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06 Apr 2006
IOC News

SPORT ACCORD 2006: “Not Just 16 Days Of Competition”

“Not just 16 days of competition” that was how Yang Shu’an, Executive Vice-President of the Beijing Organising Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad – Beijing 2008 (BOCOG) described the legacy surrounding the Beijing Games, in the context of a panel discussion entitled: “Staging a successful major event”, at this year’s Sport Accord. The subjects of legacy, planning and partnership were the main elements that the panel, which included representatives from Beijing 2008, London 2012 and an IOC member, brought to the forefront. These three important elements of the IOC’s work all come together to show that indeed, the Olympic Games are “not just 16 days of competition”.
In the context of a wider discussion on multisports events, it was the Olympic Games and their legacy that became key elements during the panel’s discussions - four out of the five panellists mentioned a previous edition of the Games as being their best memory of a well run event that brought a true legacy to either the host country, sport or the participating National Olympic Committees. Several of the speakers used the example of Seoul and Sydney as host cities that had been able to create lasting legacies following the Games, be it in terms of infrastructure, knowledge or sport. Looking to the future, Debbie Jevans from the Organising Committee for the Games of the XXX Olympiad – London 2012 (LOCOG) spoke about how London’s project was “all about what we will leave behind”, with London aiming to use the Games to leave not only sports facilities that will be in use for many years to come, but also to provide a legacy by making sport more accessible for all, and particularly to young people, by giving each sport the opportunity to develop through programmes in schools, for example. In the case of Beijing, the legacy will also be wide-ranging, with legacy benefits expected in areas such as improved infrastructure and a better environmental situation.
All of the speakers noted that planning, and particularly early planning, was of the utmost importance to be able to stage a successful sports event. This has been something that the IOC has been aware of for a long time now and has been developing through its Games management processes. The success of this work, principally carried out by the IOC’s Olympic Games Department, and in addition to the IOC’s transfer of knowledge programme, is allowing the current organising committees (OCOGs) to benefit from the planning experiences of previous OCOGs and to have much better understanding of what planning will need to be carried out during the OCOG’s lifecycle. It is important to note that this knowledge is passed on to the cities from the very beginning of the bid phase and is continually refined right up until the Games begin.
IOC member Timothy Fok from Hong Kong SAR spoke about how the Seoul Olympic Games incorporated many major local companies into their Olympic Games and how this same situation with local sponsors in Beijing was very important to the success of the Games. It is this partnership, and not just with sponsors but also with government, National Olympic Committees, tourism authorities, the local community and the International Federations, to name but a few, which helps to ensure successful Games. These partnerships, which are encouraged by the IOC from the candidate city phase, through the need for cities to provide government backed guarantees, right up until the Games, with the IOC’s Coordination Commission, and beyond, with the help of the NOC of the host nation, form a key element of the creation of a successful Olympic Games project.
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