NEWS

Rogge confident of ‘excellent’ 2004

IOC President Jacques Rogge yesterday expressed confidence that the Athens 2004 Olympics would be «excellent.» Rogge, who spent Sunday night at the Olympic Village, spoke at the opening of the 116th IOC session at Athens’s Concert Hall. While praising the Games, he also noted the danger the Olympics faced from «threats to security, gigantism, doping and ethical violations.» «By awarding the Games to Athens, the IOC wished to return them to their roots and honor their founding country,» Rogge said. He thanked the Athens 2004 Organizing Committee and its head, Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, who «contributed her strong vision, unshakeable faith and great charisma to the Organizing Committee.» He also thanked the «Greek public authorities» for helping the organizers. «We have confidence in our Greek friends to organize excellent Games, which will mark their return to their roots and have already left a remarkable urban legacy which will benefit future generations,» Rogge said. «While sport is a success in terms of participation, audience and finance, it is threatened by dangers that we need to combat in order to ensure it continues to thrive,» he noted. «These dangers are threats to security, gigantism, doping and ethical violations.»