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IOC President Rogge: Good Games ahead
By Yu Yilei & Lei Lei (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-11-01 22:56

International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge tried to erase Beijing's money worries Monday, saying that hosting the Games will benefit the country.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge walks past a logo of Beijing Olympics after a news conference in China's capital November 1, 2004. IOC President Jacques Rogge said on Monday that he was happy the way things are rolling in Beijing as the city gears up to host the 2008 Olympic Games. [Reuters]
He asked the city separate its general development budget from the actual Olympic operational budget which he believes will be balanced or even profitable due to partial coverage from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

"We have no advice to give on the investment budget for the city, this is the responsibility for the city, for China to decide," said Rogge Monday in a news conference in Beijing.

Earlier Monday, Rogge met with Chinese President Hu Jintao to discuss the Beijing Games.

"All of our advice will be on the operational budget which we are intervening with the organizing committee and we hope it will be balanced or in profits," he said.

The IOC boss, who took over the post from former president Juan Antonio Samaranch in 2001, said the IOC will pay 60 per cent of the operational budget while another 40 per cent will be met by local sponsorships and ticket sales. The combination is likely to leave a profit for Olympic organizers.

"Since the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1984, this budget always delivers a profit and this profit is distributed to the national Olympic committee of the host country and to the city for the investment in sports."

He pointed to the Athens Games as an example, saying that the IOC is almost certain that will be balanced or profitable, although the financial reports on Athens Games are yet to be published.

Concerning investment and venue construction budget, Rogge said it is going to lift the city and leave an Olympic legacy.

"That is the reason why we have so many countries after Beijing (bidding for the Olympic Games)," the president said.

He added "there will be no frugal Games, there will be only good Games."

"The Games will be excellent at a very good level according to the contract we have signed with China."

Rogge said he had "no concerns" on Beijing's planning of the Games.

An IOC delegation arrived in Beijing last week and toured sites where Olympic facilities will be built.

"We are confident. We are vigilant. We support the organizing committee and we are happy. No concerns whatsoever," he said.

"We are now halfway through Beijing's preparation time and this is always a very crucial period. It is a period where you have to move from pure planning to the operational mode.

"We know our Chinese friends will succeed in this transition, too," he said.

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