SBD/Issue 85/Olympics

IOC President Confirms He Will Meet With USOC Execs Next Month

Rogge (r) Has Arranged Meeting With Probst (l)
To Help Improve IOC's Relationship With USOC
IOC President Jacques Rogge will meet with USOC Chair Larry Probst and CEO Scott Blackmun in Vancouver next month to "begin healing the troubled relations that led to Chicago's humiliating defeat for the 2016 Games," according to Stephen Wilson of the AP. Rogge Thursday said that he has arranged a meeting with Probst and Blackmun as "part of an effort to improve ties and bring the American body back into the international fold." Rogge: "There is a lot of goodwill on both sides. The IOC wishes to have a very good relationship with what is still today in sport the No. 1 national Olympic committee in terms of results." Rogge noted that the meeting "will take place in Vancouver before or during the Feb. 12-28 Winter Games." He said that IOC and USOC officials "also would meet separately in Vancouver to discuss the thorny financial issues that have caused resentment among many IOC members." Wilson noted a decade of "revolving-door and ineffective leadership has isolated the USOC in the international Olympic world, but Rogge is hopeful that Blackmun's appointment will usher in a new era." Rogge said of Blackmun, "There seems to be a lot of praise coming from all sides in the United States, so that bodes well. The advantage is he knows sport and the USOC very well" (AP, 1/14).

SWEET SIXTEEN: Rogge Thursday said that Rio de Janeiro won the right to host the '16 Games "on merit and not on its geographical location." He said the IOC "did not choose Brazil because South America had never got the Games before." Rogge: "We chose Brazil because of the quality (of the bid). The purpose of the Olympic Games is not to serve the public opinion of a country of region." Meanwhile, Rogge "denied that the costs of staging the Games had spiraled out of control, saying that many governments had chosen of their own accord to make improvements to coincide with the event." He added, "We make every effort to keep the costs under control. They are in line with inflation and it is not up to us what improvements the government decides to make in terms of general infrastructure" (REUTERS, 1/14).

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