- 01 Oct 2003
- IOC News
Rogge confident that Athens will deliver quality Games on time
Addressing the Greek media following last week's Executive Board meeting, IOC President Jacques Rogge commented on the preparations for the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad to be held in Athens between 13 and 29 August next year.
Operational budget likely to yield profit
"The operational budget of the Games is set at 1.896 billion US dollars. That operational budget is funded through a major contribution from the International Olympic Committee - approximately 50% - and through national sponsorship and the sale of tickets. If things go according to plan, that budget will yield a profit. It is that budget which serves to stage the Games, pay for transportation, take care of the catering of the Olympic Village, ensure television coverage, and so on. That budget has always shown a profit for previous Games since 1984 in Los Angeles."
A new city for generations to come
"There is a second budget that is not strictly an Olympic budget. That is the budget to construct the roads, build the light rail system, and work on what is going to be a legacy for Greece for generations. You cannot say that the ring roads or the tram or other major infrastructure costs, like the metro, are Olympic budgets. The Olympic Games last only 16 days, and you don't build roads for 16 days, you build roads for generations to come. I would like to say that the money that has been invested in infrastructure was needed, and I believe you will all agree that it will change Athens. It will transform Athens into a totally different city, and that is money wisely spent, because it is money that is changing the life of a city and money that, at the same time, will serve for generations to come."
"Athens will deliver great quality Games on time"
On the state of preparations for the Games, the IOC President said: "I have always said that I believe that the Games will be a success. I was sure that my Greek friends would catch up with the delays, which they are doing now, and would deliver on time with great quality. There is a very enthusiastic team in ATHOC; they don't need a tap on the back on a daily basis to work. They work well because they are motivated, because they believe in their cause. There is enough time for quality Games, provided that no time is lost in the future."
Security, always the number one priority
On security, President Rogge stated: "The reports that I am getting about security are positive. Security is, as you know, the number one priority of the Olympic Games. For security, we rely of course on the country and the government. The Greek government has invested a lot of money in security, and in security that is broader than the Olympic Games and will serve the country in the future. There are very experienced teams, both in the government and in ATHOC. I know that there is a lot of ongoing collaboration with security teams of other countries, which is a very good thing. I believe that everything that is humanly possible has been put in place. No one can guarantee 100% security in every situation, but the Greek government has definitely made the best possible effort, so therefore, I am confident."
Official website of Athens 2004