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AOC planning for another top five in 2008

28 November 2005

To help Australia hold its position in the top five nations on the overall medal tally in 2008, the Australian Olympic Committee has already conducted its second official planning visit to Beijing in preparation for the Australian team selected for the 2008 Olympic Games.

The AOC Delegation was led by Olympic swimming gold medallist Michael Wenden, who is a member of the AOC Executive Board and Deputy Chef de Mission of the 2008 Australian Olympic Team.

The objective of the mission was simple – to gain information on the Games environment (location of venues, Olympic village, transport infrastructure, culture) in order to develop Strategic and Operational plans for delivering a successful Australian team in Beijing.

The planning and preparation that goes into an Australian Olympic campaign plays a major part in the success the team enjoys. A key part of the AOC’s visit was spending time with the Organising Committee (BOCOG) to understand how they plan to deliver the Games and for the AOC to develop effective working relationships with the people they will be working with over the coming years.

“An important part of delivering a successful team is to have established not just working relationships, but friendships with other members of the Olympic community,” said AOC general manager Fiona de Jong, who was on the tour.

“By taking the time to meet the people with whom we will be communicating daily, it provides a foundation for what I hope to be a long and rewarding friendship on our respective roads to Beijing,” she added.

The AOC met with various departments of BOCOG (Beijing Organising Committee for the Olympic Games) including Sport and Competition, Sport Entries, Accreditation, Transport, Accommodation, Olympic Village, Ticketing, Media Operations, Rate Card and Technology. This provides the AOC with critical planning information which is passed on in detail to Australian National Federations and the AOC Executive.

The AOC spent time visiting the sites of many of the proposed sports venues including the Olympic Stadium, Olympic Village, Aquatics Centre, Wukesong Culture and Sports Centre and the rowing venue.

“The speed with which the Chinese are able to construct these leading sports facilities is remarkable. The sports venues will not only be state-of-the art facilities for the athletes, they will provide a lasting legacy for the Chinese sporting community for generations to come,” said Wenden.

Most of the sports venues will be conducting test events in late 2007 and early 2008. This will provide BOCOG with an opportunity to test procedures before the Olympic Games in August 2008.

This planning visit enabled the AOC to gain valuable information about the landscape, culture and climate of China, all part of helping Australia’s athletes to perform at their peak for the next Summer Olympic Games.


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