The accomplishment of the task


Having waited long years and overcome adverse circumstances which in the past did not allow Rome's ambitions to be satisfied, finally on 15th June 1955 in the 50th Session at Paris, the International Olympic Committee, thanks above all to the careful preparation submitted by the Italian Olympic Committee, awarded the celebration of the Games of the XVII Olympiad to the Italian capital.
It should be remembered that on that occasion Avv. Giulio Onesti, Dr. Bruno Zauli, respectively President and Secretary-General of the Italian National Olympic Committee and Ing. Salvatore Rebecchini, Mayor of Rome, with the intention of disposing the I. O. C.'s decision in Rome's favour, succeeded in creating an atmosphere of cordial understanding in the halls of the ancient Parisian palace of Faubourg Saint-Honore taking infinite pains to produce copious documentation, photographs, designs, graphs and plans, all collected in clear order and illustrated with a wealth of details and the supporting proof of figures.
At that time, the City only disposed of a single sports installation in line with Olympic requirements:— the Olympic Stadium of Foro Italico inaugurated in 1953 and, in fact, this fine sports stadium with its modern and functional characteristics, already constituted an effective starting point.
Besides the difficulties which had to be faced in the construction of stadiums, swimming pools, venues for the events themselves and for training, other problems arose—economical, technical and connected with town-planning—which were then faced and resolved in the course of the four years of preparation.
On 22nd September 1955, the Italian National Olympic Committee worked out an overall plan and appointed a planning Committee (Francesco Bartolotta, Nello Ciampi, Marcello Garroni, Pietro Petroselli, Mario Saini, Paolo Thaon di Revel, Giorgio de Stefani), which was to have the task of studying the details of the plan of organisation. On the occasion, Avv. Giulio Onesti illustrated the various tasks and worked out a programme as a result of contacts with the interested National Sports Federations.
On 31st March 1956, the Committee was able to present a detailed report to the Executive Board of the Italian National Olympic Committee, taking the opportunity of suggesting that it might be appropriate, in view of the thousands of years of Rome's history, to hold some events included in the programme of the Olympic Games in the Basilica of Maxentius, in the Caracalla Baths and along the Appian Way, etc.
The report provided for the tasks of the Organising Committee, the aid necessary for the equipment of camping grounds, the assistance required for the improvement to urban services, the necessity of new roads and, naturally, the construction of sports venues. A detailed examination was called for by the problem regarding the limits of the sphere of action of the future Organising Committee and the main tasks were therefore established as being:— (a) to assure board and lodging to the participants in possession of an Olympic Card, i.e. to the athletes and reserves as established by the regulations, to the Heads of Delegations, to the national and foreign Judges, to journalists and radio reporters, to the members of the Organising Committee, to the Officials of International Federations, to guests of honour such as members of the I. O. C; (b) to ensure transport and parking facilities for the above categories; (c) to arrange for the organisation of eventual sports congresses; (d) to arrange services for the press and other sources of information; (e) to arrange for the constitution and smooth running of all technical sports sectors.
The Committee made an exhaustive study of the period most suitable for the holding of the Olympic Games, basing their conclusions on the following elements: temperature and rainfall; hours of daylight; winds for the sailing events; and reception possibilities in relation to the expected tourist traffic.

