PARIS - Agence France-Presse
Jacques Rogge prepares for his final Games that he will oversee as the President of the International Olympic Committee before stepping down from his post next year.
Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), said yesterday the manner in which the problems surrounding security at the London Games had been dealt with had been handled well.
The 70-year-old Belgian added at a pre-Games telephone conference that in all the 21 Olympic Games he has been involved with either as a competitor or as an administrator there had always been issues that had come up prior to them.
The security problem arose last week when it was revealed that the company with the contract to supply the securirty guards would not be able to meet the required 10,000 and that 3,500 soldiers would have to be drafted in to make up the shortfall.
However, the unflappable Rogge said the IOC had received the assurances that they required.
“Of course security is of paramount importance for the government and the organizers,” said Rogge, who will preside over his final Games as president as he stands down in September next year.
“They have put on a good show of flexibility,” Rogge said. “Extra soldiers gives extra tranquility.”
Rogge said that the soldiers should not alarm people attending the Olympic Games.
“The military have been a part of security at the Games since the 1972 Olympics (when 11 Israeli athletes and coaches were murdered by Palestinian terror group Black September in Munich),” he said.
“They will not be running around with machine guns. They will not be too visible and not too obtrusive.”
“It won’t spoil the fun,” he added.
Rogge said he was not disappointed by the issue arising so close to the Games, which start on July 27.
“This will be the 21st Games under my belt,” he said. “Issues always come up. This issue has been handled well. The organizers and the government have been very flexible and very adaptive. That’s what counts.”