konferenca - predsednik MOK Dr. Jacques Rogge
27 November, 2003
(S. KOTROTSOS): I would like to welcome you to the ATHOC
premises, our hall. This is the press conference because
of the visit of the President of the IOC. It is a great
honour for us to have him here. I would like to give the
floor right away to the President of the IOC, Mr.
Jacques Rogge, for an introductory address, and then
after that we are going to have the question and answer
period. Thank you very much.
J. ROGGE: Chair, ladies and gentlemen, it is a great
pleasure being with you. This is in fact my first visit
to Greece since January this year. So I was here 10
months ago and I was amazed by the progress made in the
preparation of the Athens Games.
had the opportunity to visit the venues yesterday. I met
with the President of the Republic. I met also with the
Prime Minister and also with the Leader of the
Opposition, Mr. Karamanlis, and of course I had
extensive contacts with various ministers of the
is tremendous progress being done in the last 10 months.
I was really amazed to see the changes but also very
happy of course about that. In saying that, it is clear
also, however, that the deadlines are tight and
everyone, I believe, is very much aware of that, both at
the level of the government and at the level of ATHOC.
the general message is: preparation is going extremely
fine, but at the same time the same sense of urgency is
needed and no time can be lost.
was very pleased to see that some points of concern that
we had during the last Coordination Commission five
weeks ago, under the leadership of Mr. Oswald, who
unfortunately cannot be present today because he had to
go back to Switzerland, that these points have been
had a concern with the tramway and our experts made a
visit and discussed with the builders and the concerns
about the tramway have been resolved. The same concerns
about the suburban railway have been totally resolved
and we have noted with great pleasure the good progress
on the construction of the Calatrava Roof over the
Olympic Stadium and also of course over the Velodrome.
were very pleased, as has been said before, by the Test
Events and also the quality of the people serving the
Test Events. And that is a good sign for the future
because the organization of the Games is about much more
than just buildings and roads. It is of course about
I would like to commend ATHOC for having not only chosen
the people who will run the venues very well, but also
given them an excellent training and it is not an easy
matter but that is definitely an important thing.
will continue of course to have a substantial number of
Test Events leading up to the Games. Each one of them
will be of course a very useful lesson and also will
help the Venue Managers and the Operation Managers to
prepare in an ideal way.
meeting the political leaders, I saw with great pleasure
the resolve and the dedication to continue to work very
hard for the success of the Games. We know that we enter
elections time and I felt both at the level of the
government and the opposition the desire to make sure
that the preparation of the Games would not be affected
by the election itself. And I think this is a very
Games are far more important than just the Games of one
city. They are the Games of a nation and definitely that
nation wants the Games to be a success and I believe
that the politicians on all sides have understood this
speaking about my visits, I have to add, because this
slipped my mind, that I also met with the Mayor of
Athens Ms. Bakoyannis, upon my arrival.
would like to end my preliminary statements with two
different points: one deals with doping. At the
Athens’ Games, we will increase our efforts in doping
by 25%, just as we did in Salt Lake City. So we will
test many more athletes than we have done in previous
Games and also, as you know, we have increased our
testing capacity between others with THG and we hope
that other products will follow that we can test in the
would like to thank ATHOC, who has been very cooperative
in increasing this number of testing and definitely this
is going to be an important development in our fight
last comment of these preliminary remarks is to give the
floor to Mr. Felli and Mr. Felli will speak to you about
the efforts that were made, together with ATHOC, for the
implementation of the Games Study Commission Report. As
you know, we want to reduce the size and the complexity
and the costs of the Olympic Games and the IOC has taken
last year a long series of measures, about 119, of which
already a number could be implemented here in Athens,
but of which of course the main bulk only will be
introduced in the future Games of Beijing 2008, Torino
2006, Vancouver 2010 and the 2012 Games. A reason
for that is that it is impossible to disrupt plans that
were already in place since 5 or 6 or 7 years for the
upcoming Games. We can do that easier in Beijing or
later on, in 2012.
I would like to give the floor to Mr. Felli on that.
