The International Olympic Committee (IOC) today praised the Organising Committee for the Olympic Games in Athens 2004 (ATHOC) for the successful running of the test events held over the past few days.
Speaking at a press conference in the Greek capital, Chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission, Denis OSWALD, said, "The IOC is satisfied with the work carried out by the organisers and by city and government authorities with regard to the running of what we call "test events". As the name suggests, these events take place to evaluate different areas of Games organisation, and we were pleased to see that across the board, the level of operations was good. In particular, ATHOC was flexible and responsive to problems that arose and needed to be resolved. The purpose of the test events is precisely to bring to light any issues so that the organisers can focus attention on them between now and the Games. Particularly important to note is that these events were a key first test for the volunteers who clearly demonstrated their enthusiasm and commitment".
With one year to go until the Olympic Games are declared open, a total of seven test events are taking place throughout this month, four of which, archery, canoe kayak, equestrian and cycling, running simultaneously from Friday 15 to Sunday 17 August, were followed closely by an IOC delegation led by Olympic Games Executive Director Gilbert Felli. The functions being tested by the organisers, and overseen by the IOC working closely with the relevant International Sports Federations, were: sport, venue operations, technology, medical services, workforce, protocol, marketing, accreditation, logistics and waste management. Other functions will be evaluated at future test events to be held later this year and in early 2004, when even greater emphasis on Games-time simulation will be made.
Besides attending the test events, IOC officials also met with ATHOC and government representatives to discuss the state of the ongoing preparations for the Games. These are closely monitored by the IOC to ensure that the rate of progress is maintained so that the tight deadlines can be met. Mr Oswald also met with Greek Prime Minister Costas SIMITIS to discuss key critical issues for which government support is needed.