The Olympic Village for the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad in Athens has opened its doors today. The Village is the largest venue of the 2004 Olympic Games, and will host 16,000 athletes and delegation members.
The Village will be fully operational for 34 days, around the clock and over 10,000 people will be employed there at Games time.
There are 366 functional buildings with 2,292 apartments - amounting to 8,814 rooms and 17,428 beds - in an area of 1,240,000 square metres. With 16 square metres per athlete - the size of the rooms - the Village offers spacious facilities. It is the first time that the training centres have been adjacent to the Olympic Village, so that the athletes have direct access.
After the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Olympic Village will be given to the beneficiaries of the Workers Housing Association. Some 2,500 families will be given the chance to live in this exemplary estate, the first of its kind in Greece.
"The Olympic Village is a prime example of this Olympic Games' legacy which will be bestowed to Greece and its people - an inexhaustible legacy that goes beyond the present and embraces future generations",
said Gianna ANGELOPOULOS- DASKALAKI, President of the Organising Committee at the Village's opening ceremony.
Meanwhile, this weekend, Sunday 1 August, sees the opening of the Agios Kosmas Sailing Centre, the daily home for athletes, officials, teams and coaches involved in the Olympic Sailing Competition. This marks the start of an event that will culminate in the closing ceremony on 29 August, during which Olympic Champions will be crowned, and history made.
Following the opening of the sailing venue, on 3 August the boat draw for the Laser fleet takes place, followed by measurement across all fleets up to the 11 August. The first fleets to kick of racing on 12 August will be the Mistral, Finn, Yngling and 470 fleets.
With the opening of the Olympic Village today, the IOC Anti-Doping Rules have now come into effect, and will be in force until the end of the Olympic Games on 29 August 2004.
During the period of the Olympic Games, all doping control tests initiated by the IOC shall include testing for all prohibited substances and methods referred to in the Prohibited List. All athletes shall be subject, during the period of the Olympic Games, to doping control tests initiated by the IOC at any time or place with no advance warning required.
The IOC authorises the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to carry out the doping control tests, on behalf of the IOC, during the period of the Olympic Games, outside Greece and at non-Olympic venues inside Greece, and authorises all anti-doping organisations to carry out doping controls on the athletes within their authority during the period of the Olympic Games, prior to the athlete having validated his accreditation for the Olympic Games and/or subsequent to the athlete having finished his final competition at the Olympic Games.
For Athens 2004, the laboratory occupies all of a brand-new three-storey building in the OAKA perimeter. It is accredited by WADA. During the Games, more than 100 people will be working there in around-the clock shifts.
About 2,600 urine tests will be conducted, and about 400 EPO tests are planned; which is an increase of roughly 25% compared to Sydney.