Feds Ready to Resolve Venue Concerns; Coe Says Olympic Security Numbers Sufficient
Federations Ready to Resolve Olympic Venue Concerns
Andrew Ryan, director of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations, tells Around the Rings
that the 26 Olympic sports are "very happy" with preparations but the next week will throw up some venue issues.
John Garcia-Thompson and Steve Grotowski of Team GB tried out the practice courts at Horse Guards Parade on Wednesday. (Getty Images)
Ryan said ASOIF has not been called upon to deal with any major issues in recent weeks but he expects federations to experience individual issues in the coming days.
With overlay work set to be completed at the last moment for beach volleyball at Horse Guards Parade and ExCeL center, which hosts seven sports, federations will be busy with London 2012 organizers to iron out their venue concerns.
"Now they begin to arrive at their venues no doubt things will arise and they will work with LOCOG," Ryan said.
"The next week is about fine-tuning and getting everything perfect for the competitions."
Coe Says Security Numbers Sufficient
LOCOG chair Sebastian Coe says to expect “a safe and secure Games” despite the failure of contractor G4S to deliver enough trained staff.
Troops file past the Main Press Center. (ATR)
"This is not an issue that has remotely compromised security,” he told BBC Radio 4 on Friday.
“This was actually about the supply and the mix, it's never been about the numbers.”
A further 3,500 troops were deployed for the Games after U.K. defense secretary Philip Hammond confirmed the shortfall last week.
"We have got the numbers,” Coe said, “courtesy of the military and our police services.”
G4S, meanwhile, says it’s making "good progress" in steadily increasing the size of its accredited and trained security force, that in a statement released a day after Olympics and sports minister Hugh Robertson confirmed that penalty clauses will affect the entire G4S contract, including the $89 million management fee.
"It is very important to keep this in perspective,” Coe told BBC.
“There are 4,000 people from G4S who have been working very successfully currently on the park and have been working successfully for many years on this."
The total number of military personnel brought in to beef up security for the Games now sits at 17,000 with another 1,200 on standby.
Nike Yes, Pepsi No
In a separate interview with Radio 4, Coe fielded questions about the increasingly controversial role sponsorship rights could play in the choices Games-goers make inside Olympic Park.
LOCOG chair Sebastian Coe. (ATR)
"Let's put some reality in this. You probably would be able to walk through with Nike trainers,” he told interviewer Evan Davis.
"You probably wouldn't be walking in with a Pepsi T-shirt because Coca Cola are our sponsors."
Coe doubted reports that security personnel had been forced to empty potato chips from branded bags into plastic ones while defending the contracts made between LOCOG and its partners.
"We had to raise through the organizing committee a mountainous amount of money through the private sector,” he said.
"We have to protect the rights of the sponsors because they in a large part pay for the Games."
Torch Arrives in London
The Olympic Flame will spend its first night in the British capital under lock and key at the Tower of London.
Torchbearer David Boyle carries the Olympic Flame on a boat rowed by the Maidstone Rowing Club earlier Friday. (Getty Images)
That’s after a British Royal Marine Commando, torch in hand, abseils more than 50m from a Royal Navy helicopter as the London 2012 relay makes a dramatic entry into the host city following weeks of crisscrossing the U.K. and Ireland.
Mayor Boris Johnson and Lutfur Rahman, the mayor of Olympics host borough Tower Hamlets, will welcome the Flame before handing off to Tower of London’s constable, who’s already in charge of the medals for the Games.
Earlier stops on Friday’s 105.24 mile route from Maidstone included Gillingham, Chatham, Rochester, Higham, Gravesend, Brands Hatch, Borough Green, Seal, Sevenoaks, Riverhead, Godstone, Bletchingley, Redhill, Reigate, Dorking, Westcott, Shere, Chilworth, Godalming and Guildford.
Reported from the Main Press Center by Mark Bisson and Matthew Grayson
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