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IOC: No doubts over Athens Games


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Athens (Greece)
Olympics

ATHENS, Greece -- The International Olympic Committee says it no longer doubts whether Athens will be ready to host this year's Summer Games.

IOC chief inspector Denis Oswald, who has previously warned about the pace of work, said Wednesday that "no single project is at risk."

"I am very happy to report that all these doubts have disappeared," Oswald told reporters in Athens.

"We know everything will be delivered on time."

The build-up to the Games has been dogged by delays and fears that stadiums would not be completed in time for the August 13 start.

On Tuesday, Oswald told reporters he was now "very confident" that all sports venues and key infrastructure would be ready.

He said his inspection of sites and meetings with top Athens and Greek government officials had built up his confidence that the city would stage a "very successful Games," Reuters reported.

Olympics organizers admitted on Tuesday they wasted the first three years of preparations but had made up for the lost time.

"Athens has won back three years of lost time...it's a fact that we are completing a seven-year project in four years," Athens Olympics chief Gianna Angelopoulos told the IOC's inspection team.

"We had promised that Greece was fit for the Games and we are keeping this promise."

Added Fani Palli-Petralia, Greece's deputy culture minister: "Now we are going to prove the next step -- which is the big bet -- that Greece can organize a safe and unique Olympic Games."

On Monday, builders successfully started sliding a huge steel arch over the main Olympic stadium, which had been one of the IOC's biggest concerns.

In the coming days, a second arch will be moved into position at the opposite end of the stadium so that a latticed blue translucent roof can cover the 55,000-seat arena.

More than half the venues, as well as major infrastructure projects including new train and tram lines, are still many weeks from completion.

Builders are working around the clock to meet deadlines, and the IOC said they now expect all arrangements to be in place.

CNN Correspondent Guy Raz contributed to this report


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