the visit of the Media Village, the National Indoor Stadium and the Softball Stadium, one of the already completed venues that hosted the first test event last month.
Today was dedicated to presentations by the BOCOG team on technical topics ranging from press accreditation, accommodation and transportation to the Main Press Centre operations. Tomorrow, BOCOG will hold individual meetings with press organisations which have items to be discussed in further details.
In his opening remarks, BOCOG President Liu Qi reiterated the Chinese government’s and BOCOG’s commitment to provide the international press with high quality working conditions. “The media play an important role in promoting the spirit of the Olympic Games. In 2008, you will be the messengers who will help strengthen the understanding between China and the rest of the world, and be important contributors to the success of the Olympic Games. During this briefing, we will listen to you, members of the written press, so that we can improve our services accordingly. The Chinese government is a responsible government that will take it seriously to respect its commitment made during the bid process and to provide quality and convenient services in accordance with normal practices at the Olympic Games”.
"A strong relationship and full confidence"
Also addressing journalists at the opening session this morning, IOC Press Commission Chairman Kevan Gosper said: “Over the last 5 years the IOC has built a strong relationship with BOCOG based on mutual respect. We have learnt that our Chinese friends are the best listeners in the world. They will take note of your requirements and concerns and act accordingly. They will respect your needs as you will respect the specific circumstances of their country. We have full confidence that everything will be done to provide the best working conditions come Games time”.