After that, we will all be available for questions and
answers: Ms. Angelopoulos and of course my colleague and
friend Lambis Nikolaou of the Hellenic Olympic
G. FELLI: Good morning. Thank you, Mr. President.
You remember that the IOC was under pressure concerning
the size and the cost of the Games. However, we could on
one side not be worried because as always we have a lot
of candidates who want to get the Olympic Games. We have
got nine cities bidding for 2012. We had eight cities
bidding for 2010. We also have been able to sign our
television contract already until 2012 and also our top
sponsors are already signing for up to 2012.
we realize that when we have got a product like the
Olympic Games, we have to be careful. We have got to
have a good gesture and that was the purpose of the
Games Study Commission that the President ordered last
year. And we came out with 119 recommendations and
different recommendations came out. And we tried to see
when we could implement these recommendations.
course, since the results came very late last year, so,
for Athens we were already very much on the preparation
of the Games, but however, we realize that out of these
119 recommendations, a lot were on the IOC side to take
some decisions and also with some recommendations that
we could make to the Organizing Committee.
finally we realized that here in Athens we could
probably implement between 25 and 30 of these
recommendations, mainly on the service level. So, that
goes on, first of all, on simple issues such as
publications. You take publications, you have to print a
lot of documents and papers and reports at the end of
the Games, and we have decided to do that for instance,
on an electronic format. So there is a lot of saving
others are coming on the number of accreditation. On the
IOC side, we have been taking quite a hard line on a
certain number of accreditation guests of the IOC or
accompanying guests of the IOC to reduce the number of
also have decided to implement again the issue of prime
event limitation with our guests, our members of the
Olympic Family. So for very high-demand events we will
reduce the capacity of the reserved seating so we can
sell more tickets for the Organizing Committee.
also have decided to implement again the service to the
IOC drivers, to have the driver to be also the host, not
to have two persons but only one person. And that is the
recommendation that we made to ATHOC. We also have
already decided to reduce what we propose to the
different people in different VIP lounges, and also
discussed a certain amount of room and size of table
room or not table room for the media in different
we could see that finally 24 we are confident that we
can implement and maybe five or six, discussing with
ATHOC in the coming months that we will be able to
implement them already here in Athens, Mr. President.
J. ROGGE: Thank you very much, Mr. Felli. Just
before passing the floor to Ms. Angelopoulos for her
opening remarks and before question and answer, I would
like to reassure the Media and the Press present here
that you will get an accreditation to get to the Games
and you would have a chair and a table and a telephone
line and a modem line. Don’t worry about that.
Angelopoulos, the floor is yours.
G. ANGELOPOULOS: Thank you, Mr. President. It is of
course a great pleasure and a great honour for us that
the President of the IOC is with us today. His presence
here, for many reasons, is very important. First of all,
it reminds me and please allow me to say that, Mr.
President, a father whose son or daughter is in another
country, and of course the other members of the family
say, “The child is doing OK, we are following it very
closely” but of course the father says, “Let me go
and see with my own eyes, to see how things are
course, this means responsibility, it means love and it
means that all of us are concerned about how well the
Games of ATHENS 2004 are going to go. So therefore the
presence of the President of IOC, Mr. Rogge, signals the
last part of our preparation phase that we have entered.
This really means that all of us want the Athens Games
of 2004 to be something different, not just for Athens
but also for the Olympic Movement, the Olympic Games of
Torch Relay: the route that it is going to take is going
to take it over the five continents, and it is going to
show everyone how important the symbolism of the Olympic
Games is. It is going to show it to the whole world. And
of course it was very important to show that our
preparation is going well and of course this is the view
and the opinion of the experts that are working very
closely with us and really monitor the situation. But it
also shows that our Games are very important; they have
specific characteristics and this is the reason why we
believe that the IOC has made this decision or this
am delighted personally as well, because the meetings of
the President of the IOC with the politicians, first of
all the top person in the country, the President of the
Republic, Mr. Stefanopoulos, really brought to the fore
this particular climate. Not just the issues of
preparation, how well we are preparing ourselves, how
much the progress is really encouraging and the way it
has to be sustained so that we can be successful at the
end, but also the course our country must show at this
critical period because obviously we are going to go
through an election period, that it is going to show the
same decisiveness in order to have everything done the
way it should be and there will be no deviation which
would bring about a situation which would make it more
difficult for us to organize the Olympic Games.
