The chief of the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) is confident the city will deliver a great Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012 after learning from his Beijing counterparts.
Sebastian Coe, chairman of London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), speaks during a press conference held at the Beijing International Media Center (BIMC) in Beijing, China, Aug. 22, 2008. [Xinhua]
"The Beijing Games will be remembered, in my view, for wonderful elite sports, superb organization, stunning venues and spectacular Opening and Closing Ceremonies," said Sebastian Coe, the British double Olympic medalist and chairman of LOCOG.
"Beijing (organized) a great Games. We have a great responsibility and we will match Beijing and also deliver a great Games."
Coe said he had learned a lot from the Beijing organizing committee (BOCOG) during the Olympics and Paralympics.
"The attention to detail that BOCOG brought to both the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and particularly the Paralympic Games, is something we would want to emulate in London," he said on Tuesday. "Service provided to competitors has been of the highest order."
Coe said London had learned from Beijing that the Games was not just about the timely delivery of infrastructure, but also about legacy and correct emphasis.
"Athletes have to be at the center of these championships. If you have athletes at the center of the project, you have to deliver well in so many other areas," he said.
"Secondly, presentation of the sports should further foster understanding of these sports, with one aim in mind, to broaden interest among young people in Olympic and Paralympic sports."
The London 2012 Olympic Games will run from July 27 to Aug 12, while the Paralympic Games will take place from Aug 2 to Sept 9.
"Our responsibility over the next four years is to deliver a Games that will continue to excite and engage young people both in Olympic and Paralympic sports and to leave structures behind that go on delivering for young people," he said.
Coe also promised that all venues would be completed on schedule and tickets would be available in 2011.
"All the venues will be delivered on time. That's the essential requirement of the Games. I'm entirely confident that will be the case," he said.
"We have started much of our Olympic infrastructure ahead of schedule. (Building of) the Olympic venues started three months ahead of schedule."
The venues will also be a valuable legacy for young people in the city.
"Londoners have a rich tradition of being involved in sports. But for many years, it has not had the facilities or the infrastructure to realize many of those ambitions. So these facilities will provide a valuable quality of service for the local community," he said.
"We also want those facilities to inspire young people throughout the whole country to take care of Olympic and Paralympic sports."
(China Daily September 18, 2008)