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Ninth IOC/BOCOG press conference

Updated:2008-08-20 10:04:41

Ninth IOC/BOCOG press conference

Related story: Beijing Games coverage three times Athens

Related story: 36 world records broken in Beijing

Date/Time: 11:30 a.m., Wednesday, August 20

Venue: Main Press Center (MPC)

Sun Weide

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to BOCOG/IOC joint press conference. We are joint by Mr. Wang Wei, the executive vice president and secretary general of BOCOG, Ms. Giselle Davies, IOC director of Communications. Our special guest today is Mr. Timo Lumme, managing director of IOC Television & Marketing Services. First of all, let me give the floor to Mr. Wang Wei.

Ninth IOC/BOCOG press conference
Wang Wei gives the speech

Wang Wei

Good morning everybody. First, a general overview of the Games operation on August 19th.

On the 11th day of the competition events, there is a total of 22 competition events staged in 37 venues, including 16 in Beijing and 21 in 3 co-host cities. The composition organization and venue operation run smoothly all through the day. The competition venues received 1,871 athletes and 1,128 team officials from 668 participating teams as well as 1896 technical officials, 372,397 spectators, 7,476 VIPs, 7,225 journalists. In addition, the venue received 94 training team consisting of 419 athletes and hundred team officials. The stand alone training venues received 953 athletes, 425 team officials, 40 technical officials and 60 journalists.

Out of the 36 competition of 25 events, 18 had spectator attendants rate of over 90%, 10 had 80%, 3 had over 70%, 3 had over 60%, 2 competitions had a spectator attendants rate of less than 60%, that were held in the early morning or very late in the afternoon for hockey.

On August 19 the Olympic Green common domain received 238,150, including returning visitors and 17,341 people with coupons enter the Olympic Green Forest Park.

The second part, events completed so far. As of August 19, 14 of the 38 disciplines from 28 sports of the Olympic Games have come to a successful conclusion. This include the competition events including gymnastics, trampoline, fencing, archery, tennis, shooting, track cycling, road cycling, rowing, canoe/kayak of slalom, triathlon, weight lifting, judo and badminton. A total of 205 gold medals, 206 silver medals and 232 bronze medals have been awarded so far. In this Games, we have seen 36 world records broken. So far 74 Olympic records and 7 world youth records have been broken. 41 countries and regions have received gold medals in the Games, a total of 75 countries and regions have won medals.

Today, a number of competition venues teams have finished staging competitions. This includes teams based in the shooting venue cluster, the Beijing Institute of Technology, gymnastics at Beijing University of Aeronautics & Astronautics Gymnasium, as well as teams for road cycling and triathlon, venues from the three co-host cities that is Tianjin, Shenyang and Qinhuangdao and 3 stand alone training venues have finished staging competitions. All international participants of the Olympic Youth Camp have left the camp.

Update for August 20:

On the 12th day of the Games, there will be 20 competition events including events from 9 outdoor sports namely baseball, sailing, softball, canoe-kayak flatwater, hockey, beach volleyball, athletics, swimming-women's 10 kilometers marathon and BMX cycling. A total of 11 gold medals will be awarded.

Weather forecast:

Beijing will experience moderate rain during the night while Shanghai and Hong Kong will remain hot and humid. Light winds with a speed of 2-4 meters per second are expected in Qingdao.

Ninth IOC/BOCOG press conference
Giselle Davies gives the speech

Giselle Davies

Good morning everyone. Just a couple of things before I introduced Timo Lumme. The President is back from having visited Hong Kong and Qingdao. Today he will be at the softball venue and competition. He is also at the Olympic Village as I mentioned earlier in the week, he endeavored to stay in the Olympic Village whenever possible. I hope he do so today. In terms of the testing figures, to keep you updated, we now have a total of 4,133 tests of which 3292 are urine and 848 are blood tests. As you know we will get to 4,500 by the end of the Games, the highest number of testing done in any Olympic Games as part of the efforts in the fight against doping.

So let me now introduce Timo Lumme. Timo is our director of the television and marketing services. We discussed in a number of briefings that we will get back to you information on the broadcast stories and broadcast figures. I am delighted to give the floor to Timo who runs through some of these aspects for. We will be happy to take question for you after Timo.

Ninth IOC/BOCOG press conference
Timo Lumme gives the speech

Timo Lumme

Thank you Giselle and Wang Wei. Good morning. We are now well into the second week of the sporting action. It seems a good time to give you an update on the broadcast story of the Beijing Olympic Games. I think the top line quite simply is that Beijing Games looks to be the biggest broadcast event in the Olympic history. Firstly, there is an unprecedented amount of Olympic sports content available around 5000 hours of coverage available to our rights holding broadcast partners and around 200 countries and territories around the world. These partners are expected to make a combined total output of Olympic coverage which will be around 3 times for that of the Athens Games. Moving to the Opening Ceremony, that was the highest sports related broadcast rated events in the history of Chinese television. With a staggering 842 million people in China who tuned in to watch some coverage of the Opening Ceremony, the Opening Ceremony in general surpassed the Sydney and the Athens Opening Ceremony in the major markets from various parts of the world.