Organizational problems

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The Committee made a point of examining the historical precedents of the sports included in the Olympic Games of Berlin, London, Helsinki and of those included in the technical programme of the XVI Olympic Games of Melbourne. This examination showed that, practically speaking, from 1936 to 1956 no variations had taken place in compulsory and optional sports but only a number of variations on account of increases in the categories of weightlifting and boxing, of classes in yachting, of specialities in target shooting and swimming and other minor variations.
In this connection, the Committee examined a number of possibilities of changes in the programme and especially the substitution of an optional sport with another optional sport; however, on the whole it decided that the ideal would be to maintain the standard programme of Helsinki and Melbourne, with the eventual elimination of the " running deer " shooting event, little practised in the various countries. However, the Committee considered it useful to suggest a reduction in the number of the events included in the programme of the two preceding Olympic Games.
Having given careful consideration to the number of appointed athletes and reserves present at the Olympic Games of London and Helsinki, the Committee advised the limitation of  the number of teams, the reduction of reserves, the increase in the number of female participants, the decrease in the number of officials, the possible elimination of team awards when these were equivalent to the total number of events already valid for the individual classifications.
In this way, the Committee foresaw that entries would not exceed 6,000 for men and 1,000 for women (making a total maximum of 7,000 entries). The proportion of officials to the total of athletes present was calculated at 25 %, that is 1,800, while accompanying or service personnel was estimated at a total of 1,000.
As far as the other categories were concerned, that is, competition officials, journalists and international officials, the Committee suggested an eventual reduction in their numbers, as already foreseen in part by the I.O.C. Regulations, with the blocking of the number of accredited journalists.
The plan regarding the personnel of the Organising Committee and for the functioning of the Olympic Village provided for approximately 4,000 persons.
Theoretically it seemed advisable that the Olympic Village should be placed in a position to the West of Rome, in a zone equidistant between the two principal centres of Foro Italico and the EUR; but preliminary investigations showed that such a zone did not contain a piece of land of approximately 50 hectares except at such a distance away as to render nil the possible benefit of a relative equidistance between the two principal centres of events.
As for the subdivision of the Olympic Villages, the Committee, having examined the precedents, recognised that an evolution had taken place in the previous four year periods and that, in consequence, the sector of the Village reserved for the men should be rendered more functional by linking it to the women's sector.
A very similar problem was that of the lodging of other categories, i.e. (1) Officials and accompanying personnel not lodging in the Olympic Village; (2) Journalists; (3) Judges; (4) Officials of International Federations; (5) Members of the I.O.C.
The Committee considered that persons under (1) should be accommodated in hotels or in private houses; the journalists at the Domus Mariae and the Domus Pacis; the Judges in Institutions and only exceptionally in hotels; while persons coming under (4) and (5) could find lodging in high class hotels.
On the 28th September 1955, the Italian National Olympic Committee requested the Italian National Sports Federations to inform the Committee, at least by giving a rough idea, of the minimum technical requirements of each sport presumably to be included in the programme of the 1960 Olympic Games, the preparation of the necessary venues, and the eventual storage space for material. Consequently the Committee examined the various requirements and preferences with the representatives of the interested Federations.
The Committee considered it appropriate to indicate in a general way, in the case of sports venues, the seating capacity in normal circumstances and requirements for the period of the Games and therefore expressed the conviction that for certain Olympic events, i.e. those scheduled for the peak days (event finals and Opening and Closing Ceremonies) the seating capacity would have to be considerably increased; however, it considered that the average attendance would presumably be less than the maximum capacity provided for.

Expense budgets

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The formulation by the Committee of an estimate of expenses was the object of long and detailed examination. It was however recognised that the Committee could not draw up an estimate of expenses in the technical sense of the expression. In fact, even when proceeding with the utmost caution, a serious estimate of expenses could not be prepared on a programme of events still not finalised and on an organising plan still in the course of study.
Having thus explained that it was not possible to make a financial estimate of the various requirements of the individual Federations, the Committee still planned to furnish the Executive Board of the C.O.N.I. with all such elements as could, however, have contributed to the working out of the financial plan.
But before proceeding to details, the Committee wished to draw the attention of the C.O.N.I. to the advantage of keeping quite separate the sums destined for the construction of venues and those directly invested by the organising Administration of the Olympic Games. In fact, the Committee thought fit to disprove the widespread opinion that the projected venues in Rome were being constructed solely to meet the requirements of the Olympic Games; obviously the construction of certain venues indispensable for the Olympic events would be necessary, but these would add to the sports requirements of the Capital, as the lack had been widely felt for some years. Thus, ended the Committee, it would be more exact to say that the above-mentioned venues, useful in that they meet an obvious lack at Rome, were to be constructed in occasion of the Olympic Games but not because of these. Consequently, while confirming the opinion that expenses for the organising administration of the Olympic Games should be kept quite separate from expenses for the sports venues, the Committee considered that a brief and also, in this case, indicative outline should be given of the presumable financial requirements for the realisation of the above-mentioned venues. Due account having been taken of the works already constructed (Olympic Stadium and certain training venues), the financial plan was worked out for the construction of the following: Palazzo dello Sport, Palazzetto dello Sport, Velodrome, Swimming Stadium, Castelgandolfo regatta course, Football Stadium, Shooting ranges, training venues.
The Committee unanimously made a strong recommendation to the Board of the C.O.N.I, to do their utmost to complete construction of the principal venues by the end of 1959 so that the Organising Committee should thus be able to put them in good time to the necessary test, thereby avoiding possible stress and worry at the last moment.

