The IOC gave a resounding vote of confidence to the state of preparations after three days of meetings between the IOC Coordination Commission and the Beijing 2008 Organising Committee for the Games of XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG).
The meetings which concluded today in the Chinese capital, marked the second meeting of the full Coordination Commission with BOCOG. Work has continued since last December's visit through regular video- and teleconferences, and the IOC's presence in China this week enabled updates to be given and progress to be made on a wide variety of subjects, namely: sports, construction, communications, marketing, accommodation, technology, Olympic Village, finance, accreditation, medical issues, transport, security and workforce.
Speaking at the closing press conference, Coordination Commission Chairman Hein VERBRUGGEN said BOCOG had attained three main objectives for 2003 by securing the start of construction by the end of the year, signing the agreement to establish the Beijing Olympic Broadcasting Co. Ltd (BOB) and inaugurating the emblem and marketing programme. Verbruggen said: "The work our Chinese friends are doing is truly impressive, especially at what is still, relatively speaking, the early phase of Games preparation. For this stage of the Olympic Games planning cycle, the state of preparations is easily at the level it should be, and in many cases ahead of schedule. What is particularly worth noting is the wonderful work ethic of the organisers and their effective collaboration with the IOC Coordination Commission and our technical experts. This not only results in excellent working relationships, but clearly paves the way towards what we believe will be excellent Olympic Games."
"We have greatly benefited from the advice and suggestions that the IOC Coordination Commission members and technical experts have offered",
remarked Liu JINGMIN, BOCOG's Executive Vice-President. "Our joint efforts ensured that the meetings have deepened our understandings, enlarged our consensus and achieved fruitful results. And I believe that we will make even greater progress in our preparations for the Olympic Games through our closer and franker cooperation."
The magnitude of the preparatory work needed to host the Games efficiently means that the organisers of the 2008 Games will no doubt face challenges in the future, but Verbruggen expressed his confidence that BOCOG has laid the foundations to tackle any forthcoming issues.
The third meeting of the IOC Coordination Commission will be organised in Beijing in November next year. Before that, the IOC and BOCOG will continue their work between Beijing and the IOC's headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. In addition, there will be a number of visits of smaller working groups from the IOC, such as one later this September when a workshop on three key areas of project management, strategic planning and construction and overlay will take place.
Next year will also bring a great learning opportunity for BOCOG because of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, to which BOCOG will send staff for training and learning purposes.