Chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, Hein Verbruggen,
said on Sunday that the Chinese capital's worsening traffic issue
could be resolved with 21 months to go before the Olympics
Verbruggen, on a Doha visit for the Asian Games, said traffic
was one of the challenges Beijing was facing and the IOC had never
expected it five years ago.
"We'd not foreseen five years ago that we would be in such a
situation. With spectacular economic growth Beijing has 1,000 cars
added to the traffic everyday," he told Xinhua.
Statistics showed that Beijing has 2.8 million registered motor
vehicles including 1.97 million private cars. Traffic jams are a
daily occurrence in rush hour. In many downtown areas cars and
buses inch forward at a snail's pace.
But Verbruggen doesn't think traffic is a "problem" for the
Beijing Organizing Committee of the 2008 Olympic Games (BOCOG) and
he's confident that it can be resolved before the Games.
"It's a big challenge not a problem," said Verbruggen. "I'm not
talking about problems but an issue. We're confident because I know
they'll resolve it."
"We're waiting for the BOCOG to come up with solutions when
there are challenges like this. We're confident that BOCOG and the
authorities of Beijing will propose to us solutions if there are
challenges," added Verbruggen.
Speaking highly of the opening ceremony of the Doha Asian Games
held on Friday night Verbruggen commented that Beijing could also
show the world a similarly spectacular opening ceremony for the
Olympic Games which would combine its own culture, heritage and
"China is a very, very big country with a very large
population," he said. "So there will be many possibilities to
express Chinese culture and heritage. We're confident the BOCOG
will do very, very well," he said.
The Dutchman, who has been to China many times since the city
won the right to host the Olympics, praised Beijing's preparations
for the global event.
"We are very confident," he said. "All the promises made are
kept. Everything the country promised is being delivered."
(Xinhua News Agency December 4, 2006)