Allotment of tasks

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While the Planning Committee was carrying out its work, the Board of the Italian National Olympic Committee, on 15th May 1956, made a first allotment of tasks, setting up a technical body, namely the C.O.R. (Rome Olympic Constructions),  under Dr. Mario Saini, Vice Secretary-General of the Italian National Olympic Committee, with the responsibility of providing for the construction and equipping of the sports venues.
On 1st June following, the Board of the C.O.N.I. established the building in Via Crescenzio No. 14 as temporary headquarters of the Organisation, empowering Dr. Marcello Garroni, Vice Secretary-General of the C.O.N.I., to provide for the setting up and arrangement of the necessary technical offices.
The organising plan provided for the provisional constitution of ten Sections each of which was entrusted with specified tasks. Thus the study of the various problems regarding the respective organising sectors immediately got under way.
On 12th July 1956, the Italian National Olympic Committee gave precise instructions to the Italian National Sports Federations, engaging their activities in technical organisation and, among other things, decided to send a number of experts as observers to the Games of the XVI Olympiad.
In the course of the meeting of 3rd October 1956, the Executive Board of the C.O.N.I. examined a detailed report presented by the Rome Olympic Constructions on the lines as laid out, even down to the details concerning the construction and equipping of the sports venues and of the subsidiary venues.
The report was approved by the Board which then also proceeded to consider the continuation of negotiations with the Istituto Nazionale Case Impiegati Statali (National Housing Institute for State Employees) for the detailed study and consequent construction of the Olympic Village. At the same time the Board decided to propose to the Presidency of the Council of Ministers the constitution of an Interministerial Committee to conciliate the requirements of complete, profitable and effective collaboration as regards organisation.
In February 1957, the President of the Italian National Olympic Committee addressed the following message to the Presidents of the National Olympic Committees: " My dear Colleagues, The Italian National Olympic Committee which has been awarded the privilege of organising the Games of the XVII Olympiad of Rome by the International Olympic Committee today, with the publication of the first number of the Official Bulletin, takes the first official step in the work of organisation.
This organisation will be continued daily, with diligence and conviction, with zeal and optimism, until the solemn official opening of the Games and until the solemn and moving closing of the Games of Rome.
As President of the Italian Olympic Committee, I have the honour of sending you all my best and most sincere greetings in the name of sport.
It is a cause of great pride for the Italian Olympic Committee to prepare an enterprise defined by all as extremely arduous and which will prove even more difficult in this Rome which, in the 2,700 years of its history, has seen so many projects, friends, enemies and so many people pass through it.
The holding of the Olympic Games is indeed one of the greatest honours for a nation which wishes to illustrate its considerable advance in sport and to documentate its aspirations through such an aesthetic and moral ideal as is sport.
These same purposes of a moral nature will guide the Italian Olympic Committee and its efforts operating during the cycle of preparation and implementation of the exceptionally arduous technical works destined to welcome the youth of the whole world who, in a warm atmosphere worthy of the best traditions of Rome, will celebrate in the XVII Olympic Games the human function of chivalrous liaison between the peoples.
Rome is not yet ready to welcome the Olympic Games of 1960. Much still remains to be done in certain directions, little in others. Much, in the field of the sports venues which the Italian Olympic Committee has in part constructed and in part is preparing to construct with the strong consistent help of the Authorities of the Italian State and of the Rome Municipality. Little remains for the formation of that welcoming well-disposed affectionate spirit towards the officials and athletes and the foreign public in general which Rome will adopt during the period of the Games of the XVII Olympiad.
Besides the technical organising factor which the Italian Olympic Committee has assumed in accordance with the strict rules laid down by the International Olympic Committee, other factors — reception, welcoming, well-being of the spectators — contribute to the success of Olympic Games. These other factors will be attended to principally by the Rome Municipality and the Italian State Tourist Board who have already got to work to prepare facilities for the arrival, the stay in Rome and the departure of all the Olympic visitors.
Dear friends and Colleagues, I wish at this moment to assure you that, as in all previous Olympic Games, you will also be welcome guests of honour in the Rome Olympic Games ".

