Olympic Games: IOC happy with progress of Athens' preparations

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The Independent Online

The schedule of preparations for the 2004 Athens Olympics is "quite tight" but the International Olympic Committee has said it is generally happy with progress.

The president of the Athens bid organisers (ATHOC), Gianna Angelopoulos, gave a report to the IOC's executive board on Thursday reviewing recent trials of events and construction progress. "We have noted many, many very positive developments," the IOC director-general, François Carrard, told a news conference. "The test results were quite good, but the schedule remains quite tight.

The IOC's director for Olympic Games, Gilbert Felli, said: "The tests came out very positively". But, turning to the Turin 2006 Winter Games, Felli said there were several areas that need to be improved. He said the marketing and promotion of the Games was not yet good enough and the organisers had been asked to "deliver a better message" to attract other sponsors, while an agreement on operational issues has not been finalised with the Italian state television company, RAI. However, Felli said the IOC was happy with the progress of construction in Turin.

Looking ahead to the Beijing summer Games in 2008, Carrard said things were going very smoothly. "It is perfect progress, we don't see any problems," he said.