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IOC urges China to get ready for 2008

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by Daily Commercial News last update:Jun 19, 2008

The IOC has a word of advice for organizers of the 2008 Olympics—prepare.


The IOC has a word of advice for organizers of the 2008 Olympics—prepare.

Determined to avoid a repeat of the construction delays that threatened the Athens Games, Olympic officials visited Beijing last week.

“You have to start your preparation early enough, all your operational planning,” International Olympic Committee executive director Gilbert Felli told a news conference. “It is very complicated, the operations aspect of it.”

Athens put the finishing touches on venues with only days remaining. The IOC prefers that facilities be finished a year ahead of time so they can be tested, Felli said.

China is actually slowing its Olympics construction from its initial ambitious pace following IOC concerns about cash flow. It had planned to build 10 stadiums but will now build five to ensure that venue costs stay below $2 billion (U.S.). Beijing also expects to spend $24.2 billion (U.S.) on new subway lines, roads and other facilities by 2008.

IOC delegates are meeting with Chinese organizers to discuss such issues as sports, marketing, finances and media, committee spokeswoman Giselle Davies said. IOC president Jacques Rogge is also meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao and the head of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games.

A delegation led by Athens 2004 president Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki will meet with Chinese organizers so “there is a transfer of knowledge,” Davies said. That way, “there is less need to, what we say, reinvent the wheel,” she added.

The Associated Press

last update:Jun 19, 2008

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