On 2nd May 1957, the Interministerial Committee was constituted and its Presidency was assumed by the President of the Council of Ministers. The Committee was composed of representatives from the following Ministries: Foreign Affairs, Interior, Budget, Finances, Treasury, Defence, Education, Public Works, Transport, Post and Telecomunications, Foreign Commerce, as well as by the Mayor of Rome, the Commissioner for Tourism, the President of Provincial Administration and the President of the Italian National Olympic Committee. In the first meeting held within the framework of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, the President of the Council, the Hon.
Zoli, showed the need for a clear distinction in functions and responsibility in order to avoid any interference between the organisation of the Games undertaken by the Italian National Olympic Committee and the work of coordination by the State Administrations.
The President of the Council likewise invited the Committee to make an immediate start on its own work and to make such provisions as were necessary for the better success of the Games. Avv. Giulio Onesti, in his report, referred to the programme pre-established by the Italian National Olympic Committee to provide the city of Rome with the indispensable sports venues giving some indication of the relative financial requirements and drawing attention to the problems of the individual State Administrations.
Artistic programme Meanwhile, in the course of meetings held in the first six months of 1957, the Executive Committee for the Games dealt with many matters and, amongst other things, gave their approval for a competition to be held for the designing of an official poster, whilst they also approved the artistic programme to be presented by the Academy of St. Cecilia. They also dealt with the setting up of new technical offices, the historic itinerary of the relay for the Olympic Torch, the accommodation of journalists in the new buildings of Domus Mariae and Domus Pacis and a final study on the enlargement of the small harbours in Naples.
During the same period, in a series of hard-working meetings, the Executive Board of the Italian National Olympic Committee (C.O.N.I.) examined and approved the instruments selected for the time-keeping services; authorised the furthering of negotiations with the Italian company of Wagons-Lits for the handling of catering and room services in the Olympic Village; approved the project setting up the Organising Committee and the formation of advisory sub-committees for the Press Section, the Olympic Village section and the Arts section.
On the 30th August 1957, the Interministerial Committee met once again under the chairmanship of the Undersecretary to the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Senator Spallino. During the opening discussion, Senator Spallino drew the attention of the members of the Committee to two very important aspects of the Olympic Games:— (a) the financial problem and (b) the problem of responsibilities. On this occasion, the Committee considered it necessary to establish a programme outlining the responsibilities of each State Administration as well as the assignments of the Italian National Olympic Committee.
In November 1957 the Executive Board of the C.O.N.I., pending the nomination of responsible bodies, approved the formation of a select Committee with executive powers and composed of the following members: Marcello Garroni, Secretary-General for the Games; Mario Saini, Technical Director; Francesco Costantino, Secretary-General of the Interministerial Committee; Nicola Graziano and Virgilio Tommasi, Secretaries. The Committee was known as Provisional Committee for the Management of Olympic Affairs (C.O.G.A.O.) From this date onwards, the new Provisional Committee held weekly meetings with a view to examining and facing all problems in connection with the Organisation. Up to the end of the Games, this executive body held 88 official meetings as well as a number of advisory meetings.
Amongst the solutions to more important and complex aspects of certain problems were those in connection with a differentiation in the Olympic Card for Judges, the football tournament held on the system of 4 groups of four teams each and the project for the sale of entrance tickets to the stadia and competition grounds.
Matters of basic importance were faced by the Provisional Committee in particular during the meeting of 21st January 1958 when a motion was passed to present the selected Poster to the Executive Board of the C.O.N.I. with a proposal that it be produced in eleven languages, namely:— Italian, English, French, German, Spanish, Greek, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Indian and Arabic.
During this same meeting, the Committee devoted particular attention to the Artistic events, deciding in this connection to hold certain competitions in the picturesque surroundings of monuments and archeological works. Relations with the Provincial Tourist Board were also attended to.
In point of fact, the meetings held by the Committee during the first four months of 1958 brought about major decisions such as that of approving the supply of eight thousand pigeons, approving the course of the Olympic Torch, the drafting of a plan for the contribution to be made by the Armed Forces, the elaboration of a project for the setting up of the Photographic Exhibition as well as working out the budget for the technical equipment required in the stadia and competition arenas.
In its meeting of June 4th 1958, the Provisional Committee submitted its completed plan of work for the approval of the Executive Board of the C.O.N.I.
with a view to illustrating certain aspects of the vast work of organisation, at the same time proposing that certain remedies and more suitable solutions be worked out. The Board agreed to the financing of this special requirement; it approved the proposal for an Exhibition of works of contemporary art, the financial and technical plan for the production of the Olympic film and, lastly, approved the lay-out of the competitions and the respective competition arenas. In a meeting on 18th October 1958, the Executive Board of the C.O.N.I.
ratified the project presented by the Provisional Committee in regard to the availability of horses required for the riding test of the Modern Pentathlon. During this same meeting, it gave full powers to the Provisional Committee to start the distribution of entrance tickets to the stadia, to study problems concerning Television and to attend to the furnishing of the Olympic Village. The Board also, after a very careful study, approved the programme and timetable of the Rome Olympic Games.