Although we won't have the complete definitive global statistics for sometime yet, indications suggested that the figure for the total viewing in the world could be around 1.2 billion people. In the US this weekend, NBC also registered the largest audience on Saturday night for 18 years so since 1990 as over 40 million viewers tuned in to watch Michael Phelps when he won his record of 8 gold medals. Here in China, over 1 billion people have already watched some Olympic sports coverage. Indeed, to cater for this demand, CCTV the IOC's broadcast partner in China has made 2 further channels available to include Olympic coverage which makes a total of 9 over the air networks.

Beijing 2008 also marks the first time that digital media coverage, that is to say, live broadband internet coverage, including online high definition for the first time and mobile phones clips, is freely available across the world. In contrast in Athens, only 8 territories experimented with some delayed internet coverage. To give you some examples of the impact, our partner in the US, again NBC is receiving 30 times more video views online than it did in Athens and 12 times more mobile phone clip downloads than it did for the Torino 2006 Winter Games. Here in China, over the first 12 days of competition, 102 million people watched live broadcast of the Games online, with another 146 million people watching video on demand as to say delayed coverage online.

This is a story being repeated across the globe, also in Europe where many events are taking place in day time, but also in other time zones. In addition, the IOC has launched its own online channels to broadcast the Beijing Games. In 77 territories across Africa, Asia and the Middle East including such territories such as India, the Republic of Korea, Nigeria and Indonesia. This marks the first time that the IOC has produced a deliberate footage to the end user directly. We already got strong traffic over 12 million video views including as expected a strong performance in India for Abhinav Bindra winning the gold medal for the shooting.

Online interest is also reflecting record website traffic, both the IOC and BOCOG's official websites. For example, there were more visitors in the IOC site in the first week than for the whole of the Athens Games. The Olympic Games broadcast coverage is also accessible to more people in more territories than ever before. We expected a global reach of approximately 4.5 billion people. As you all know, it is the mission of the IOC to make sure that we exposed the Olympic Games, make available the Olympic Games coverage to as many people as much as possible around the world. We pay particular emphasis on supporting those areas and territories of the world for whom access maybe a little bit more challenging. So in that context, we are pleased that in regions such as the sub-Sahara in Africa and in the Caribbean, our respective broadcast partners, the African union of broadcasting and the Caribbean broadcasting union have made double the amount of coverage available for Beijing compare to Athens. We have also financial and technical assistance to some broadcaster who may have more financial problem paying technical costs to make sure that the satellite links and coverage reached the homes, for example, in areas such as Haiti and Micronesia where this happens. Thank you very much. Now, I will give back the floor to Giselle and Sun Weide.

Sun Weide

Thank you Timo and Giselle. Now the floor is open for question and for the convenience of the broadcasters we would appreciate if you can stand up when you are raising your question. Thank you.

Yomiuri Shimbun

Good morning, Giselle. If I may I'm going to ask 2 questions on the Wushu thing because I'm still perplexed. I understand those Wushu athletes are staying in the Village with accreditation that say WU instead of any other type that athletes were given. Has IOC executive board which I understand is this whole body to control the accreditation pre informed and approved it and in what capacity they are living in the Olympic Village. At the same time, those info system also has Wushu information in it with a pictogram and all the styles of the page which profoundly look like all the other Olympic sports. Indeed Wushu according to this homepage within the info system said that this is gala sports approved by IOC and organized by BOCOG. Could it be to the eyes of the public all over the world very much resemble to an exhibition sports? Do you feel that IOC might actually open a very convenient example to the future?

Giselle Davies

Good morning, thank you. Regarding your question on Wushu. This was discussed over a number of years with the Chinese host and an agreement was reached to have a Wushu tournament so there was no issue of the athletes who were staying in the small quarter of the Village and equally it's not true for some of you who may be wanting to follow that to find the information that you need as part of the info system. I believe it is part of the news section, so this was agreed and there's no issue from the IOC side on any of these matters.

Reporter from West Africa

First I would like to make a request. This is a question. The first request is to make available about your statement to the press which is very interested. If you could kindly help us and give us your statement and put your names in respective so that we can send it to our respective organizations. Since the start of the competition, whether any athletes has been found positive of drug test, which athlete and which country? Thank you very much

Giselle Davies

I will try and answer you question from my see sight. We would be delighted to give you the comments from Mr. Lumme and follow up, very happy to help you with that. It was regards to the information on athletes who have been caught under the IOC program having been violating the doping regulations. There are 4 in total athletes who have violated the rules under the IOC regime here in Beijing that starts on the 27th of July. Then we can follow up with you sir and give all the details. All the details are available on the websites. There are 4 athletes under those regulations. In addition, there were some 39 athletes that were tested by the federation in the buildup to these Games. They fall under the federation testing program. But let me underline that the IOC worked in a very collaborative and concerted efforts with the federation to endeavor to have athletes coming here being clean athletes.


