Bari '97 The Games are ready to begin. Complicated organisational mechanism of the XIII. Mediterranean Games in Bari, Italy, is
preparing the final details - everything will be ready for the sport manifestation being held in the city of Bari and the whole country of Apulia from June 13. to 25.

In the last few weeks the decisions have been made on few of the most important issues. But, one thing is for sure- the XIII. Mediterranean Games will definitely be the ones for remembrance. For one, because there will be 3.473 participants, from which 942 are women or 500 participants more than in the last Games, and about one third more women, according to the application forms from the 21 European Olympic Committee. 

Italian, Greek and French delegations will be the most numerous with 444, 422 and 320 participants respectively while Monaco will have the fewest participants only 16. The biggest number of athletes 485 of them will compete in athletics and 20 countries will have their representatives in that sport. But that's not all. After the huge response of the volunteers the press has also shown huge interest in covering the Games, so there will be more than 600 journalists present in Bari. The arrangements for the TV coverage have also been finalised. Italian television RAI will broadcast 70 hours of programme from the Games, 60 hours being live coverage.

The huge promotive camapaign has been well in progress for some time now: pictures, logos, and all kinds of informations about Bari are everywhere. The stadiums are being polished up by 800 workers, mostly the inhabitants of Apulia and 40 firms from the region are also involved in the project. They were mostly repairing and prepairing the stadiums, but some work has been done on renewing the historical sights in Bari including the Stadium of Victory and the 19th century sports center "Ex-Gil". Some new sports venues have been built like the new bioclimatised water-polo swimming pool, the first in the city and four sports centers in the suburbs.

The International Committee of the Mediterranean Games, with its president Claude Collard has nothing but praises for the organisational efforts of the city of Bari. Mr.Collard expressed his personal congratulations to the president of the Organisational Committee Bair '97, Antonio Materrese, and his team on the "job well done", and that was Bari's last check-up.

Therefore we shall all meet there on June 13th on the opening ceremony with the slogan of the Games "Nobody's a stranger in Bari" .