The Official Website of the Beijing 2008 Olympic GamesAugust 8-24 2008
Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games
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Tenth IOC/BOCOG press conference

Updated:2008-08-22 11:08:45


Sun Weide

Now the floor is open for question. Now, for the convenience of the broadcasters, I would like to ask for your kind assistance to stand up when you raise your question. Thank you for your kind cooperation.

AFP

This is a question for Giselle, talking about that which was set up to monitor internet censorship. I would like to ask you how many times the group has met? How many websites have been considered and unblocked? Whether you are satisfied with that process? And of course, a question for Wang Wei, can you confirm if reporters have free access to all Tibetan areas over the next few days to report freely as promised before?

Giselle Davies

Thanks for your question. The IOC has been clear on this point of internet to stress that we've wanted media to have access to this sites. You need to do that job. You know it well because we have discussed it over the course of our time here. We were very encouraged to see a number of sites opened up. There have been some that were not made available. We feel the vast majority were able to do their job. That's how I prayed for this situation. You talked about a working group, probably some confusion that there was no particular working group. What I can say that on a regular basis, the IOC encouraged throughout the Games to have the openness needed for you to do your job throughout this 16 days of competition. We simply asked for the openness for you to do your jobs rather than going through a list. It's up to the organizers to make that access for you to visit websites as you need to do so and to stress that whenever you have problems not being able to access websites. We encouraged that you identify those sites and explain your needs to the organizing committee. We trust that you did that if you were experiencing any difficulties.

Wang Wei

Regarding to your 2nd question about whether media are free to go to Tibet for the next few days, of course the media are free to go to Tibet. As you know, due to the recent riots which happened in Tibet, there is limit set not only to the media but also for the general public to go to Tibet, not only for the safety of the people going there but also for the environmental reasons as well. As you know, many people would want to go to Tibet, so we have to have limit for people who want to go. I think it will need an approval to go to Tibet. But in general, the media, in the past, present and future are free to go to Tibet. Thank you.

Reporter from South Africa

Considering the huge delegation of the American, French or Great Britain, I want to know the criteria in which for instance Frank Fredericks has come out to be elected. How many has gone on it? Thank you.

Frank Fredericks

Thank you for your question. The process is that the NOC has put my name forward to be elected first by my peers in Athens. I have a mandate of 8 years from Athens which means that my time will run up from 2012 which will be the London Games. All 204 NOCs can nominate somebody to be elected by the athletes.

Beijing Radio

A question for Giselle. I've been working here for the past 2 weeks and you have been here many times. I would like to ask you to share with us compare to Athens your comment on media service here in Beijing.

Giselle Davies

You know that the IOC does not want to compare Games to Games because each Games is unique in its own flavor and way of doing things. In terms of the media facilities here at MPC, I think the best is to take the comments from your colleagues and peers that this facility is outstanding and we used the trend to see across the board here in Beijing that all venues, be those sports and competition venues or the venues such as this one for other needs, are absolutely first class.

NBC

First to the IOC, is the IOC investigating an increasing body of evidence suggesting that Chinese gymnasts are under age and were eligible to compete. And to the Chinese side whoever wants to answer this, what is the position of Chinese authorities regarding accusations that the Chinese government deliberately false documents to Chinese gymnastics to compete? Thank you.

Giselle Davies

Thanks for your question. You shouldn't regard this as some kind of formal investigation. But yes we have asked the Gymnastics Federation to look into what have been a numbers of questions and apparent discrepancy in this case. And they have been working with the national federation who I have to stress have been extremely helpful on this to really have a full clarification on this topic. We did discuss this earlier in this Games where information was shared with passport information. We believe that we had addressed the issue, and some questions were still remaining with the federation to take a further look. They are right in the process of doing that and I do believe that you do have some information that coming through this morning. Chris, I don't know if you want to add something on this information.

Christophe Dubi

Yes Giselle, what we could add is that the federation has looked into this situation during the spring already. So they responded publicly to the media especially in the United States at this point in time and they did it again prior to the games. We've met also with national federation prior to the Games. We've gained a number of information regarding the questions that were raised. So this is an ongoing process. As Giselle has rightly pointed, the international federation has been asking again the national federation to produce evidence for the eligibility, but so far we think that it has been received, demonstrated that we have no problem of eligibility.

Wang Wei

Mr. Christophe Dubi just now responded to this question. The information that I have received previously also came from the International Federation and the Chinese Olympic Committee which provided the necessary information and evidence. These documents have already been clarified, things have been cleared up. The eligibility of the athletes has already been investigated and authorized by the International Federation. And if they haven't been cleared, they would not be able to participate in the Games. Thank you.

TV Asahi

I will ask this question in Japanese if you don't mind. I will speak in Japanese. I'm from TV Asahi. I think the opening ceremony was wonderful and spectacular, and what about the closing ceremony, can you give us any indication of what it would be like? Just a hint? And as for the future, now will softball return as an event? Can you tell us about the softball?

Wang Wei

Thank you for question. Regarding the closing ceremony, I cannot at the moment disclose any information. As you know that, the closing ceremony will be shorter than the opening. If I say something, I think I'll say them all. So I don't think I can tell you anything. That time will be very very soon. Thank you.

Christophe Dubi

On softball, very congratulations to the Japanese team, yesterday that was an outstanding performance, so you are very good on this event, and I can understand your question for the future. However it won't be London, it is one of the 7 sports considered for 2016, as you know we have a list made of karate, baseball, golf, squash, roller, rugby and softball being looked at and the decision will be made in October next year by the IOC session. So softball is in that list considered for 2016.

