SPORTS

IOC is happy with 2004 progress report

LAUSANNE (AP) – Organizers of next year’s Athens Olympics received another vote of confidence yesterday from the International Olympic Committee. «We have noted very many positive developments,» IOC director general Francois Carrard said after a progress report by Greek officials to the IOC executive board. «While the schedule remains quite tight, a lot of positive things are being accomplished in Athens right now.» IOC executive Games director Gilbert Felli said the seven test events held in Greece last month received high praise from the international federations. The main concern of the IOC remains completion of construction projects at the main Olympic stadium complex, Felli said. «We are very confident, but we are also very tense,» he said. «This has to be done by April next year.» Preparations for the Games, which begin in less than 11 months, have experienced severe delays over the past three years. But the IOC has praised organizers for getting things back on track. Yesterday’s report to the board was given by organizing chief Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki. «Our success at the sports events last month is a clear signal that our work is paying off,» she said, adding that 37 more test events are scheduled from now until August. «We’re gathering speed and gathering experience. We are confident and growing stronger in our belief that Athens will deliver a historic, efficient, and memorable Games next summer.» The IOC also reviewed preparations for the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, Italy and 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Carrard said the board urged Italian organizers to improve their communication and promotion efforts, while praising the «perfect progress» in Beijing.