15 DAYS TO GO - ITU DIARY FROM ATHENS:

15 DAYS TO GO - ITU DIARY FROM ATHENS:

By ITU Admin on 10/08/04 at 12:00 am

With just over 2 weeks until the women dive into the 27oC water of Vouliagmeni Bay to start the Athens Olympic Games Women’s Triathlon, preparations are going very well. Gergely Markus, the Triathlon Competition Manager has pulled together a wonderful team who are working around the clock to make the event something very special for the athletes, spectators and billions of spectators around the world.

There are hundred of volunteers working behind the scenes to produce the Olympic Games Triathlon - too many to introduce to you here. However, there are some key people on Gergely’s team who you need to know: Thanos Nikopoulos (GRE),the Technical Operations Manager, Vicky Karavagiou (GRE), the Administration Manager, Stuart Fuller (AUS), the Field of Play Manager, Vasilis Damouras (GRE), the Results Manager, to name but a few.

We have had some changes to the start list. Paul Amey of Great Britain suffered a very serious bike accident a week ago that resulted in a broken hip and the end of his Olympic dream. He has been replaced by Marc Jenkins. In another very sad accident Christiane Pilz of Germany was involved in another bike accident and has suffered a broken elbow, which sidelined her as well. Maria Areosa of Portugal will replace Christiane. We hope the final weeks before the event will be free from any more accidents.

As one arrives in Athens, the efficiency of the accreditation authorization, transportation and traffic makes one wonder what all the skeptics were talking about all these past months. The skyline of Athens is forever changed with the magnificent arches of the Olympic Stadium designed by the great Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava - the design and lines make one stop and ponder the great potential of human creativity.

At the Opening Ceremonies for the IOC Session on Monday night the orchestra and choir that performed the Olympic Anthem sent shivers down the spine, and there were few dry eyes in the house when they performed Beethoven’s 9th symphony - Ode to Joy.

Athletes are starting to arrive, the footing for the start platform are
in place, Games Look is dressing the venue, and there is definitely an air of excitement about the place. We will try to update you daily on the events from Vouliagmeni as we progress towards 10:00 a.m. local time on 25, 26 August when the women’s and then the men’s event begin.

ITUtv.com FROM ATHENS: ITU is finalizing plans to broadcasts live from Vouliagmeni as we lead up to the Olympic Games Triathlon, then some post-race interviews after the events. Be sure to visit www.ITUtv.com and take advantage of some live action as we prepare for the Triathlon events. There is also a great special on at the moment, for $5.00 you can buy a subscription to ITUtv.com for the remainder of 2004 and watch the complete 2003 and 2004 World Cup television shows online - on demand. Check it out!

ITU 2004 UNIFORM GUIDELINES: We would like to extend a huge thank you to NFs and athletes for the positive way in which you have changed racing uniforms to meet the 2004 Guidelines. Our television people are delighted with the clean new look of athletes that are featured in the World Cup shows - gone are the bare chest, gaping thorax twixt top and bottom, and low slung briefs. Here to stay are family names on the front and bottom back, country codes on the front -a great clean look and a way to build heroes of the athletes amongst television viewers.

For the Olympic Games the athlete’s NOC is responsible to ensure that the provisions of the Olympic Charter which govern sponsor logos on uniforms are fully implemented. ITU requires the same family name and country code placement as for the World Cup uniform. ITU officials will be inspecting uniforms at the athletes briefing to ensure uniforms comply with the IOC Charter and with the ITU name - country code requirement. As well, all NFs should have been informed by their NOC that branding on the bike is allowed, but only the markings that were on the bike as it came out of production. There are no other sponsor logos allowed as per the IOC Charter. The same applies to the helmet.

OLYMPIC ATHLETE PROFILES: Many thanks to our media team who have been updating athlete profiles for those competing in the Olympic Games:
Brian Mahony in Athens, Ed Rice in Limerick, Leslie Buchanan and Adrienne Proseilo at ITU Headquarters, Steven Bourdeau in Edmonton - all have done a wonderful job of compiling the individual profiles. Frank Wecshel and Silke Insel of Spomedis have produced high-resolution photos of all 100 athletes from their photo database. Check out the latest information on www.triathlon.org.

Find more details about this event - 2004 Athens Olympic Games

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