Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Rogge Is Sizing Up Cut in the Games; London Olympics 2012 - Back the Bid

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Rogge Is Sizing Up Cut in the Games; London Olympics 2012 - Back the Bid

Article excerpt

Byline: ADRIAN WARNER

'SMALL is Beautiful,' 'Compact and Cosy' or even 'Size isn't Everything' could be successful slogans in London's bid for the 2012 Olympics, judging by the ideas of Jacques Rogge.

The International Olympic Committee president made it clear today he is determined to make the 2012 Games smaller and is not going to leave white elephant stadia in east London if the capital wins the right to stage the event.

Britain is expected to use the capital's multicultural population as a key part of its campaign to impress IOC members before they choose the venue in a vote in 2005.

Rival Paris has already launched its bid with a similar slogan - 'The Games of all the Colours'.

But it is clear the days of expansion under former president Juan Antonio Samaranch have gone and that Rogge, the chief coordinator of the 2000 Sydney Games, wants to have a cheaper and smaller Games - even if it means fewer tickets for spectators.

Asked how he thought the Games might have changed by 2012, Rogge said: "We're looking at downsizing the Games without touching the Olympic programme - that is 28 sports and 10,500 athletes. We want to reduce the cost and complexity of the Games. At Games' time you can fill a venue for judo of say 50,000 but after the Games the city cannot use it anymore at full capacity.

We don't want white elephants.

"We will reduce the size of the venues to actually what is needed post-Games. That will mean fewer spectators but ultimately we have to admit the Games are primarily about television."

Rogge is expected to stress the point at his first meeting with Tony Blair at Downing Street on 7 July, the day after he attends Wimbledon to watch the men's singles final.

The former Olympic yachtsmen is also due to meet Ken Livingstone.

His ideas will be welcomed by a Government which worried a lot about the potential [pounds sterling]2. …

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