this is very important. And of course all of us Greeks
are aware of it. I, too personally must ensure you that
there is a consensus. I am sure that the President would
agree to that. There is then a climate of partnership
and collaboration in this whole endeavour.
we all believe that the Olympic Games and the
preparation is not just an athletic event, a very
large-scale athletic event. It is an event which has
national characteristics because obviously the people
are permeated, if you will, by a feeling that those
Olympic Games are going to bring to the fore more than
the athletic or sports characteristics of the Olympic
would like to thank the President because this was not
just a visit in order to follow the preparation. It was
a visit, which was an opportunity for him to really talk
to the people, that each of them has a part of the
responsibility, each one of those 2,000 persons. He
really encouraged them, he spoke to them about the days
of the Olympic Games, he talked to them about the day
after and I know, Mr. President, that all of them really
were encouraged and really appreciate your gesture, all
the people in ATHOC.
I would like to ensure you that we are not going to move
an inch to the side, if you will, we are not going to
lower our intensity of effort at all, in order to bring
about this event.
And now you have the floor to ask questions.
TSAFOS (“GERMAN NEWS AGENCY”): Mr. President,
allow me to ask a very, very topical and actual
question. If you read the Greek and the foreign press,
you will be given the impression that Athens is
preparing for war and not for the Games. Of course,
these are worldwide concerns, not just linked to the
Games. So, please tell us: what is your impression in
terms of security measures and what is the message you
would like to convey to potential visitors during the
Games, who obviously are concerned about their security
J. ROGGE: The problem of security is the number one
problem not only of the Olympic Games of Athens only but
also of the whole world. Since September 11 the world
has changed. And all of us citizens of the world, in
every country, we are affected or will be affected by
that. There is a danger of terrorism and that danger is
not limited to a certain number of countries. The danger
can happen in all countries of the world. It can happen
in Greece, as it can happen in any other country that I
are all affected by that, just in going into an airport,
increased security checks, all the security measures
that are taken: visas, passports. Things are becoming
more difficult for everyone in the world today and we
have to live with that.
Olympic Games have been affected in 1972 with the
massacre of 11 Israeli athletes. The International
Olympic Committee has never and will never forget that.
Since then, security has always been our number one
preoccupation. We have always liaised with all the
governments who are responsible for security and the
governments have always delivered.
have addressed the Greek government like we have
addressed in Salt Lake City the American government and
we have asked them to secure and to assure security. The
IOC is not in a position to give an expertise on that,
other than bringing forward to the next Games the
experience of the past Games.
what we did was to hire the former Security Chief of
Barcelona, Mr. de Sicart, and we hired also the former
Security Chief of Sydney, Mr. Peter Ryan, and they are
advising the Organizing Committee, and even in the case
of Mr. Ryan, he has been hired by ATHOC to provide
that, a great number of countries are supporting,
collaborating and giving advice to the Greek government.
You know the list of the seven countries, which I will
not cite completely, but these are countries with
when I was in charge of the coordination of the Sydney
Games, participating in two different meetings, where
more than 70 countries together exchanged their
to be specific about Athens, I would like to say what I
said before the Salt Lake City Games, which were very
well secured and were a great success. I would like to
say that everything that is humanly possible has been
put in place but, at the same time, no one can guarantee
100% security. This is impossible. It is about
minimizing risks to the lowest possible level.
I would like to say to the spectators and the people
wanting to come to Greece, and to the athletes, that no
stone has been left unturned and that all the necessary
efforts have been made. And that is a very important
aspect. If the result of this means that, athletes,
spectators or officials have to undergo more security
checks, let it be so. Because if today you go to an
airport, you already are undergoing the same security
checks. If certain measures have to be taken, let it be.
If we see police and/or armed forces at the Games, let
it be. If it is needed, then we are glad that they are
there. Let us not forget that security measures are for
us. They are not against us.
yes, there will be in the future in all sports
organizations in general, but in big organizations such
as conventions, international meetings, there will be
more security. I think we have to live with that and I
have absolutely no problem with that.
