Even before the 2004 Olympics games began in Athens, organizers for the 2008 Olympics, to be held in Beijing, have been hard at work. In fact, China's meticulous planning has received praise from Greek officials who had to rush to finish some competition venues in time for the opening ceremonies.

At a recent press conference in Athens mayor Dora Bakoyannis was asked if she had any advice for the organizers of the upcoming 2008 Beijing Olympics.

"I believe that they are doing a wonderful work," she said. "They started very soon, which is a very good thing, so that they don't feel under pressure. And I wish them every success."

Before the Olympics began, most of the world's media was focused on Greece's frantic rush to finish venues.

In contrast, preparations in China, since being selected to host the 2008 Olympics games, are proceeding on schedule. Liu Jingman, head of the Beijing 2008 Organizing Committee, said here in Athens, that many of their venues will be up and running well in advance of the next Olympic games.

"Before the Olympic games in 2008, we have arranged a series of international great events to test our facilities," he explained. "For instance, this year we are going to have the China Open for Tennis in Beijing and also in the year 2006 and 2007 are going to have the Youth Athletics World Championship and the Softball World Championship as well as some rowing events."

Liu Jingman did admit that construction was recently halted to rework some of the venue designs. The Beijing Olympic committee recently increased its venue construction budget from $1.6 billion to $2 billion and is taking measures to keep costs under control.