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  • On the Scene -- Olympic Organizers Report to IOC Leaders


    The IOC EB met behind closed-doors Monday and Tuesday. (ATR/Panasonic Lumix)
    (ATR) Organizers of the next three Olympics will update the IOC Executive Board on preparations for the Games in a busy day of meetings Tuesday in Lausanne.

    VANOC chief executive John Furlong and London 2012 chair Sebastian Coe will present their reports via video links. Dmitry Chernyshenko, president and CEO of Sochi 2014, is in Lausanne to brief the EB and members of the international media.

    In Furlong’s briefing, discussion is likely to center on ticketing, security and progress on the only venue not Games-ready, B.C. Place Stadium, site of the opening, closing and nightly medals ceremonies.

    Earlier this month, Rene Fasel, head of the IOC watchdog for Vancouver, noted his satisfaction with the city’s progress with eight months until the Games open. “I must say I was in a positive way surprised how ready they were,” he said after the project review. Olympic Games executive director Gilbert Felli was also involved. The full 2010 Coordination Commission meets for the last time in 2009 on Aug. 25-26.

    Coe and LOCOG chief executive Paul Deighton will reassure the EB that 2012 organizers are on schedule with construction work on the Olympic Park and on target with sponsorships. After completing its line-up of top tier partners, LOCOG is making steady progress in securing tier two and three deals.

    This is the last meeting of the EB before London marks the three-year countdown to the Olympics on July 27. The IOC Coordination Commission led by Denis Oswald gave a glowing assessment of the British capital’s preparations after its latest inspection in May; another check-up is planned for November.

    For Sochi, Chernyshenko will underline the pace of progress on the massive construction effort required for the 2014 Winter Games.

    Questions may come from EB members about the change in leadership at Olympstroy, the state-controlled company overseeing building projects for the Games. Taimuraz Bolloev, the founder of the Baltika beer company, became the third head of Olympstroy to hold the post since November 2007 when he was appointed to replace Viktor Kolodyazhny last month.

    The IOC’s rule-making body will also hear about the progress of plans for the inaugural Summer Youth Olympic Games in Singapore next August and the winter edition in Innsbruck in 2012.

    IOC member from Singapore Ng Ser Miang, who sits on the EB, will update his colleagues on the city-state’s YOG. Felli is reporting on plans for Innsbruck 2012.

    In the afternoon session, the IOC administration and its directors will deliver reports, together with the heads of the following commissions: marketing, TV rights, NOC relations, finance and the athletes commission.

    IOC President Jacques Rogge holds a press conference to wrap up the EB’s third meeting of the year. He will allocate some time to commenting on the presentations of the seven sports who pitched their cases for inclusion in the 2016 Olympics at briefings June 15.

    Following a joint meeting of the EB and the 2009 Congress Commission Monday, Rogge will also brief reporters on preparations for the IOC Session and Olympic Congress in Copenhagen in October. The host city for the 2016 Olympics is elected at the Session Oct. 2; IOC members have the opportunity to vote for up to two sports to join the Olympics a few days later.

    IOC Director General Urs Lacotte told yesterday’s press conference the organization and content planning for the Session and Congress were on track; the last such meeting to take the pulse of the Olympic Movement was held in Paris in 1994.
    IOC President Jacques Rogge and IOC director of administration and finance Thierry Sprunger. (ATR/Panasonic Lumix)

    “I think we have a very strong team in Copenhagen, which is doing a really great job. We will have very good infrastructure with the Bella Center [venue for the meetings], good hotels and transportation system,” he said.

    During the period of the Virtual Congress, the online initiative launched to invite submissions for discussion at the Congress, 454 contributions came from the Olympic Family and 1,319 from the general public, Lacotte confirmed. He said all continents and age groups, including those under 25 years, were represented.

    With reporting from Mark Bisson.

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