6 August 2008 :With the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing Games only a few days away, Liu Qi, the President of the Beijing 2008 Organising Committee (BOCOG), made his final pre-Games presentation to the IOC Session at its meeting in the Chinese capital. Seven years after presiding over the Chinese delegation that won the bid for Beijing, on 13th July 2001 in Moscow, Liu Qi presented to the IOC Members the fruits of BOCOG’s hard work.
We are ready!
The message from President Liu Qi was clear – we are ready! As those in Beijing or watching from afar on TV will have been able to observe, the athletes are arriving, the stadiums are ready to go and the fans are excited – let the Games begin. With several thousand staff and about 70’000 volunteers, trained, motivated and ready to go, the Beijing Games are gearing-up to be a truly spectacular event, where smiling and enthusiastic faces will be a common sight at each Olympic venue.
Since Beijing’s election, BOCOG and its local partners have had some truly impressive achievements. The construction of 30 venues and 44 training centres has been completed, public transport in the city has been improved with the addition of new subway lines and express bus routes, polluting factories have been removed from the city, green spaces for the public have increased, and 42 sports events have been successfully held to test the Olympic sites.
The big question that remains though is will all this preparation pay off? Following Liu Qi’s presentation, no one can be left in any doubt that BOCOG and its partners have done everything in their power to prepare for an outstanding 16 days of competition. When the Opening Ceremony starts on the eighth of the eighth 2008 at eight o’clock, it will be the culmination of a dream, not just for Liu Qi and the staff of BOCOG but for an entire nation – a spectacular feast for the eyes and ears.