IOC denies speculation that London will host the 2016 Olympics?
by Saill-World.com on 10 May 2014
A feverishly denied story in Britain's Evening Standard newspaper has fueled further speculation. The Standard reported yesterday that London has been secretly asked if it would be able to take over the 2016 Olympics because Brazil is so far behind on preparations,
Women’s RS:X Podium - Tuuli Petaja (FIN), Marina Alabau (ESP) and Zofia Klepacka (POL) London 2012 Olympics © Ingrid Abery http://www.ingridabery.com
The Standard's reporter Benedict Moore-Bridger has alleged that an informal approach was made by Olympics bosses to discover whether enough venues from the triumphant 2012 London Games could be brought back into use.
The disclosure follows growing panic at the International Olympic Committee over the shambles in Rio, where organisers are badly behind schedule.
IOC vice-president John Coates has called Brazil’s preparations 'the worst I’ve experienced'. He told a Sydney conference last month that construction had not begun on some venues, infrastructure was significantly delayed and water quality was a major concern with just two years to go.
'The IOC has formed a special task force to try to speed up preparations but the situation is critical on the ground,' he said, calling the intervention 'unprecedented'.
A source told the Standard: 'At a comparable planning stage in 2004 Athens had done 40 per cent of preparations on infrastructure, stadiums and so on. London had done 60 per cent. Brazil has done 10 per cent — and they have just two years left. So the IOC is thinking, ‘What’s our plan B?’
'Obviously, the answer would be to come back to London. It’s very unlikely but it would be the logical thing to do.'
The chances of London being asked to step in were described as 'infinitesimally small' by figures close to the Olympic movement, because it would be an unprecedented snub to Rio. But a source said: 'If London were asked to do it we would certainly want to have a go.'
One possibility is that the capital could share events with Glasgow, which hosts the Commonwealth Games this July.
London has hosted the Olympics in an emergency before. In 1908 the event was due to be held in Italy but a disastrous eruption of Mount Vesuvius forced a move.
Will Glendinning, director of the major event consultants Allium and who worked on the London Organising Committee for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, said there was 'more than enough time' for the capital to be ready.
'Yes of course it can be done,' he said. 'One of the UK’s greatest exports is our major events capability. The expertise exists and regarding facilities we are a couple of years away — more than enough time to get things ready.
'If I were the IOC I would make sure I had a plan B and a plan C.'
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But the plan for 'London 2016' would be a worst-case scenario because many of the other 2012 sites have already been converted for public use and transforming them to competition-standard venues again would cost billions and cause major disruption for the clubs currently using them.
A spokeswoman for the International Olympic Committee said the question of the Rio Games being moved to London was a 'non-starter and unfeasible'.
For full story go to http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/will-it-be-london-2016-capital-could-be-set-to-relive-2012-as-rio-preparations-slammed-by-olympic-chiefs-9344084.html
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