sharing the Olympic spirit

International media get Olympic preview
By Lei Lei (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-09-27 07:05


International media representatives warmed up for their coverage of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing yesterday by visiting some of the venue construction sites in the capital city.

Just one day before the opening of the Beijing Olympic Games first World Press Briefing, attendees of the meeting visited some of the main Olympic venues, including the National Stadium, the National Aquatics Centre, the Main Press Centre and the Media Village.

"I'm very impressed with the progress. These dramatic facilities, some of the finest in the world, will be very exciting for the athletes to compete in," said Kevan Gosper, chairman of the Press Commission of the International Olympic Commission (IOC).

His words were echoed by some of the reporters.

"The construction of the venues seems to be progressing very well. The aquatics centre should be a beautiful venue once they finish the outside," said Monte Lorell, managing editor of USA Today's Sports Weekly.

As the host city of the 2008 Games, Beijing has attracted increasing global attention. This press briefing has attracted about 300 representatives from 93 international news organizations and officials from the IOC.

"We are looking at the Beijing Games as much more than a sports event. We look at it as a news event, a business story as well," said Lorell. "So far I have seen it is very well-organized operation. The construction is moving ahead very well."

The attendees of the meeting will be given a full-day briefing on the latest progress in the preparations of the 2008 Games today, with media operations the main topic of discussion. The Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) is also seeking suggestions from leading news agencies and newspapers.

In order to provide efficient services for the foreign media to cover the Olympic Games in China, BOCOG President Liu Qi has already announced some special policies for the media during the Games. He also pledged that China's relevant authorities are formulating a regulation to allow unrestricted media reporting during the Games. This commitment was welcomed by IOC officials.

"I think they are very good policies. I think BOCOG is doing everything to ensure that the media will be able to report happily and easily in line with the commitments that they made to the IOC," said Gosper.

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