IOC inspectors start last review of Olympic Games preparations

April 1st, 2008 - 7:22 pm ICT by admin  

Beijing, April 1 (Xinhua) With 129 days to go before the Beijing Olympics open, the International Olympic Committee’s (IOA) coordination commission Tuesday began its final inspection of Beijing’s facilities and operational readiness for the games. The commission, chaired by Hein Verbruggen, will examine all areas of the games operations from marketing and ticketing to transport to the plans for the lavish opening and closing ceremonies, and to contingency plans in the event of heavy pollution causing events to be postponed or rescheduled.

“With only 129 days away, my emotions are dominated by a mixture of joy and sadness,” Verbruggen said at the opening of the meetings.

“Joy because in only a few months’ time, we will have the privilege of seeing all the hard work of the past seven years finally bearing fruit as the athletes of the world will compete in the magnificent venues of Beijing and the magic Olympics bring the world together once again.

“But, also sadness, because our common journey is coming to an end. And this will be the last time that the full commission come together to work.”

The tenth visit of the full commission to Beijing also marks the closing chapter of seven years of close collaboration between Beijing Organising Committee of the games and this expert IOC group.

The IOC has come under increased international pressure to try to exert influence on the Chinese government over a series of political issues, but Verbruggen said the IOC had no plans to make any direct interventions on political affairs.

“Clearly, in recent time more than ever, the Beijing Games are being drawn into issues that do not necessarily have a link with the operations of the games,” he said.

“We are all aware that the international community are discussing this topic but it is important to remember that our main focus during this meetings is the successful delivery of the games operation and therefore the success of the Beijing Games for the athletes of the world.”

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