Any other question?
SHROMAN (“REUTERS”): You said that there will be
an increase in doping checks for the Athens Games.
Considering the magnitude of the THG scandal, is the IOC
concerned that leading up to the Athens Games there will
be a number of well-known athletes who will have tested
positive to THG, as we have seen in the past weeks? Does
the IOC think about the possibility that some of these
major athletes will not be present at the Athens Games?
Thank you very much.
J. ROGGE: Well, all the indications today are that
THG is of course a scandal but THG is most probably a
very limited issue. THG seems today to be limited to the
athletes that were in contact with this Californian lab.
International Athletics Federation has just reexamined
more than 300 samples of the World Championships in
Paris and they have only found two positive cases of
THG. And coincidently, they were the same people that
were already caught in the trials of the United States
just before Paris.
means that this is not a widespread problem. But of
course we are going to be vigilant. The IOC has pending
certain scientific checks, which we have still to do. We
test all the samples of Salt Lake City. I would be very
much surprised if any positive THG tests would come out
of that. Because we believe that at the time of the
Games the drug was not yet available and we believe that
the drug has been only distributed in a very limited
number of cases. Nonetheless, it is very important to
have the test and to check for it.
second lesson is with “designer drugs”, which are
drugs whose composition is changed in such a way to fool
the test and to cheat. These designer drugs are always
going to be a local issue, never a widespread general
TROUPIS (PUBLIC TELEVISION): President Rogge, recently
IAAF has suggested that the Shot Put should go to
Ancient Olympia. What is your personal opinion about
J. ROGGE: I have no personal opinion. I have to express
the opinion of the International Olympic Committee. We
will study the measures being proposed. We know that
there was a proposal from ATHOC to IAAF. We have been
informed that IAAF agreed under certain conditions. The
IOC, together with ATHOC, will now examine the whole
logistical issue because it is just not enough to say we
will organise it. There are a lot of issues that have to
be covered: the date, transportation of athletes,
transportation of the media, media facilities,
accommodation, security, broadcasting. So let’s first
discuss that and then the IOC Executive Board will take
a decision on that.
MAKRI (“KIRIAKATIKI ELEFTHEROTIPIA”): Mr. Chairman,
you said a while ago that you had talks with the Prime
Minister and the leader of the official Opposition about
the Games and how they should be kept separate from the
pre-election campaign. Have they committed themselves,
or do they have something in mind, that is, to let the
same people remain responsible, even in the event of a
change in government?
about the 25th of March and the lighting of the flame,
well, this was interpreted as a pre-election gesture,
which would aim at strengthening the position of the
J. ROGGE: On your first question concerning what I would
call the continuity of the people organising the Games,
the answer is clearly yes. If the government wins the
election, it is obvious that the same people will
continue. If the Opposition wins the government, Mr.
Karamanlis has said very clearly and emphatically that
he would not change the leadership of ATHOC and of the
Organising Committee. He would bring in politically
responsible persons from his own government, but the
leadership of ATHOC would not be changed, and that is a
very wise decision.
that is also needed. We need a continuity, because a
couple of months before the Games you cannot have a
total change of leadership.
this is not exceptional for the IOC. We have had this
situation many, many times before. The Games preparation
is always spread over seven years, and in any democratic
country – and this is the place of birth of democracy
– you have at least half a dozen elections in the
seven years’ time.
we are used to that, and we never had any problem in the
past, even when the government was changing. So I am
confident about that.
your question on the 25th of March and the lighting of
the flame, I would like to give the floor to the
Chairman of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, because this
is the responsibility of the Hellenic Olympic Committee
and not of ATHOC, and definitely not of the IOC. Mr.
