IOC chief all praise for Beijing Olympic preparationsAugust 3rd, 2008 - 3:38 pm ICT by IANS
Beijing, Aug 3 (Xinhua) International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge heaped praise on the organisation of Beijing Games, saying the preparations at Olympic Village are the “best ever”. “I had the privilege to reside in the Olympic Village since the 1968 Mexico Games, and I never saw a village like this. It is outstanding,” said Rogge at his first press conference in Beijing Saturday.
The Olympic Village, which opened on July 27, is built on a 66-hectare compound for about 16,000 athletes and the accompanying personnel.
“By all accounts, especially for the athletes, the village is the best ever,” he said after a visit to the Village.
Rogge, who arrived in Beijing Thursday, also reiterated his confidence in the Games success.
“The venues are ready and 37 pre-Olympic competitions were held to testing the facilities. We have absolutely no concern for the organisation,” he said.
“I’m sure that on Aug 9, the day after the opening ceremony, the magic of the Games and the flawless organisation will take over,” he added.
Rogge said 7,000 to 9,000 athletes will parade at the opening ceremony Aug 8, and the inclusion of the Iraqi delegation completes the world’s biggest sports event.
“At least four Iraqi athletes are coming, and I hope for more to the Games time. This will lead to a total of 205 national Olympic committees,” he said.
Responding to questions about some athletes wearing armbands to protest human rights in China, Rogge said they are free to express their opinions, but propaganda or politics is not welcomed.
“The Olympic village is a microcosm of the world… if we allow the protests, it will be the end of cultural harmony,” he said.
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Tags: armbands, beijing, harmony, hectare, human rights in china, inclusion, international olympic committee, ioc president jacques rogge, iraqi delegation, microcosm, national olympic committees, olympic competitions, olympic preparations, olympic village, opening ceremony, privilege, propaganda, protests, sports event, xinhua