Thank you very much. I have a question regarding the hurdle, Liu Xiang of China who withdrew from the event. I have read many sponsors for this athlete, in fact about 10 sponsors and it was known that he was injured for sometime and not made public. He withdrew on the very last minute. Would you say that commercial profit is precedence? Also as far as Liu Xiang is concerned, we have also read in the papers that he has been insured for 100 million RMB. I would like you to comment on that as well.

Wang Wei

Liu Xiang is an outstanding athlete. He has made huge contribution to Chinese sport and world sport. His injury this time is something that he himself and all the Chinese spectators are extremely upset about him, very regretful that this has happened to him. He tried to participate up to the very last minute and it was only when his injury was too severe and the pain is unbearable so he had to withdraw. We have a great deal of sympathy for him, he also expressed that after he recovered he will continue to compete. So we have to withdraw. We have a great deal of empathy with him. He has also expressed that after he recovers, he will continue to compete and to recover his past glory. We have full of expectations for him and we have approved his spirit.

Now on the issue of the sponsors, I have heard certain sponsors said they will continue to support Liu Xiang and to encourage him to get better and return to the competition field. As for 100 million insurance, I have never heard of that.

Fox News Radio

Mr. Wang Wei, Mr. Timo Lumme, Madam Davies, who makes the decision on the content of the transcripts of these briefings because they are not accurate.

Wang Wei

I think you can consulate with the website. It is the website that makes the final content. I think they are doing that according to what actually happened.

Fox News Radio

Ok, I accepted that. Thank you.

New York Sun

It is a question for Mr. Wang. At a briefing last week, we asked you about the 21-point propaganda directive. Some journalists said they have been issued in connection with the Games. You initially said that. I believe you didn't know about it. The second day you said there wasn't one. The following day, the Sydney Morning Herald published one propaganda directive. I am wondering if you were mistaken or maybe you were following a government policy of treating these things as a secret. Or perhaps, this version is a forgery.

Wang Wei

I can re-iterate that there is no such thing as 21 point guideline for reporters in China to cover the Games. That is according to relevant authorities. I think that is what I can say regarding this issue. Thank you.

South China Morning Post

Mr. Wang and Giselle, we did get to know there were 77 applicants to the protest. First question is: would you consider these parks a success or would they be part of the lasting legacy of the Games? Those few people in China who are not happy can now go to similar zones. Is there, if I look into history, is there any correlation between Chairman Mao's '100 flower campaign' and the protest parks? Giselle, does it make a mockery of the best practice of the IOC that they persuade of the host city to do? Thank you very much.

Wang Wei

Would you return the mic first?

South Morning China Post

There might be a follow-up. It is a question.

Wang Wei

Yes, I would answer your question right now to your satisfaction. But you should respect other reporters' rights by returning the mic first to the volunteer. Is that too much?

On the issue of demonstration, the basic situation has been already announced by the authorities. And I think you should be satisfied with that. The demonstration parks are announced. There are three places on the basis of Chinese law. The idea of demonstration is to hoping to resolve issue it is not demonstrating for the sake of demonstration. We are actually quite happy to hear that many of the 77 cases have been resolved. Now the resolution of these protests was through dialogue and communication. And this is also a part of way to do in Chinese culture. For instance, in China, if somebody wants to complain to courts or they want to launch a protest to the courts, the courts probably first engaged mediation first to see whether dialogues are a possible solution. Even for civil cases, for instance, people want to get divorce, the community tries to mediate fist.

The Chinese cultural always emphasis the concept of harmony, so if it can be resolved through mediation and the divorce is withdrawn, then everybody is very happy about that. Other countries may not think that is very good but in China, we think it is a good thing. Of course, if you insist on divorce, you can go through the legal process to get the divorce. So I think for these people who want to demonstrate or protest, this is my personal opinion, is that they want to find a solution to their problem and once there is a solution, they will be satisfied. Of course, solution should come through legal means and not through demonstration. But now the Chinese law also accepts possible to use this method. I think that is a characteristic of Chinese law. You mentioned just now Mao Zedong led a '100 flowers bloom' that is in an attempt to let everybody to express their opinion. I think everybody has the right to speak. Nobody said that you don't have the right to speak. This is another thing. This is not the same as demonstrating. Thank you.

Giselle Davies

Games host in the past had chosen, or the city authorities, I should stress, have chosen to use designated areas of the city to enable people to host

South China Morning Post

Sorry we had a fight here with the volunteer trying the grab the mic.

Sun Weide

Peter, I think the volunteer also has her job to do and she has been waiting for the mic to be returned for many minutes. Of course, many people want to wait for their turns.

Giselle Davies

So as I was saying, the host cities in the past, the host chose to use designated areas of the city to allow peaceful protest which are typical to any of the Olympic Games, major events to take place. I should underline that it is the city authorities who had done that in the past. It doesn't fall under the organizing committee and games operations. That is an important distinction to underline. We welcome that was indicated that it would happen here. Certainly, we continue to ask as much transparency as possible we would of course welcome that the areas are genuinely used.

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