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Beijing Urged to Adapt Athens Experience
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"We didn't come here to solve problems. We didn't come to give direct answers to questions," said Marton Simitsek, executive director and chief operating officer of the Athens 2004 Organizing Committee (ATHOC), at a Wednesday press conference at the end of the four-day Athens Games debriefing in Beijing.

Simitsek added that the Athens team of experts arriving in Beijing on Sunday came to share their experience in hosting the Olympics. Beijing should assimilate that knowledge and formulate its own distinctive plans for the 2008 Games.

The debriefing team and Beijing counterparts focused on such issues as the Olympic logo and its applications, utilization of core resources, planning and progress of venue construction, and the scheduling and competitions of the Olympic and Paralympic Games themselves.
Gilbert Felli, Olympic Games executive director, said the host city should "have a strong and great vision, make plan after plan, start early and finish early and mind the teamwork inside the organizing committee, the city and the country."

Liu Jingmin, executive vice president of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2008 Olympic Games (BOCOG), spoke highly of the Athens Games debriefing, a component of the transfer of knowledge program initiated by the International Olympic Committee in 2000.

"I can say that all the experiences of the Athens Games are conducive to our work," said Liu, also deputy mayor of the Chinese capital. "Of course, we will try to adapt these experiences in our own work."

The operation of venues and recruitment of volunteers for the Athens Games were singled out for discussion, as were special ceremonies and events peripheral to the Games.

"As all of the world had seen, they also did a good job in cultural events like the opening and closing ceremonies," said Liu. The ceremonies won wide acclaim for showcasing the essence of the brilliant culture and history of Greece.

Simitsek expressed optimism about the 2008 Olympics.

"You have a great tradition in sport and your athletes at the Olympic Games in Athens did very great things. We believe that with these athletes, you will fill the venues with passion and spectators."

(Xinhua News Agency, China Daily November 4, 2004)

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