Beijing 2008: Readiness Takes A Step Closer to Reality
Bringing to a close its next-to-last meeting before the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games begin, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission today marked an important milestone in its review of preparations for August next year. The three-day meeting with the Beijing 2008 Organising Committee (BOCOG) was the first held since the IOC visit in August, and was the opportunity to fully appraise the results of the test events held over the past months. The meeting gave the Commission members details of Games preparations as well as status reports on how BOCOG and the local Beijing authorities plan to address matters such as air quality, ticketing and the Olympic Torch Relay.
From Understanding to Operational Reality
“The BOCOG team has once again shown us that they have understood what is needed to organise top quality Olympic and Paralympic Games,” said Hein Verbruggen, Chairman of the Coordination Commission. “The feedback that we have been receiving from the International Federations and athletes alike, specifically from their experiences at the test events, shows us that BOCOG has been able to translate that understanding into an operational reality. However, in these final months, the need for continuous action is imperative.”
This week’s meeting also brought IOC Athletes’ Commission representatives to Beijing for a review of service levels for athletes at Games time, including a look at the Olympic Village. Their review is a regular part of Games preparations to ensure that the needs of the athletes are met and conform to the high standards expected from the Olympic Games.
The athletes’ representatives group was made up of Olympians Robert Ctvrtlik (volleyball), Rania Elwani (swimming) and Yaping Deng (table tennis), who were selected by the Commission to independently represent the athletes’ interests.
Before arriving in Beijing, a delegation from the Coordination Commission also visited the co-host city of Hong Kong, where the Beijing 2008 equestrian events will be held. Members visited both venues in Beas River and Sha Tin. They also held meetings with the Hong Kong Equestrian Company, and representatives of the local government and sports authorities. Following the visits and meetings, the Commission members were all highly impressed by the facilities and services that will await the equestrian community in August 2008.
The Games of the XXIX Olympiad – Beijing 2008 will take place from 8 to 24 August 2008. The Games in Beijing will play host to the 28 summer sports currently on the Olympic programme. Approximately 10,500 athletes are expected to participate in the Games with around 20,000 accredited media bringing the Games to the world.
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