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IOC COMMITTEE HEADS TO ATLANTA AMID LESS CONTROVERSY
Published November 14, 1994
When the IOC's oversight panel arrives this week, "its members will find a city bustling with construction and Olympic organizers focusing on the Games instead of controversy," according to Melissa Turner of the ATLANTA CONSTITUTION. The last time the IOC came to check up on Atlanta in May, gay rights activists and the Cobb County venue dispute "overshadowed ACOG's progress report on Olympic operations." This time, the panel is likely to focus on progress on the Olympic stadium, athletes village and equestrian center, as well as the construction schedule and venue designs. During the visit, the panel will receive a review of how the city of Atlanta is progressing in its preparations for the Games (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 11/13). ACOG SHUFFLE: A power transition is beginning to take place in ACOG. By design, the center of power is supposed to shift from the various departments to the 31 venues. The shift makes Dir of Venues Doug Arnot, a World Cup '94 veteran and newcomer to ACOG, "potentially one of the most powerful people at the committee." The idea is that having people "empowered to make decisions in the field makes more sense than trying to run the Games from a central command." Arnot is seen as a "challenge by a number of ACOG's top folks," including broadcast head Manolo Romero; Dick Yarbrough, ACOG CEO Billy Payne's "sage"; and sports chief Dave Maggard. "There also has been considerable tension between Arnot and construction chief Bill Moss, who has bristled at Arnot's Johnny-come-lately second-guessing of venue designs." ATLANTA CONSTITUTION's Bert Roughton notes that if Payne "can referee these powerful egos, then the transition, while difficult, could go on with minimal bloodshed. But if he can't, the turf wars could freeze ACOG into gridlock a year and a half from showtime" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 11/12).