Gilbert Felli with Dmitry Chernyshenko in Sochi. (ATR)
(ATR) With the debrief from Vancouver to Sochi now complete, plans are already being made for London to meet with Rio de Janeiro in 2012.
Speaking to Around the Rings
in Sochi last week, IOC Olympic Games Executive Director Gilbert Felli said meetings were held on the side of the Vancouver debrief to plan for 2012.
“We talked to the Rio people here about our needs and logistics. With London, we talked to them here about how this one will be structured on the content. And then following this debrief, some corrections. Two years before, we start to work on it,” says Felli.
The Sochi debrief is the sixth since the IOC started holding these sessions in 2000 after the Sydney Games.
“When we did the one from Sydney to Athens it was difficult because we had to imagine everything,” says Felli about the first debrief in November 2000.
Just over 100 people attended that debrief in Athens; more than 400 turned up in Sochi for a week of exchanges. What used to be the two organizing committees and the IOC has now grown to include all active organizing committees, bid cities, sponsors, international federations and other stakeholders.
“People were afraid of being smashed by the stakeholders”, he says of the first debriefs.
“It’s a big change from the beginning. There is a trust we have been able to build within all the players. People can benefit from something as well as give something back,” he says.
Felli also notes the level of preparation is much better for all participants, especially for the just ended Vancouver debrief.
”I was not happy with the way [it was being done before] a bit relaxed. So I called [Sochi 2014 CEO Dmitry Chernyshenko] and so when they came to Vancouver, they all have done their homework to be prepared for their observation. It’s a big asset,” says
The closing press conference from the Vancouver debrief in Sochi on June 10. (ATR)
He also says delegates to the debrief are paying attention to what’s going on.
“We could see that the people who were sitting in the rooms have interest. They are not there because they were sent by their boss to go to the meeting and take a few notes. They are there because they are enthusiastic to learn about the Olympics. So it’s a big change,” says Felli.
“We can see that at the sessions here, you do not have to look at your watch and say two more hours to go,” he says.
Felli says more informal sessions may be part of the program for London
Gilbert Felli. (ATR)
based on the experience last week in Sochi.
“Probably this time we have seen many more informal meetings. As soon as the meetings were finished we could see people were sitting here, there, everywhere, to keep the discussions going, how they could help each other,” he says.
Improvement are always part of the process.
“You have to be humble, you have to learn every time. When you see the level of happiness, the satisfaction, you think you have reached a good target,” he says.
The costs for the debrief probably run into six figures, shared among the IOC and the organizing committees.
“It’s cheap compared to the benefit that you get from that. If you had to get all this information, the level of information, it’s invaluable,” says Felli.
Written by Ed Hula
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