Nomination of Organizing Committee

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At the general meeting of the National Council of the C.O.N.I. held in Rome on November 20th 1958, Minister Giulio Andreotti was unanimously acclaimed as President of the Organising Committee. The acclamation was preceded by a detailed report made by Dr. Bruno Zauli, Secretary-General of the C.O.N.I., to those present at this major national sports assembly. Opening the meeting, the President of the C.O.N.I. read the following declaration: " By previous kind consent of the President of the Italian Republic, Patron of the Games, and kind consent also of the Prime Minister, I have the honour to propose, in the name of the Executive Board, that the Hon. Giulio Andreotti be named by this Council of the C.O.N.I. President of the Organising Committee for the Games of XVII Olympiad ".
Having established the responsible bodies, the Executive Board of the C.O.N.I., in a meeting held on February 25th 1959, established the composition of the Organising Committee and the Executive Committee. The same President of the C.O.N.I., Avv. Giulio Onesti, became President of the Executive Committee whilst, a few months later, the Secretary-General of the C.O.N.I., Dr. Bruno Zauli became Vice-President. As a result of this, all powers and functions previously entrusted to the Provisional Committee were now transferred to the Executive Committee.
On 26th March 1959, once the Organising Committee was set up, the Hon.
Andreotti, having expressed his gratitude to the President of the Republic, pointed out the duties of the Committee and concluded with the words: " Insofar as the sports facilities are concerned, we are sure today that all our plans have been completed and put into effect and that everything will be ready for use when the Games are due to open. We want to make sure of preserving the specifically sporting nature of the Olympic celebration. Naturally in order to do this, there are many other problems to be solved in connection with the city's reception capacity, accommodational facilities and so on, but none of these will ever cause us to lose sight of that essential factor, the Olympic character which will distinguish our celebration ".
Mr. Andreotti then went on to stress that the Olympic Games would " constitute an event of such exceptional importance as to be perhaps without equal in the history of the country. When the work is done in the knowledge that this Olympic celebration will be held in strict conformity with the rules, we are giving a silent response, perhaps more efficacious than any conveyed with grandiloquent phrases, to the anguish we sometimes feel when the storm clouds darken the international horizon ".
Immediately after this, Mr. Andreotti appended his signature to the first six invitations to the Games, beginning symbolically with the invitation to Greece, followed by those to the five countries, each belonging to one of the five continents, situated geographically the furthest away from Rome, that is:— Finland, Japan, South Africa, Peru and New Zealand.
During a number of meetings called for this purpose during the month of April 1959, the Executive Board of the C.O.N.I. approved all the plans made for the meeting of the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee with representatives from National Olympic Committees, which was held on May 19th in the premises of the Foro Italico.
Unfortunately it sometimes happens that works already initiated or even completed have to be completely redrafted. This was the case when it was originally intended only to outline the plan or regulations which seemed best to suit the situation or when the Executive Committee examined the programme prepared for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and the Art celebrations.
Towards the end of May 1959, the Executive Committee ratified contracts with the Wagons-Lits and contracts for the ceding of television rights to North America. It also decided definitively on the various types of entrance tickets to the stadia and competition arenas.

