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BOCOG welcomes IOC's decision on new dates for 2008 Olympics
( 2003-07-01 13:55) (Xinhua)

The Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) on June 29 expressed welcome to the decision made by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that the 2008 Olympic Games will be held from 8 to 24 August, 2008, two weeks later than originally planned.

The new dates were fixed following the report of the Executive Director of the Olympic Games Gilbert Felli to IOC's Executive Board.

"It is better to move back the Beijing Games two weeks," BOCOG Vice President Wang Wei, who is now in Prague for the IOC Executive Board and 115th Session, told the media there.

"But from our point of view, it would be even better if the Games could be moved back one more week," he added.

The 2008 Olympic Games was originally scheduled to run from July 25 to August 10, 2008, after the IOC had held discussions with international federations of Olympic sports.

But Beijing had expressed its concern that the high temperature during that period might not help athletes perform to their best.

The IOC executive board therefore reassessed the dates and agreed on June 29 to reschedule the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games from August 8 to 24.

Felli said the original dates had been previously set by the IOC to avoid conflicts in the world sports' crowded calendar.

"It was the first time in the bidding process that we had proposed dates for the Games," said Felli. "Before that, we had just said 'OK, tell us when you would like to organize the games'."

He said that Beijing had asked the IOC to reconsider the dates when the city was still bidding for the Games.

"In the bidding process, the Chinese had already said in the bid book that the dates were not the best for them for the weather conditions."

"(After the dates change) the conditions will be much better in terms of heat and humidity," he said.

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