Athletes Beef Up Bid for Olympics

The Journal (Newcastle, England), February 17, 2005 | Go to article overview

Athletes Beef Up Bid for Olympics


Britain's most famous Olympians threw their weight behind London's attempt to impress the visiting International Olympic Committee's evaluation commission yesterday in the hope of winning the right to stage the 2012 Games.

Sir Steve Redgrave, Kelly Holmes, Jonathan Edwards and Amir Khan joined bid chairman Lord Sebastian Coe in welcoming the 13-strong inspection team on the first day of their four-day visit.

The athletes, former and current, projected a positive front against the backdrop of some fall-out from the row involving London Mayor Ken Livingstone, one of the bid's key figures.

London 2012 have made it a central theme of their bid that there will be no `white elephants' ( expensive venues rotting away unused once their original purpose has been served.

But as Coe welcomed the evaluation commission, he must also have had rogue elephants on his mind, in the form of Livingstone who by his remarks to a reporter managed to trample on the sensibilities of the Jewish community at the worst possible time in terms of the bid.

The row has no direct Olympic connections but nevertheless it was the lead item on the influential Around the Rings website which deals with bids for the Games, and it is understood that Coe and Livingstone discussed its impact. …

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