IOC COMMITTEE HEADS TO ATLANTA AMID LESS CONTROVERSY
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).