NEWS

Athens 2004 chief: We cannot relax

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – The head of Athens’s battered organizing committee for the 2004 Summer Olympics met IOC leaders in the wake of yet another review that found preparations lagging. Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki and aides spent almost an hour on Saturday with the International Olympic Committee’s executive board, longer than usual for what is supposed to be a routine quarterly report. The questions and attitude of the board were the same as always, focusing on details and changes, Angelopoulos-Daskalaki said. She said she was able to report progress in many areas, including construction of the Olympic Village and the international media and broadcast centers. But she acknowledged a late-January report from Denis Oswald, head of the IOC’s oversight panel for Athens, that said the Greek government has been unable to overcome problems with Olympic accommodation and transportation. «We learn some good lessons. One is that we can never relax,» the Athens chief said. «We have to make changes and consider different ideas. It’s not new – it happens to all organizing committees.» She also said the board «asked me to relax and enjoy Salt Lake City, and ski around. But for the moment, I must be all eyes and ears and attention and mind for the Games of 2004.» IOC Vice President Kevan Gosper said Athens’s presentation was «not routine, but no surprises.» «They know they have to keep up, but they are on schedule,» Gosper said. Oswald said last month that his six-member team had a generally «positive» picture after a two-day review of preparations and was optimistic that Greece will be ready for the Olympics.