BEIJING - In an exclusive interview with the official website of the Beijing
2008 Olympic Games on the occasion of the one-year countdown to the event,
President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Jacques Rogge looked back
at the important events of the Olympic Movement, touched on its reform and
anti-doping campaign, expressed his best wishes and anticipations for the
upcoming Olympics, and for the volunteers and visitors of the official
Making sure the Olympics remain the dream of future generations
In July 2001, Moscow witnessed a significant historic event for both China
and Rogge: There, Beijing won the right to hold the 2008 Games, and Rogge took
over Antonio Samaranch's seat as IOC's eighth president. Six years have passed
and now Beijing is bracing for the next year's event, while Mr. Rogge is leading
the IOC in a new era of development.
Speaking of the challenges facing the IOC, he said: "what you have to do is
to make sure that the Olympic Games remain the dream of future generations. This
is easy to say, but not easy to do. And we must make sure that it remains a
dream. It has to remain the number one event in sport. It has to remain
something that all young people aspire to. And this takes a lot of work."
The Modern Olympic Games has been around for more than 100 years, and now it
has become a global sports and cultural event. In Rogge's opinion, the most
important period was 1960 Rome Games where television came for the first time.
"This has led to a far bigger audience than before, and this in turn has
generated a lot of extra revenue for the Olympic movement."
He went on in length to review the reforms that have taken place in recent
years: "We have tried to limit the size, the complexity, and also the gigantism
of the Olympic Games, and therefore we have set a limit of 28 sports, of 10,500
athletes, and also we have taken 170 different measures that are slowly being
implemented now, and we will come to about 100% of these measures in Beijing,
and this will ensure
that in the future the Games are better organized and also that they are
affordable for more cities in the world, that not only big and rich cities can
organize them, but also mid-size cities."
Responding to the question if that means that developing countries will have
more opportunities to host the Games, he said: "Yes absolutely. This is what we
want to have and we are sure that this is going to bring out very good results
in the future."
He said IOC "definitely would love to see the continents that have not yet
organized the Games like Africa or Latin America do that in the future." "I
cannot tell you exactly when, but I will see it in my life I hope, and I think
that there will be Games in these continents."
Doping has been a chronic problem hampering the development of the Olympic
Movement. At the beginning of this year Mr. Rogge said one of his wishes for the
year is to make further advances in eliminating doping cases. Assessing the
results obtained thus far, he said progress has been made. "We are preparing a
very strong anti-doping campaign in Beijing with our friends from BOCOG. We will
have not less than 4,500 tests, which is about 1000 tests more than we had in
Athens, and we have a very, very strong zero tolerance policy with that," he