Rogge: IOC met economic challenges

COPENHAGEN -- IOC president Jacques Rogge said Thursday the group has "met the challenges" of the global economic downturn and that the Olympic movement is as strong as ever.

"Like every other major organization, we have felt the effects of the global economic downturn," Rogge said at the opening ceremony of the 121st IOC session. "We have met the challenges together, and our movement is as strong as ever.

"The International Olympic Committee has maintained a solid financial foundation, thanks to a conservative investment strategy and strong support from our sponsoring partners and our broadcast rights-holders around the world," he said.

On Friday, IOC members will choose the host of the 2016 Olympics -- Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro or Tokyo.

In June, Rogge told The Associated Press that the reserve fund stood at $429 million. It was $411 million at the end of 2008 after dropping more than 10 percent during the worst of the global financial crisis.

The fund is considered enough to support the IOC for a four-year period in the event of an Olympic Games being canceled.

The IOC has television rights deals worth $3.8 billion for the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver and 2012 Summer Olympics in London -- compared to $2.6 billion for the four-year cycle covering the 2006 Torino Winter Games and 2008 Beijing Olympics.

It has completed a multimillion-dollar European TV rights deal for 2014-16 and will soon start negotiations on the lucrative U.S. rights for those games.

The IOC also has nine global sponsors paying a total of $900 million to $920 million for the 2010-12 period, and it has signed up five out of 10 so far for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi and 2016 Summer Games.