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  • Advice to Beijing Olympics: Shun Complacency


    IOC President Jacques Rogge visits with taekwondo athletes in Beijing. 
    (ATR) IOC President Jacques Rogge tells organizers of the Beijing Olympics that they must avoid complacency in the final months to the Games.

    "Despite the great progress that BOCOG has so far been able to achieve, my experience throughout my Olympic career has been that it is extremely important not to 'take your eye off the ball', because it is often in the moments when you lose your focus that mistakes can creep in," Rogge said in his remarks at the opening of the latest meeting of the IOC Coordination Commission for Beijing.

    The IOC President also noted that attention should be paid to the way Beijing and China are perceived by the world, not just the technical preparations for the Games.

    "We must therefore ensure that while all the technical elements are in place that we do not forget to look after the less tangible elements that will ultimately shape the world's image of China and the Beijing Games," said Rogge.

    While Rogge did not name specifics among the less tangibles, but air pollution and human rights are among the recurring issues raised by critics in connection with the Beijing Olympics.

    Rogge visited the National Stadium site and other Olympic venues Tuesday. He called the stadium "staggerin
    In Tokyo last week the IOC President met with the Emperor. Rogge also met with new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during his Japan trip. (Yo Nagaya) 

    "It is, in my opinion, one of the icons in the world. It
    will leave a fantastic legacy to Beijing," Rogge said.

    The IOC President has been in China since Sunday, also attending the 5th World Forum on Sport, Education and Culture, which ended Tuesday. The forum is a joint project of the IOC and UNESCO.

    On Wednesday, his last day in Beijing, Rogge will meet with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

    Rogge heads back to Europe from Asia. Last week he visited Tokyo.

    With reporting in Beijing from Bill Smith

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