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IOC: All's well on Olympic construction
By Lei Lei (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-06-03 05:47

Preparation work for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games was praised by the Co-ordination Commission from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) yesterday.

The three-day meeting of the fourth plenary session of the Coordination Commission concluded all was well with the progress in Beijing.

"The foundations are being laid for success here, building on solid finances, sound construction and the basis of a very effective organization," commented Co-ordination Commission Chairman Hein Verbruggen at the press briefing.

After visiting some of the construction sites and hearing reports from the Beijing Organizing Committee known as BOCOG, the IOC officials have expressed their satisfaction with the progress.

"The construction is totally on schedule," said Verbruggen. "All will be ready on time for the testing events," he added.

As to the adjustment that made to some of the venues by BOCOG, the IOC officials expressed no concern.

"The adjustments of the venues is normal since we have faced this situation in the past," said Christophe Dubi, Deputy Executive Director of the Olympic Games Department of IOC. With the preparation work goes in full swing, the budget of the Beijing Games increased as well, which was also approved by the IOC.

"As BOCOG reported, the budget of the Games has increased but will not overspend," Verbruggen said. "It won't go over the budget that were made by Athens and we are very confident that there will be, financially, a positive income here as the local marketing programme is very successful."

According to reports from IOC, the expenditures caption for the 2004 Athens Games final financial statement was 1.967 billion euros (US$2.46 billion) and the Athens Games produced a financial surplus of 7 million euros (US$8.75 million).

During the briefing, Jiang Xiaoyu, BOCOG Executive Vice-President, also revealed that the slogan of the 2008 Beijing Games will officially come out during the third Olympic Cultural Festival later this month and the mascot, which is still being improved, will be launched at the latter half of the year.

Since the election of Beijing as host city in 2001, the IOC Coordination Commission visited annually. In 2005 and until the Beijing 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games, visits will take place twice each year, with the next meeting planned for November 2005,during which the Commission plans to visit the sailing venue in Qingdao.

Sponsor workshop

During the Commission's fourth meeting, BOCOG organized the Sponsor Workshop - the first in a series - to outline the progress so far in its marketing programme to the representatives from all the sponsoring international and domestic companies of the Beijing Games.

During the two-day workshop, BOCOG officials will brief the participants on the latest developments in areas of Olympic preparations such as venue construction, sports, cultural events, look and image, media and communications, media operations, protection of Olympic marks and other related Intellectual Property Rights, volunteers, technology, and green Olympics.

Topics which are closely related to the sponsor services, including accommodation, transport, accreditation and security, will be highlighted.

The workshop also constitutes an occasion where BOCOG will exchange views with the Olympic sponsors, take their comments and suggestions and provide them with Olympics-related information.

(China Daily 06/03/2005 page2)

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