London 2012 Olympic Games legacy ‘non-existent’, says medalist Liz McColgan

 

 

 

 

 

Olympic medalist Liz McColgan has said she fears that a generation of aspiring athletes will see no benefit from any “legacy” from the London Games.

The former long-distance runner, from Dundee, directed her concern to politicians during an event in the Scottish Parliament.

She said little has changed since she was young.

“I still coach kids who are paying £3 to get into a track that has very bad lighting. I can’t see them in the winter time. There’s only one toilet. There’s no drinks available,” she pointed out.

“It’s quite sad that we’ve had so much success at the Olympics, and we’ve got 112 kids who all want to be like Mo Farah, and I can see that the cycle track that’s just 100m along across the park is exactly the same, the swimming clubs are exactly the same.

Were we prepared? No we weren’t.

We are probably going to let down a lot kids who are so enthused from the success that we had. Kids nowadays have got a great access to television. I didn’t have that in my day. They see it and they want it.

I feel the Government, the associations have let us down because we are not prepared to deal with all these kids that want to be the next Chris Hoy or Kat Grainger.”

Ms McColgan, who won silver in the 1988 Seoul Olympics and two golds in Commonwealth competitions, said it was lucky that the 2012 Games were a success.

Speaking as a panellist at the Festival of Politics in Holyrood, she said: “I believe there’s no legacy that I can see left in my neck of the woods. We’re left to our own devices.”

In a direct plea, she said: “I’ve sat on many, many panels like this and nothing happens. Everyone’s got great ideas but nothing happens. Why not just listen for once and take action?”

She was joined on the panel by former Scotland rugby player John Beattie who also complained about a lack of action to stimulate investment in sport for children.

He suggested private funding for state school sport, adding that he feels guilty about the high standards he enjoyed at private school.

“I don’t think it’s a Government thing alone. There’s a whole corporate world that should be getting into this because there’s no way you’re getting more money,” he said.

“The next step to make it work would be corporate money coming into the school system to sponsor leagues, to pay teachers extra.”

The panel also included sports journalist Alison Walker and Scottish Sports Association policy director Kim Atkinson, and was chaired by Labour MSP John Park.

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Heavy rain puts the Pringle to the test..

 

‘The pringle’, the nickname for the new London velodrome where Olympic cyclists race this summer, has sprung into the headlines for having “minor leaks” in its roof due to the “heavy rain” England has been experiencing these past weeks, as confirmed by a London 2012 spokesman.

This announcement leads us to question the quality of the Olympic ‘legacy’.

In the end, what we really need to be grateful for, is that it rarely rains in England…

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Battersea Power Station: a new home for Chelsea FC?

Roman Abramovich is looking to relocate Chelsea FC from Stamford Bridge to the disused Battersea Power Station (BPS). The current site only has capacity for 41,800 spectators and hence it is unable to host an anticipated 60,000. Therefore the Russian oligarch has recently injected a huge sum of money into researching alternative venues.

Apart from BPS, Earls Court & Olympia, White City and Imperial Wharf are all potential sites currently under consideration. However, BPS seems to be most sensible choice due to its convenient size and availability, The Guardian writes.

The final “yes” or “no” is not only up to the Russian as once again Chelsea Pitch Owners (CPO) are exercising their contractual rights. 12,000 shareholders are legally entitled to the name Chelsea Football Club and if it moves elsewhere, Abramovich needs the CPO’s permission to use this well-known trade name. In order to get them on his side, the oligarch made an offer to CPO on Tuesday promising to give perks of priority rights to purchase season tickets and a roll of honor at the new stadium.

It might be worth mentioning that the US Embassy’s future offices could be right next to Chelsea FC’s new stadium in Battersea and one may wonder if anyone asked the American diplomats for their opinion on rubbing shoulders with football fans…

 

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Olympic promises- fingers crossed

Tottenham Hotspur's new stadium

In their bid for the games London Olympic officials promised to keep an athletics track in the stadium.

Now, during a meeting in Acapulco, British Olympic Association chief executive Andy Hunt only “hoped” the Olympic stadium would retain a running track after the games- neatly side stepping the issue of empty promises by saying the decision was down to the mysterious “Olympic Park Legacy Company”.

Two Premier League football clubs, West Ham and Spurs, have made bids to move into the Olympic Stadium after 2012, but only West Ham’s bid includes keeping the running track.

Hunt made clear his determination to honour that promise telling AP . “Of course, we would love to see the provision of a truly world class athletics track….I think we’d all be disappointed if that didn’t happen.”

Fighting talk, might as well rip up the Spurs offer then.

If the London Olympic organisers keep none of their promises to Londoners  (on jobs, on housing, on costs)  will it be an Olympic record? Or does it happen where ever the five rings descend?

One way East Londoners could economically benefit from the games would be to put money with the bookies that the stadium will be home to Tottenham in 2013. I wonder what odds they are giving.

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Olympic Organisers Back Out of Promised Air Fare For Athletes

The London Olympic 2012 Games Organisers promised £20 million in airfares to pay for the travel of athletes and officials.  They attempted to quietly withdraw from this commitment by the use of price caps and a distance formula.  Countries without direct flights to London will be out of pocket having a greater effect on poorer countries especially those from Africa and the Pacific, who like Londoners are finding out that Olympic promises are easily broken. Zimbabwe’s Olympic committee secretary general Robert Mutsauki said the African nations would hold the London organisers to their promises. Good luck!

Full Article Here.

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Spurs bid for Olympic 2012 stadium without track

Spurs challenge how much the Olympic Legacy Company really want an athletics track.

Spurs, in conjunction with entertainment giant AEG, made a shock move last week to take over the stadium after the 2012 London Olympics. But the club do not want a track running around the outside of the pitch, a clause which could seriously hinder their attempt to move into the venue. Or will it?

Timothy Leiweke , chief executive of the club, claimed the Olympic Legacy company would be likely not to accept their bid in light of these circumstances. “I think it is a crime if you sacrifice having a perfect football stadium for convincing yourself you are going to do a track and field event every 10 years,” Leiweke was quoted as saying in the London Evening Standard.

AEG Europe chief executive David Campbell believes the athletics track is not a deal breaker. He claimed that any expressions of interest in the stadium which would decide the venue’s future, did not oblige bidders to retain the running track.

Will the promised Olympic “legacy” of an athletics track trump the money on offer? Will West Ham United regret promising to keep the track in their bid if Spurs win? Will the famous West Ham atmosphere survive the dead space of the track or will it become another loss in the litany of negative Olympic impacts on East London?

For full article see here.

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Olympic firms use construction blacklist

It has been revealed that several firms working on the Olympic site, including Sir Robert McAlpine who is building the stadium, were subscribed members of the Consulting Association which is accused holding sensitive information on 3,213 workers. This information came to light after a raid by the Information Commissioners Office.

Contract journal writes

‘Union leaders are demanding the Olympic 2012 site is purged of all blacklists held on construction workers.

Olympic Stadium builder Sir Robert McAlpine is believed to have spent nearly £30,000 last year alone on information to vet potential employees.

Unite joint general secretary Derek Simpson is calling for an immediate probe into all Olympic contractors caught up in the Consulting Association scandal.

He said: “On the basis that many of the employers concerned will be winning billions of pounds worth of public and private sector work, the government should announce an immediate investigation into the practices that exist in the industry.”‘

source:http://www.contractjournal.com/Articles/2009/03/11/65585/construction-unions-demand-olympic-blacklist-ban.html

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