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  • On the Scene in Copenhagen -- IOC President Demurs on 2nd Term


    10/06/08

    The IOC Session launch event was held at Tivoli Gardens. (ATR/M.Bisson)
    (ATR) IOC President Jacques Rogge tells Around the Rings he will announce whether he plans to run for re-election by the end of this month. Speaking in Copenhagen, Rogge also complimented the U.S. Olympic Committee for its selection a few days ago of Larry Probst as the new chairman

    Rogge was in the Danish capital where he attended events Monday to mark one year to the IOC Session that would bring his re-election – if he chooses to seek a final four-year term.

    “I said that I would announce in October, October is not over yet,” he said.

    Commenting on the appointment of Larry Probst as the new chair of the U.S. Olympic Committee, he said the executive at Electronic Arts would be a “great asset for the USOC and the Olympic Movement”.

    Rogge would not be drawn on whether Chicago stood a better chance of being elected 2016 Olympic host under Probst, but added: “His professional past record in leading video game companies is something that is giving him an insight on how to attract youth.

    “We are thinking also of using new media to bring the youth back to sports. Definitely he will be an asset, yes absolutely.”

    Asked if Copenhagen had the ability to host an Olympics or Youth Olympic Games, Rogge said the city could stage a YOG “without any doubt” because it was an event that could be organized by cities of a similar size to Singapore, host of the inaugural summer YOG in 2010.

    Copenhagen was selected from a field of nine candidates as the host for the 2009 IOC Session and Olympic Congress. The IOC Session begins October 2 when members will select a host for the 2016 Olympics. The session will adjourn from Oct. 3 to 5 for the Olympic Congress, then resume on October 6 for two days of concluding business, including ratification of Rogge to a final term, should he declare later this month.

    Rogge was quizzed by reporters about a number of issues swirling around the Olympic world.

    He insisted he was not unduly worried about the global financial crisis on the Olympics,, restating similar reassurances given in a speech in Geneva last week.

    And remarking on the ambitions of HRH The Crown Prince of Denmark to gain IOC membership, Rogge confirmed: “It is the intention to submit the candidature of the Crown Prince at the IOC Session.”

    “He loves sport and knows sport very well. He’s a very good sailor. He would have a perfect profile for the IOC,” said Rogge who lunched with Prince Frederik a few hours before the ceremony for the Copenhagen IOC Session.

    Rogge was also asked about the IOC’s negotiations with the U.S. Olympic Committee over a new Olympic
    IOC president Jacques Rogge and Denmark's HRH Prince Frederik. (ATR/M.Bisson)
    revenues sharing formula. “There is no dispute. I would not use that word. We have discussions… and they will resume in two or three weeks.”

    The IOC President was among speakers at the event, which was held in the picturesque Tivoli Garden on a crisp and clear day.

    Prince Frederik, IOC member from Denmark Kai Holm and NOC President Niels Nygaard also addressed the 750 guests and highlighted what Copenhagen will offer the Olympic Family when its constituents descend on the city next year.

    The hour-long event also included contributions from Minister of Culture Carina Christensen, Mayor of Copenhagen Ritt Bjerregaard and President of Sport Event Denmark, Lars Krarup.

    The official logo for the IOC Session and Olympic Congress was unveiled at the ceremony, a heart-shaped emblem that takes its cue from the “Taking the Pulse”, a theme of the
    Jacques Rogge reiterated to delegates the need for transparent, drug-free Games. (ATR/M.Bisson)
    congress.
    Rogge called the design “really outstanding”.

    Rogge expressed his confidence that Denmark would deliver a great session and congress.
    Adapting the Danish beer Carlsberg’s slogan, he told the assembled sports and business leaders that “Copenhagen is probably the most efficient and beautiful city in the world.”

    In more serious mood, Rogge said the event was “very important for the Olympic Movement and sport”.

    Rogge said the Olympic Family, including athletes, NOCs, federations, sponsors and media, as well as members of the general public, would be able to contribute to “the challenges we have to study”.

    “We could be very shortsighted and bask in the glory of the success of the Beijing Games but there are problems out there we have to tackle,” he said, mentioning the governance of NOCs and federations among them.

    “The size of the Games we have to control and contain. We need to have ethics in sport – no doping, no corruption, total transparency,” he added.

    He also spoke about the challenge of attracting young people into sport, suggesting that greater use of online social networking sites could aid this objective.

    The 2009 IOC Session and Olympic Congress is the largest of more than 40 international sports events taking place all over Denmark in the Danish Year of Sport, which include world championships in taekwondo and wrestling and the UEFA Congress. Copenhagen also stages the United Nations Climate Change Conference from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11, 2009.

    Written by Mark Bisson in Copenhagen

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