City problems

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On 13th June 1959, Mr. Andreotti presided over one of the most important meetings of the Organising Committee at which the Mayor of Rome, Mr. Urbano Cioccetti, was present. Particular attention was paid to the following during that meeting: problems concerning the responsibilities of the city administration and, in this connection, the Mayor took it upon himself to ensure that the Municipality would improve the road network, street lighting and illumination of monuments, devote attention to public gardens, the cleanliness of the city, and improvement to parking lots and public transport.
The Mayor furthermore gave his assurance that he would appeal to the financial institutions of the city for help in providing suitable decorations, improvement to buildings, etc. He would also attend to the question of reception capacity by appealing to the traditional hospitality of the citizens of Rome, as a result of the shortage in normal accommodation, and would also give his personal attention to the various festivities that were being planned by setting up a Committee which he would entrust to the Provincial Tourist Board.
During meetings which were held in the second half of 1959, the main problems of organisation were in nearly all cases solved. The work can be said to have been divided up into three special sectors:— (a) the technical organisation with a Secretariat, protocol, the sports programmes, Olympic cards, ticket office, interpreters, etc; (b) the progressive construction of sports venues; (c) liaison with the responsible bodies for hotel accommodation, traffic, tourism, etc.
In the vast plan of organisation, the Committee did not omit to consider the problem of the various religions of the athletes from the different countries.
This task was undertaken by the Catholic Church which, in its traditional spirit of comprehension, provided the necessary means of putting it into effect.
Again, during the last six months of 1959, the Executive Committee for the Games agreed over all questions in connection with the sailing craft required for the yachting events in Naples; it approved the prototype of the Torch produced by Prof. Mauri and the regulations governing the Sports Photography Exhibition; it gave its agreement to the printing of the official poster in eleven languages for a total of 290,000 copies to measure 70 × 100 cms. During this same period, final agreements were drawn up with INCIS (National Institute for the Housing of State Employees) over the road network in the Olympic Village and the construction of temporary buildings as restaurants and made the necessary engagements with the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications for the installation of telephone networks.
In November 1959, decisions were made over the technical solutions required for the use of the Basilica of Maxentius and the Caracalla Baths as venues for the Wrestling and Gymnastics competitions.
Further engagements were also made by the Executive Committee for the supply and purchase of furniture for the Olympic Village and the setting up of a photographic pool.
During a meeting of the Executive Committee held on November 23rd 1959, all matters appertaining to all the sectors of the organisation were considered.
These matters had already been put forward during a preceding meeting of the Organising Committee held on November 22nd under the Chairmanship of the Hon. Andreotti. The Executive Committee approved all decisions taken in respect of:— (A) Sports:— (1) Olympic venues; (2) Technical organisation; (3) Tenders from public and private organisations.
(B) Provincial Tourist Board:— (1) Accommodation; (2) Reception and festivities; (3) Events to be held by the Tourist Industry.
(C) Municipality Works:— (1) Decoration and improvements of the city; (2) Public works.
In the course of this same meeting, the Executive Committee authorised the Italian Radio and TV company to transmit the events of the Games free of charge within the territory of the Italian Republic but limited to certain hours of the day on unscheduled programmes. In this way the sports-loving Italian public who were unable to attend the Games would have the opportunity of following at least the most spectacular episodes and the more important events.
At a meeting held on December 15th 1959, the Executive Committee examined the following matters:— (a) plan of operation for the Olympic Film; (b) negotiations with the European Television; (c) prices of hotels and pensions; (d) prices of entrance tickets to the stadia; (e) reduction of railway fares for the protagonists in the Games.
It furthermore decided on the opportunity of reaching an agreement with the Telephone Company over the telephone network in the Olympic Village, the Press Centre and in the various venues. The Executive Committee lastly took note of the publication of the 17 Technical Regulations.
The beginning of 1960 registered the 61st meeting of the Executive Committee which was held on January 4th and during which nominations were made of Technical Executives in substitution of those transferred to other appointments, approval given over the layout of the Olympic card and a further examination made of the plan for the Olympic film, the decision being taken to produce it in colour on a 35mm scale. Definite approval was given to the plan for the Closing Ceremony and that concerning medical arrangements in the Olympic Village.
The meeting held on January 18th 1960 served the purpose of deciding on the plan for the requirements of small, medium and large transport; the printing of daily programmes and the formation of the photographic pool which was to comprise the following agencies: Associated Press, United Press, Keystone, E.P.U., Agenzia Italia and A.N.S.A. Mr. Elvezio Bianchi of United Press was nominated Director of the pool.
