Rare IOC praise over velodrome

The International Olympic Committee’s top watchdog over Greece’s preparations issued rare words of praise yesterday for Sunday’s installation of a monumental steel roof over the Olympic cycling track in Athens. The roof, assembled in two parts and slid together, is a smaller version of the 130-million-euro structure also designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava for the main Olympic stadium, whose timely completion is a major IOC worry. «The successful sliding of the 4,000-ton velodrome roof is very satisfying for a number of reasons, even though it may have happened later than planned,» IOC chief overseer Dennis Oswald said yesterday. «The slide could be seen as a warmup for the main stadium’s roof, so it had to go well… We are mindful that other, even greater challenges remain.» Deputy Culture Minister for Sports Giorgos Orfanos yesterday said work to refurbish the 108-year-old Panathenaic Stadium, where the Olympic archery event will be held, is behind schedule. He said the stadium would be ready for tomorrow’s arrival of the Olympic Flame.

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