Los Angeles Times

Giselle, could you ask why now earlier in the Games said the IOC was satisfied that there was no problem for the Chinese age? The London Times used pretty much the same documents that have been reported in America 3 weeks ago. What has changed in that time, why now are you looking for further investigation possibly?

Giselle Davies

Thanks to give us a chance to re-clarify this. Let me stress again, this is not a formal investigation, so the article you referred to probably misleading in that regard. Simply there have been questions that have been on the table and the discrepancies that been alluded by certain parties. The IOC is simply wanting to do its duty and work with the federation to 100% clarify the situation and put this addressed, and that's what the process is being done. And no doubt the federation itself will communicate to you further on this and we will as well once we have the information to hand ourselves.

Reporter from Gambia

My question goes to Mr. Frank. Mr. Frank, first of all, congratulations to be in the high office. As an African, I would like to know, what are your plans for the development of sports in Africa, particularly in the athletics and other the disciplines. What can we expect from you since you are in the high office? Thank you very much.

Frank Fredericks

Thank you very much for the question. I think I need to start by saying that I am the Chairman for all 204 nations. The IOC has the solidarity scholarships which encourage all NOCs to take part of, so that the plain field can become level and if they need funding, we make the process available. If there are anything particular to the athletes in Africa want me to concentrate doing my leadership. I'm willing to look at it and look into it. We also have some requests from Oceania to look into a few requests in terms of solidarity scholarships. If we need to increase the scholarships for the African and also the Oceania region. Maybe we should look at it, but I would like my African colleague to bring the issue to me so that we can look at it and address it. Thank you.

South China Morning Post

First one, Giselle, there has been a great Games and since it has been a great sports moment. Yesterday, the president of the IOC, Mr. Rogge came out, and he had a bit of criticism for Mr. Bolt, for his celebration. Whether that is right or wrong, in the past 2 weeks, Mr. Rogge has not yet appeared and spoken on the accusations of media restrictions, internet restrictions in the case of 2 people tried to protest. What would you say to the accusation of the IOC that there is a sense of proportion that is not quite right here? And Mr. Wang, as to you, we end the game right now, and we look forward for those of us who will still be here, what will you go back to the government and say, will you watch them to maintain the new reporting restriction that allow foreign corresponds in the mainland greater freedom after the games? Thank you very much.

Giselle Davies

Thanks, let me say, there are two key icons in this Olympic, Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt. And the President has said that himself remarkable athleticism on both gentlemen. President Rogge will be here on Sunday for press conference, closing of the Games. And we'll see the chance all the media will have to put your questions to him.

Wang Wei

Thank you for your question. Let me speak this in Chinese for your clarification. Regarding to the 2 ladies, we have received the information from the police, Wu Dianyuan, Wang Xiuying, these two people, are now going through reform through labor. On the 30th July, they were given a sentence of a reform through labor. Considering their age, they have fulfilled their sentences outside the prison. They were accused of disturbing the peace. Since 5th August they have been to the relevant police authorities to ask about the demonstration issue, and then after being received by the local officer, they then left. And so that is about the 2 elderly ladies and their penalty of one year of labor. In China, the media does enjoy freedom of reporting, particularly since the Games, we started 1st July, 2007, a number of new rules were announced. So this is specifically for the foreign media. The Chinese media have always enjoyed the full freedom of coverage. Foreign media in accounts with these new rules and regulations also enjoy full coverage freedom. Whether in MPC or IBC, or whether the people, whether the venues, all parts of the country, I think we have done everything we can to guarantee that everyone report on everything that is happening in China. In a number of places, there were things that were not quite up to our expectations. I think new rules and regulations do have them implemented in such a huge country, it is not very easy and it needs time. I think as media, you can understand this. As for after the Games, what's going to happen, the government has not said anything, hasn't decided yet. But overall, the general trend in China is one of reform and opening up, and press coverage I'm confident it will also become better and better.

BBC

I want to ask Frank. You are probably aware of what the President Rogge did say about Bolt, the appropriateness of celebration. You are man who has been in that situation, you've been in the world sprint competition, You felt the exuberance when you cross the line. What advice would you have for Bolt, what's the appropriate way to celebrate breaking a world recording and winning an Olympic medal?

Frank Fredericks

Thank you very much. It's a very difficult question. I think I never run 9'69, I've never won an Olympic gold medal. I can not sit here and tell you this is how I would react. I think people have trained for a long time. You are saying why he did it or what's the reason. But it's very difficult to sit here and tell you. If I would have run 9'69 that I would have done this. It is hard to say. This is a unique moment. This is a moment an athlete has trained for so long. He is making history. This is not like a thing you planned, you rehearsed to say, if I run 9'69, if I win, I would do this. No, there is no time to do that. Because there are 7 of other guys that want to have the same title. And they all want to be the world's fastest man. I think in this case, he knew Asafa beat him before, 2 times. He knew that Tyson Gay would possibly give him a threat if he would have been in the final. But I think his main threat came from Asafa Powell. I think there might have been some talk before. There are a lot of talk that goes on. Maybe he doesn't talk, and that's his way of expressing himself, to say, listen, I've done something that nobody have done, and I've come first to win the Olympic gold medal, because we need to understand that's the most important thing. The world record is the bonus. He was 21, and now he is 22. We can't tell a guy who ran 9'69 how to react. Because if you have thought of how to react, maybe you would have run 9'90, would have been second. So I think we should be happy. I'm very happy just like the IOC is happy as you were saying that he's making the history in Beijing. We are all happy for him. We hope that he will have a good future. I hope he could run faster so that we can see what the human body can ultimately do. All of us are wondering If you finish running, would you would have run, would you run 9'55, would you run 9'60. I mean we just have to continue coming to this Games, continue to support him to see what he can eventually run and the limits of human body. That's all I can say about him. Thank you.


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