2008 Olympics offer great legacy for China: IOC

By Xinhua

Beijing : The International Olympic Committee (IOC) believes more than ever that the 2008 Olympic Games offer a great legacy for China to manage and sustain, IOC president Jacques Rogge said Tuesday.

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Rogge, who was opening the first seminar of the Chefs de Mission here for the 2008 Olympics, said the Games provide the opportunity not only to enjoy sporting excellence but also a chance for people to learn more about a city and country on the global stage.

As per the Olympic tradition, the seminar is held one year before every Games, aiming at briefing National Olympic Committees (NOCs) on the progress of the preparatory work, hearing the NOCs’ views and suggestions and fostering communication and exchange among members of the Olympic family.

The seminar, which lasts until Thursday, is being attended by representatives of the IOC, major international sport federations, hosts of 2010 Winter Games and 2012 Summer Games and local and foreign media.

“Bringing Olympic values to one fifth of the world’s population is arguably one of the most exciting projects in Olympic history,” he said.

Rogge said the Beijing Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (BOCOG) has done “a fantastic job” and “programmes driven by the Games related to environment are building best-practice examples not just for today but for future generations in China”.

Noting that air quality is a challenge for Beijing’s preparation for the Games and that IOC is paying a lot of attention to this, Rogge said BOCOG has outlined a number of contingency plans to put into effect next year if necessary.

“It is important to stress that our Chinese colleagues are doing their utmost to deal with this challenge,” he said. “We are very hopeful the matter will be tackled effectively.”