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London will not try to match Beijing: Coe

Last Updated: Tuesday, December 1, 2009 - 14:32

New Delhi: Trying to replicate the splendour of Beijing Olympics would be a futile exercise and London, instead, would strive to make a mark in its own way, 2012 Games chairman Sebastian Coe said.

In his interaction with a couple of journalists here in a city hotel, Coe, who is here for the London Games` international legacy programme, said Beijing hosted the most spectacular Olympics in the Games` history but other cities need not despair.

"Beijing was spectacular. The venues were spectacular, the kind of details and planning went behind it were also spectacular," Coe said.

"We recognise, and I think even the International Olympic Council also recognises, that we may not see a Games like the one in Beijing again," he said.

"But that does not make better or worse any of the other editions in other cities. Every Games is going to be different and I think there lies its beauty. From London, it will go to Rio (de Janeiro) and it will be different again.”

"Each Games reflects a different country, society and community and hence would be different from another," Coe explained.

The legendary athlete-turned-administrator waxed eloquent about the main Olympic stadium and its flexibility.
"The best part of it is its flexibility. We realise there was no need to have a permanent 80,000-capacity stadium in the middle of the community."

"This stadium would have 80,000 capacity but the seats are dismountable and it would remain a 25,000-capacity stadium after the Games is over," Coe said.

"We have set up Olympic Legacy Company which would look into the usage of all our facilities after the Games is over. Track and field events would remain the primary purpose."

Asked how he planned to involve the sizeable Indian population in London part of the event, Coe said, "There are 300 different communities in London and over 200 languages are spoken. Six per cent of London`s population is Indian and it`s important to engage them.
"The Indian community understands sports and make a massive contribution to the life in London," he added.

Coe sounded equally passionate about the international legacy programme, saying the organising committee wanted to bring 12 million children from 20 countries under its scope.

"We have consciously made a serious commitment to use the London Games to inspire young people take up Olympic sports," he said.

"So far we have been making very good progress. Today and tomorrow our teams here will look into some of the programmes we are involved with to promote sports and physical activities among young people," he said.

Asked what would be his advice to the organisers of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in the capital, Coe said, "I don`t want to give them any advice. My advice to all the organizers is that it`s a long marathon and not a short sprint."


First Published: Tuesday, December 1, 2009 - 14:32
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