During the first six months of 1960, meetings became ever more frequent so as to provide constant assistance and control on the rapidly increasing organisation.
Noteworthy problems were debated and decisions given. One of the trickiest problems was that of the Olympic Village. The buildings and appartments were by this time ready and were allocated to the various delegations taking part in the Games, whilst the necessary furniture for the premises was collected. The material which had come from private industry was gradually placed in the various appartments whilst arrangements were made to apportion the vast amount of material coming in from the Armed Forces on temporary loan. In the mean time the kitchen equipment was installed, cooking equipment ordered and contracts made for the supply of foodstuffs, agreements entered into with the Italian Federation of Agricultural Consortiums and the Gondrand Transport Company, etc.
On 25th July 1960 at 10.00 hrs., the Hon. Andreotti, as President of the Organising Committee, was present at a ceremony which took place to proclaim the official opening of the Olympic Village. He made a significant speech in which he outlined the importance of the great international sports event and the effect it could have on the policy of friendship and solidarity between the nations of the world.
The Ceremony, which started with the playing of the " Olympic Anthem " (the musical score which starts Mascagni's Hymn of the Sun) repeated three times, was concluded by the hoisting of the 84 flags of the countries participating in the Rome Games whilst a military band played the Olympic Hymn.
During the ceremony, Mr. Andreotti declared in the course of his official speech: " We are now exactly one month away from the official Opening of the Rome Games and today activity starts in this Village where, for a number of weeks, the protagonists in the great world sports event will live together in the daily excitement of these Games which Italy has tried to prepare with that sense of duty and generous hospitality which are essential characteristics of our people.
When a few moments ago we saw the flags of the 84 countries participating in the Games being raised, our hearts were in some way moved as, in these times of mechanisation—to which, in a certain way, the Olympiads form a contrast— some profoundly romantic note still lingers on. Here the great human aspirations in loyal tussle, the objective recognition of virtue and capacity, the overcoming of all nationalistic differences and racial discriminations and the particular attention paid to youth assume a concrete as distinguished from a rhetorical significance.
It is the ideal of every sports competition. In this respect, no city more then Rome—and this we may say without committing the sin of pride—is fitted to give the Olympic Games that background of universality which is the ambition they try to achieve.
Now that we have all paid just honour to the national flag of each country, we bid a welcome to all the athletes and accompanying personnel who will be living in the Village. If no one of these feels a stranger within it and if, returning to their country, they all carry with them a pleasant memory of Rome and the Village, the Organising Committee will have been amply repaid for their toils on the eve of the Olympic Games ".
As the period of the Games drew near, the work of organisation reached a feverish pitch and, in many cases, was rendered even more difficult by the fact that certain works had to be completed or weak spots in certain sectors strengthened.
However, the organisation as a whole could be considered complete, only minor details remaining to be settled and these only in specific sectors.
The Protocol section drew up its plans for the arrival and departure of Officials, athletes and journalists (" reception offices "). For this purpose, arrangements for the setting up of these offices were made with the Headquarters of Ciampino Airport and with the Italian State Railways; the lady guide-interpreters were allocated to their posts; final touches were made to the rules and executive formalities governing the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and prizegiving ceremonies; the last of the national flags were reproduced, whilst the music score sheets of all the national anthems and the Olympic Hymn were prepared and also registered on tape.
It should be remembered that during this same period, the Executive Committee examined and approved a series of other matters such as the selection of the diplomas to be printed, the number of medals required for the athletes and the commemorative medal; the working out of a timetable for the Congresses of the I.O.C. and International Sports Federations; the programme of receptions and the transport to Rome of the Olympic Torch.
In the course of further meetings with various bodies, final arrangements were made with the Tourist department of the Rome Municipality, the Provincial Tourist Board, the National Tourist Industry, the Italian Automobile Club and the Italian Touring Club for all that concerned finalising artistic- sports events, reception, tourism, etc.
Where the necessity arose for intervention or financial aid in the artistic field, the Executive Committee rose to the occasion immediately with very broad outlooks. This proved particularly useful in connection with the setting up of the Sport in History and in Art Exhibition which was organised in the Palace of Sciences at the EUR.
It is also considered opportune to mention the equally valuable work undertaken by the Executive Committee as and when Olympic constructions and training grounds became ready. These venues were immediately opened and special events organised to test the efficiency of the grounds and equipment as well as to train the personnel allocated to them. The opportunity was also taken to classify and select equipment and material for the events in each sport in strict collaboration with the Italian and International Sports Federations.