L. NIKOLAOU: First of all, because I want to be sincere
with you, I would like to tell you in the presence of
the President of the IOC that the Greek National Olympic
Committee was very disappointed when we didn’t get the
Games for the hundred years’ celebration of the modern
of course now we are very pleased that we are going to
organise the first Olympic Games of the third
millennium. And we don’t of course want the first
Games of the third millennium to be linked with
political or electoral matters.
you know, according to the old calendar, the first
modern Olympic Games took place on 25 March 1896, and so
therefore I had asked the Minister, Mr. Venizelos, to
ask the President of the Republic whether he would like
to be present in the opening ceremony, because this
obviously had happened in the 1896 Olympic Games. And of
course the President of the Republic said he would be
very glad to be there, and this celebration is going to
take place in Olympia, and this is of course very
important for Olympia as well.
will also be a church ceremony. We are very far from any
kind of politisisation of the lighting of the flame.
S. KOTROTSOS: Any other questions?
Something to do with doping: I have three sub-questions.
Bernard Lagat, the Kenyan runner, made a plea to the IOC
and also to the IAAF to look again at the test for
erythropoietin, because he was tested positive a little
while ago and then he was cleared. This was the first
second question: What happens with growth hormone, and
whether the test is being developed officially, because
some experimental testing has been done already.
the third has to do with the Director of the Doping
Control of the US, Mr. Catlin, after Salt Lake City,
that there are five or six artificial substances that we
don’t really know much about. We know about THG, but
do we have any more information about those other
substances that Mr. Catlin referred to?
J. ROGGE: On the first question about the plea of
Bernard Lagat, yes, we have received that. I will not
enter into very technical details, but I am ready, if
you wish, to take this up immediately after the press
conference. It is an issue of what we call “active
urine”. Now, that might be a bit of a strange name for
you, but in the case of Lagat what happened is that the
urine that was taken from Lagat continued to have a
chemical degradation, and that led to a false positive
is an exceptional case. It can happen. We are already
studying measures to avoid that in the future, so that
that could not happen again. On the other hand, I am
very glad to see that the “B” sample and the appeal
have cleared Mr. Lagat of every problem.
human growth hormone, we are working very hard for more
than 10 years. It is a very difficult test, because as
you all know we all produce human growth hormone. We
believe that we will get there. Will it be in time for
the Athens Games? I don't know. I would hope so, but I
cannot promise that, because a test must be a hundred
percent foolproof. We are definitely making good
progress, but I cannot say with certainty that it will
be in place for Athens.
the unknown drugs: Yes, that is true. Today human growth
hormone is a drug that we cannot test, and there are
more. But we are making fast progress, I am glad to say.
In the Salt Lake City Games we discovered in time the
new drug Aranesp, for which two athletes were then
disqualified, Lazutina of the Russian Federation and
Muehlegg of Spain.
we had THG, and tomorrow we will have another test. So I
am not saying that we have everything in hand, but we
are making good progress and we will continue to
research and to work very hard on that.
T. TONGAS (“ASSOCIATED PRESS”): Mr. Rogge, yesterday
Ms. Angelopoulos-Daskalaki said on the local leg of the
Torch Relay that the flame would be going to some of the
islands, but that would be weather permitting. On the
international leg of the Relay, the flame is supposed to
go through Istanbul. If the situation in some city of
the world is what it is currently in Istanbul, would you
entertain the idea of dropping some of the cities, or
would you hope that the message of peace, brotherhood
and security that was mentioned yesterday, be taken to
J. ROGGE: May I propose that Ms. Angelopoulos-Daskalaki
would take care of the local sailing to the islands, and
I will take care of the international aspect and
decisions whether to go to a city or not. So Ms.
Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, could you give a weather report
on how to sail to the islands?
T. TONGAS (“ASSOCIATED PRESS”): The question
wasn’t to elaborate on a local scale; it was just as
an example that the islands could be dropped. And the
international leg: could it also happen?
J. ROGGE: OK, thank you very much. That will spare Ms.
Angelopoulos-Daskalaki from making weather predictions.
On the other hand, I understand your question well,
because we had the sinking of boats in Schinias.
for the International Relay, this is of course an
organisation of ATHOC itself, in close collaboration
with the National Olympic Committees, with our two
sponsors, Coca-Cola and Samsung, and definitely under
the final supervision of the International Olympic
are planning today to have the full route without
exception, and we are planning today to have the Games
under the normal program and normal organisation. If at
a certain stage the international situation would
require us to take an action to change the routes or to
go from one city to another, bypassing a city or a
country, that will be done. But frankly speaking, today
it is impossible to speculate on the future. This is
really a hypothetical question, but both ATHOC and the
IOC are very responsible organisations, and risk
assessment will always be done, and if it is deemed that
the risks are too high then it will not go further. That
is quite clear. Ms. Angelopoulos, do you want to add
something to that?
