Rogge upbeat about 2008 venues construction
International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge on Saturday spoke highly of Beijing's preparations for the 2008 Olympic Games after having an inspection tour of venues for the Games.
Rogge, who arrived in the Chinese capital Saturday morning, visited the construction sites of the National Stadium, the main Olympic stadium which resembles a bird's nest in shape, and the National Swimming Center.
"I'm pleased with what I have seen. The venues will leave a great legacy for Beijing and China," said Rogge.
"Still, of course, there's a lot to be done.
"But we still have another four years now. We're quite sure that the games will be absolutely excellent," added the IOC chief.
In order to save costs and fine-tune the design, Beijing haltedthe construction work on several Olympic venues, including the center-piece National Stadium, in August amid a nationwide drive to cut down on "white elephant" projects.
The city, which plans to spend about 37 billion US dollars on the Games, is also mulling to adjust the location of five venues planned for the Games.
According to Gilbert Felli, IOC's Olympic Games Executive Director, concerned sports are softball, baseball, hockey, beach volleyball and tennis.
BOCOG wants to move the venues for above five sports but tenniscloser to the Olympic Green, which is planned to be located in the north part of the city.
Rogge said it would be convenient for both athletes and spectators if venues are to built within the Olympic Green.
"Everything is very close to each other. I think it's very goodfor the organization of the Games ... easy access for the athletes," he said.
Along with a group of IOC officials including Hein Verbruggen, president of the IOC's Coordination Commission for the 2008 Olympics, Rogge also watched a promotion film about the history, present and future of the Chinese capital.
Rogge, who is on his third visit to Beijing, is scheduled to open the
debriefing of the Athens Olympics here on Sunday. The debriefing also serves as
the official transfer of knowledge meeting between Athens organizers and their