IOC President “happy and grateful” for London 2012
International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge today lavished praise on all those responsible for helping make the London 2012 Olympic Games a success.
Speaking at his closing media conference at the Olympic Park, Rogge called the Games “absolutely fabulous,” while singling out the athletes, the city of London, the public, the local organisers and the army of 70,000 volunteers for their important roles in staging the event.
“London has absolutely refreshed the Games in many aspects,” President Rogge said, describing the public as “fantastic” and the volunteers as “marvellous, very helpful, very smiling, very kind and very efficient too.”
“London promised an athletes’ Games and that is exactly what we got,” he continued. “A splendid Olympic Village, state-of-the-art venues, 44 world records, 117 Olympic records and, I would say, history being written by many, many athletes.”
Rogge said the performances of the competitors in London were “a dream for a sports-lover like me,” before identifying what he believed was the defining moment of the Games (the last of six under his 12-year term as President): the tears shed by British cyclist and six-time Olympic gold medallist Chris Hoy when collecting another two golds in London.
Recipe for success
Appearing alongside President Rogge at the media conference was Chairman of the Organising Committee for the London Games Sebastian Coe, who provided the recipe for a successful medal haul at an Olympic Games (Great Britain had won 28 gold, 15 silver and 19 bronze medals at the time of the press conference).
“There are four ingredients for what we’ve witnessed, particularly in British sport in the last few weeks,” Lord Coe said. “Clearly, world-class governing bodies, and we’ve got those; world-class coaching; an extraordinary supply of talent prepared to work harder than anybody else is prepared to work; and, fourthly, high and predictable levels of funding. When you get those four ingredients that come together, you tend to witness what we witnessed in the last few weeks.”
“It has been a splendid couple of weeks,” he added.