G. ANGELOPOULOS: I completely agree with you, Mr.
YUKI (“YOMIURI SHINBUN”): Thank you, Mr. President.
I just wanted to follow up the THG doping question. You
did say in your answer that you didn’t have
information that the THG drug was available during the
Salt Lake City time. What is the latest information,
since when and how it was available?
you did say these scientific considerations, scientific
checks that you are conducting before making decisions
for the retesting on Salt Lake. Could you elaborate a
little bit on that, please?
J. ROGGE: Yes, when the THG entered the market, well,
definitely just before the US track and field trials,
which were held in May and in June, because we have
positive tests of that. Did we have THG before? Probably
not, but no one can tell it with certainty. We would
hope that Dwain Chambers, the British athlete, would be
wise enough to give information, and in reward of that
he would get then a diminution of his penalty by the
International Track and Field Federation. That’s a
plea bargain, and that has been proposed, and that would
give us a lot of information.
will know, when we test the Salt Lake City samples of
February 2002, whether there was THG or not. I would be
surprised, but I mean we will test them.
last question is what further controls do we need before
testing these samples. It’s just that we want to make
sure that the chain of custody has been respected; that
means that samples were taken in Salt Lake City. They
are now in Los Angeles. We are checking how they were
transported, if all the seals are in place, if there is
absolutely no possibility of breaking the chain of
custody, and also whether the technical conditions of
preserving the samples – and they have to be preserved
at –24o and out of the light – if that has been
respected. If that is the case, we will test them.
KRALOGLOU (“EXPRESS”): Mr. Rogge, I would like to
return to the issue of the national elections and the
possibility that after the elections the Opposition
party will be in government. From your contacts with Mr.
Karamanlis, could you tell us whether you believe that
the Opposition party, which perhaps may be in the
government, will be in a position to carry out
successful Games, because they didn’t have the
experience of preparing?
also I would like for you to tell me who is going to
inform the political parties of the Parliament about the
lighting ceremony and everything to do with lighting,
because I don't think that there was any such
information? Thank you.
J. ROGGE: I will reply to your first question, and Mr.
Nikolaou will reply to the second part of your question.
we believe that in case of change of the government the
Games can be well prepared? The answer is yes. One has
to take into consideration the timing of the potential
change. If you have a change of government, let’s say
one year or two years before the Olympic Games, then the
influence of the government on the preparation is very
high. If you have a change a couple of months before,
then the influence is not very high, because obviously
the government will not change anything in the building
of the venues. They will not change anything in the
security measures that have been implemented and been
prepared. They will have very, very little influence on
the incoming government in that case must be in a
supportive role, and not in a policy role. But on the
other hand of course the incoming government would
receive from the IOC, and also from ATHOC of course, all
the necessary information to perform.
case of a change of government, Mr. Karamanlis has
pledged that the key persons and leadership of ATHOC
would not be changed, so that gives the continuity.
the other hand, I would like to give the floor to Mr.
Nikolaou about the Parliament question.
L. NIKOLAOU: I have lighted the flame nine times during
my term in office, and we never had any problem
whatsoever. You know very well that we don’t want
politics to be involved in sports. However, the Torch
Relay Commission, with the participation of a very
well-known member from the Opposition, were cognizant of
the fact, and they have signed the protocol, that on the
25th of March we are going to have the lighting
ceremony. And the flame would remain outside either the
Panathinaiko Stadium or in Syntagma Square, and the
first option was finally agreed upon.
me also add on the basis of my experience from the
various Torch Relays that the reception of the flame is
extraordinary and unique, indeed. So we wanted to give
the inhabitants of Athens the opportunity to go and take
pictures in front of the flame. We wanted them to see
it, because if the torchbearer is running with the flame
you can’t take any pictures, of course. That was the
(“L’EQUIPE”): Good morning. I have a question for
Ms. Angelopoulos-Daskalaki and for Mr. Rogge. Are there
any efforts or any discussions to have a test event, the
Tsiklitiria, and at the Olympic Stadium as well?
