IOC President Checks Olympic Venues

IOC President Checks Olympic Venues

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Shelley Osterloh reportingShelley Osterloh just returned from the Olympic City of Torino, Italy, to find out how preparations are going. She and photographer Matt Powers were the only TV news crew permitted to go along with the IOC President as he checked Olympic venues. But not everything went as planned.

While most of the venues are completed, construction crews are working hard to add the finishing touches. In the Olympic stadium where opening and closing ceremonies will be held, the last of the 35-thousand seats ready for installation and the stage is nearly done.

When Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee, arrives with his entourage of Olympic officials, the venue manager and others meet and brief him on the facility. He says while there is a lot yet to do, he is confident the Italians will be ready.

Jacques Rogge, President, Int'l Olympic Committee: "I feel here in Torino a lot of excitement. I think that everyone here is like an athlete, a little tense before the competition, but longing for the competition."

Tense and anxious to put their best foot forward for this prestigious group as it moved on to see the Torino Olympic Village. The apartments are comfortable and at five stories up have a spectacular view of the city. But as the group left, it became the organizers' worst nightmare.

President Rogge toured the Olympic Village. But he and too many other people got into an elevator. As it turns out, they got stuck between floors. Crews scrambled to get them out.

Panicked workers opened the doors enough to see Jaque Rogge's head peer out at floor level. Then 15 minutes later they freed the group, which continued the tour, still chuckling over the incident.

Rogge: "You are laughing at me. You are laughing at me."

Shelley: "It was funny."

Rogge: "You laughed at every moment of it."

Shelley: "I saw your face peering out of that elevator."

Rogge: "I thought, knowing the interest of the media, you would put your camera in the hole. But you didn't do it."

Shelley: "I wasn't fast enough."

In spite of a few problems, President Rogge says he is sure that, like the Salt Lake games, Torino will be a success.

Jacques Rogge, President, Int'l Olympic Committee: "The Italians will do it with passion and as they say themselves, 'with gusto.'"

Over the next few weeks Shelley will show us more of city venues and Italian culture. She'll also introduce you to some Utahns helping make the Torino games a success.

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