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We cant eliminate all injustice in the world but we can make sports better

3 (2009)
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The President of the International Olympic Committee Jacques Rogge — about three coming Olympic Games and the effect of the world crisis on them.

The International Olympic Committee has studied preparation for the three closest Olympic Games- in Vancouver-2010, London-2012 and Sochi-2014. As the President of the International Olympic Committee Jacques Rogge said, financial situation is safe  Organizers of the Olympic Games in Sochi have some technical and engineering problems but not financial ones. This is the project of the first priority both for Russia and for Vladimir Putin, and we are sure that everything will be all right there.

China has raised the level very high

— I think that now nobody has any doubts concerning our right choice when we decided the XXIX  Olympic Games to be held in China. Thanks to this the world has learnt more about China, and the Chinese have learnt more about the world. And I believe that these Olympic Games will have an immense impact on The Chinese People’s Republic in general. Together we saw the brightest and the most dramatic moments. It was really a tremendous Olympic event. China has raised the level very high, and the organizers of the future Olympic Games will have to work hard to achieve that level.

 Rogge is not worried about the Committee’s future either: «The International Olympic Committee is very strong now and has good chances to wait till the storm is over». Though he confessed: «We should be realistic and be ready for any turn of the events».

Everything will be all right in Sochi

— Organizers of the Olympic Games in Sochi have some technical and engineering problems but not financial ones. This is the project of the first priority both for Russia and for Vladimir Putin, and we are sure that everything will be all right there. We have confirmations from the Government of the Russian Federation that all financial promises are being kept in full. Moreover, construction in Sochi has already begun. Sochi gives a unique chance to make a new world-level centre of winter sports. It will be located away from the Alps and Rocky mountains, which together with Japanese objects are the biggest scenes for winter kinds of sports.

The Olympic village will be built in London in any case

— London Olympic Games’ organizers lack 1,7 milliard dollars for the construction of the Olympic village. British officials will take them from the reserve funds. The government will repay this money by means of loan from other resources.

«I hate doping»

— I hate doping, we all hate doping, but we shoulde be realistic. Doping in sports is the same that delinquency in the society. And there always will be delinquency in the society. We cannot imagine a society without laws, jails, police, or judicial system. The same is true for sports. There are about 500 million people worldwide practicing sports. There are no 500 million saints in the world. Therefore doping will exist in the future, but our primary task is to decrease it as much as possible.

If the Games are not successful — there will be less money

— Yes, it’s a true financial crisis in the world now, but it’s too early to evaluate its affect on the world of sports. The International Olympic Committee has enough of its own finances and means and it has television and sponsorship contracts concluded before year 2012. Further financing of the International Olympic Committee will depend on what the following Games are like. If the Games are not successful, there will be less money. We should do everything possible for the Games not to be too bulky and expensive. Everybody demands to include new kinds of sports in the programme, to increase the number of sportsmen, coaches, but all this makes organization of the Games more complicated. The Olympic Games should not grow any more. In summer Olympic programme we should stop at 28 kinds of sport and 10,500 sportsmen.

During good times of economic boom if we have enough financial resources it’s possible to increase the competitions and the events, but during the crisis it’s unreasonable.

My motivation is to keep going this way 

— If the Games in Beijing were a failure I wouldn’t be thinking of the second period of presidency in  the International Olympic  Committee. But they  were a great success. Other Games — the ones in Salt-Lake City, Athens and Turin, had the same result. My motivation is to keep going this way. The International Olympic Committee and the Olympic Games can not change a whole nation or a political regime. We can not eliminate all injustice in the world but we can make sports better.

«I was tough but just»

— Mr. Rogge, are you still into sports?

— Of course, I jog five, six kilometers five times a week and also play golf.

— You used to be a rugby player and a yachtsman. How did you benefit from these sports?

— As a yachtsman you get accustomed to act on your own. If you win, you win alone and if you loose, it's your fault. You learn self-control. Rugby, though is completly different from sailing. You win as a part of a team and you work hard to get results. This experience is still very useful when it comes to being organized, especially when you work in the IOC.

— Were you a tough rugby player?

— Sometimes. In rugby you can be successful only if you give the best of you. However I never got a yellow or red card. I was tough but just. I had my nose broken four times, I had my right ankle broken and dislocation of patella. But that's the price to pay in this sport.

— What is your favorite sport?

— As a Belgian I am a cycle racing fan. The moment when a Belgian wins a medal, I stop being the president of IOC, I simply turn into a Belgian.

— You rejoice?

— Of course, I still keep being a fan.

Source: «Zuddeutsche Zeitung»


Author: Artem Vasiliev