G. ANGELOPOULOS: As far as the Stadium is concerned, we
need the IAAF, the International Federation’s
permission. You know that at present there are works in
progress, and our deadlines are very tight, in order to
have time for test events, because there is not only the
Stadium, the Athens Olympic Sports Complex. There is the
roof, the surrounding area, the other facilities. This
is the complex that will play a primary role during the
the basis of our experience from the test events, I dare
say – it’s a bit of an exaggeration – that we
might carry out simulation tests, because we have the
technology available, in order to monitor the progress.
But in OAKA, there is no such possibility. That is why
all of us agree that we should focus attention there, so
that the Organising Committee can organise separate test
events at OAKA, at the Athens Olympic Sports Complex,
because this is our priority, and we cannot add anything
else, any other events there.
KOLLIAS (“KATHIMERINI”): I’d like to come back to
what Mr. Felli said about the complexity and the order
of magnitude of the Olympic Games event. I have a
question: Are there any specific figures Mr. Felli would
mention, that is IOC’s budget upper limits, or should
the budget be adjusted downward in order to organise the
Games in a small country, that is, reduce the number of
accredited visitors or the members of the Olympic
Family? I don't know how many people are accredited each
J. ROGGE: I will give the floor to Mr. Felli for that.
G. FELLI: As you know, the budget of the Organising
Committee is split in two, the budget of the Organising
Committee, which is the operational budget of the Games.
And then you have got the budget from the government or
private sectors or others who are providing
these budgets could be very different, if you have a
city which has already all the facilities or a city
which has got to build many facilities. But this is not
for the Olympic Games, because we are looking for what
may show that it’s for the development of the city,
and it’s a full integration of it.
there you cannot compare one city with the other,
because it depends on what you have got at your
second budget is the operational budget. Again, there it
could vary from one country to the other, because you
don’t know – you know, the salaries in China are not
the same with those in the US or in Canada.
what you are trying to do is to reduce the scope, the
numbers, the number of accreditations, the number of
seats that we give, and so on. And we know by reducing
that automatically when you reduce one accreditation –
we know that an accreditation from one person could cost
up to USD3,000, or 5,000 if it is a journalist.
yes, because if you have got one person accredited as a
journalist it does not mean only that he has the cards,
but as a journalist he has got the right to sit in the
stadium, so you lose a ticket; he has got the right to
have transportation to go to the stadium. He has got the
right to have a seat in the Main Press Center – now,
because the lady behind you was shaking her head.
it’s why you cannot compare exactly the situation from
one to the other. We can compare the number but not the
cost. But all together, the operational costs will vary
from one to the other, but we know that if we can help
the next Organising Committee by transfer of knowledge,
we will reduce the costs.
J. ROGGE: May I add one thing? That is in the case of
Athens that the budget is lower than it would have been
for a bigger country. And I’ll give you a number of
figures. In Sydney a number of venues gave the total
number of spectator seats of 9.5 million. The Organising
Committee sold 9.5 million tickets. In Athens the total
number of tickets will be 5.5 million, so only about
50%. Why? Because the venues are smaller; they are not
as big as they were in Sydney.
that is a good sign, that already Athens has adapted the
budget to what the city and the country will need after
the Games. And that reflects exactly what Mr. Felli was
example is we need approximately 30,000 hotel beds in
the Olympic city to accommodate everyone: spectators,
tourists, media Olympic Family. When we went to Sydney,
we had about 25,000 rooms available, and then cruise
ships came into the harbor, and these cruise ships
provided the remaining number.
we came here to Athens, the total capacity was around
17,000 hotel beds, and we were able to increase it with
cruise ships. Now, cruise ships are a very cheap way of
increasing the number of hotel beds, because you don’t
have to build a hotel. And once the Games are over, the
ships leave and the city is not overcrowded with an
we have a problem is when we choose a city that is not
at the sea, but that’s something else; that’s for
S. KOTROTSOS: Thank you very much.