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You gotta have faith

040301_jrogge1 Reuters reported early last week that International Olympic Committee (IOC) chief Jacques Rogge was confident that organisers of the Athens Olympics would have everything ready to welcome the world's athletes, media and spectators for the August 13-29 games. Speaking on Tuesday, the opening day of a meeting of the world's national Olympic committees in Athens, Rogge said "in the most categorical way that the International Olympic Committee surrounds the Greek effort with absolute confidence."

By Friday Rogge had become more guarded in his public assessment of Olympic preparedness in Athens, saying that it remains uncertain whether the games will be a success, according to this Associated Press story. "There's still a lot to do -- we have only five and a half months," Rogge said. "Our experts say if the pace and the rhythm of the work continues, there is enough time to finish in due time."

Fox Sports writer Peter Wilson wrote that Rogge voiced even greater concern in private IOC circles during his visit to Athens. Rogge told about 30 members of the IOC at a private breakfast on Friday that "there are serious question marks over the Athens Games and those question marks will remain right until the closing ceremony." Wilson, the only member of the media at that breakfast meeting, was there because an invitation intended for IOC's Ted Wilson was delivered by mistake to Peter Wilson's hotel room. Wilson's story includes a mini history on preparations for the first modern Olympic games, held in Athens in 1896, that shows Greeks are creative improvisers at crunch time.

Posted on March 2, 2004 in Current Affairs, Olympics | Permalink


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