The organization effort

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During this final period, meetings of the Organising Committee and Executive Committee were in continuous alternation. Approvals and decisions were multiplied in each sector of the organisation. Even the daily training of the arriving teams became a serious problem. In fact, many teams arrived in Rome well ahead of schedule; they requested and were granted permission to use the swimming pools, grounds and gymnasiums. The organising effort in these cases served a double, but nevertheless uniform, purpose namely:— (a) that of ensuring optimum conditions for training and (b) organising all the complementary venues for the various sports.
These were all very essential venues, most of which were already in operation, equipped in detail, and placed at the disposal of the athletes for their daily training.
During the final phase of the technical organisation, many other problems which were not a direct responsibility of the Organising Committee, such as the city accommodation, tourism, traffic and others, were also dealt with.
The special meeting of the National Council of the C.O.N.I. held on June 16th 1960, during which the activity of the Organising Committee received high praise, dealt with all the situations and necessities which by this time required an immediate decision. During the meetings of the Executive Committee which followed, all the details arising from this debate of the National Council were apportioned, with solutions, to the various sectors. During the first ten days of July 1960, the Executive Committee in one of its final meetings, took note of all matters which had finally been cleared and regularised (based on the various requirements) with the cooperating parties. It also gave out final instructions to all Sections so that the technical and organisational programmes could be put into effect. With these final instructions, the duty of the Organising Committee may be considered as having been completed insofar as the preparation of the Games of the XVII Olympiad was concerned.
It should be remembered that the total number of meetings held during the four years of preparation amounted to 344 in number, namely:

National Council of the C.O.N.I 5
Executive Board of the C.O.N.I 29
Organising Committee 22
C.O.N.I. Presidency 5
Provisional Committee and Executive Committee 89
Olympic Military Detachment 28
Technical Sections 94
Various Organisations (RAI-TV, Cinema, EPT, BNL, etc.) 72


It may be concluded from this schematic and general survey that the results achieved, both from an organisational and technical point of view, fully conformed with the efforts made and responded to the schedule. In other words, the vast and complex organisation, although at times having put the C.O.N.I. to a severe test, often requiring brusque efforts which were sometimes risky and a trial to resistance and capacity, achieved overall results which should be considered decisively positive. This must not only be at tributed to the generous and capable collective efforts of all collaborators but also to the well-estimated period of preparation as well as to the increasing enthusiasm for the Olympic ideal.
Merit also goes to all the Authorities who responded with generous courtesy to all appeals made for the Olympic organisation.
His Holiness Pope John XXIII wished to hold a special audience for all participating teams on the afternoon of August 24th in St. Peter's Square.
The Head of State, who kindly consented to act as Patron of the Games, continually offered his close and zealous support to the Organisation, particularly during the preparatory phase. The President of the Organising Committee, the Hon. Giulio Andreotti, understood and performed admirably all the duties involved with enthusiasm and efficiency.
On the 28th November 1960, the Organising Committee met for the last time in the presence of the National Council of the C.O.N.I. Mr. Andreotti gave a detailed illustration of the work that had been fulfilled and immediately afterwards dissolved the Organising Committee whose responsibilities were then passed on to the C.O.N.I., this body receiving the same powers previously exercised by the Organising Committee and Executive Committee.
On this occasion, the National Council of the C.O.N.I, associated themselves with the praise rendered by Mr. Andreotti to the Presidents of the Olympic Federations, to the organisers and to all the collaborators who had offered their valuable services to the achievement of the organisational results.
On the conclusion of the Games of the XVII Olympiad of Rome, the International Olympic Committee addressed a letter of congratulation to Mr. Andreotti, President of the Organising Committee, the text of which is as follows:— " We feel it our duty to express our most sincere congratulations for the admirable organisation of the Games which you so ably presided over. All the services under your direction functioned magnificently to the utmost satisfaction of the International Olympic Committee and we therefore consider it our obligation to proffer our most sincere and profound thanks.
The Rome Games will remain alive in the history of Olympism as the most brilliant that have been organised to date. We owe this principally to you who have directed the greatest world sports organisation whose success was outstanding. We are delighted at the fact that the Press in its entirety recognised this perfect success.
The faith placed in Rome when we allocated the organisation of the Games to this city was not in vain—and of this we never had any doubt—because you fully reached the scope we had hoped for, indeed surpassing all that we could have wished. ".
As always happens in everyday life, when things are anxiously awaited and quickly pass, so the Games of the XVII Olympiad, which appeared as a thing of the past in that meeting of the National Council of the C.O.N.I., passed definitively into the history of sport, with all the lessons that may be learnt from them for the future of Olympic sport
.