Reedie Hails Success of Games; Coe on Bolt Victory; U.S. Judoka Banned
(ATR) IOC member Craig Reedie tells Around the Rings
he is “thrilled” with the success of the Games, the reaction from the British public and recognition from visitors that London is a good host.
Craig Reedie watches fellow Scotsman Andy Murray win singles gold. (ATR/Panasonic Lumix)
“I am just so thrilled and proud at what has been achieved after all the years of effort,” the Scotsman told ATR
“The way I think the country has reacted has been terrific. In most cases we are seen to be good hosts. We welcome the world warmly and are looking after running something they [visitors] all enjoy.”
As gold medals keep flowing for Great Britain and outstanding performances from the athletes of other nations, including Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt, light up the Games, Reedie said he was hard-pushed to pick a favorite moment.
“Every British gold is great,” he said, singling out Katherine Grainger’s win with Anna Watkins in the women's double sculls as a special moment.
The 36-year-old Grainger was a silver medalist at three previous Olympics, with Reedie presenting the medal in Beijing four years ago and again at Eton Dorney, where the London Olympic regatta was held.
Reedie also praised fellow countryman Andy Murray, who won gold in the men’s singles Sunday with a straight sets win over Roger Federer.
“He has been so close for the last two years in probably the best era that tennis has ever witnessed. I thought it was a great moment… in the semi-final and final to beat the No. 1 and 2 players in the world,” he said.
Coe on Government Legacy Push
LOCOG chairman Sebastian Coe says the British government and UK sport chiefs should use the feel-good factor at the London Games to drive up participation in sport.
LOCOG chair Sebastian Coe. (ATR/Panasonic Lumix)
“Absolutely, this is the moment. It is the vehicle of our lifetime. There is inevitably a limited window, you do have to have the things in place,” he told Monday’s IOC/LOCOG briefing.
“A lot of national governing bodies have already recognized this work around School Games… there are some pretty solid legacy foundations,” he said.
“We need things in place to capitalize on that spike in interest.
Asked what the government should do to ensure the "Inspire a Generation" slogan of the Games wasn’t just a short-term blip, he added: “They need to do what they are doing… recognize that it’s a once-in-lifetime opportunity.
“We do need to find space in the timetable to make sure that more kids, particularly in the state sector, get good high quality physical education.”
Three of the volunteers – or Games-makers as they are labeled – addressed reporters at the briefing, telling their individual stories of how they came to get involved and what the Olympics meant to them.
The 70,000-strong volunteer force has been widely praised for their helpful and friendly attitude in their interactions with visitors and media in and around Olympic venues.
Coe paid tribute to the “extraordinary work” of the Games-makers, saying they had been an inspiration and were presenting a positive image to the Games worldwide.
Coe on Bolt Olympic Record
The double Olympic 1500m
champion had warm words of praise for Bolt’s 100m triumph that lit up
the Games a day after he described Britain’s three golds in track and
field on Super Saturday as the “greatest day of sport I have ever
Usain Bolt strikes his signature "To the World" pose. (ATR Panasonic Lumix)
“I never thought he’d lose that race,” Coe said. “He
just knew too much, you only have to look at how he came out of that
“The difference between winning and losing in an
Olympic Games is the way you control yourself, your nerves, your
environment for the last 40 minutes [before the race] and he does that
to perfection. He does it better than anybody I know.
“Whatever you see going on in terms of the gestures and the cabaret that guy just knows exactly how to close the deal.”
Commenting on the man who threw a plastic bottle onto the track just seconds before the men’s 100m final, Coe said such behavior was completely unacceptable at any sports event.
Dutch judoka Edith Bosch, who won a bronze medal in the 70kg category, hit the man with her hand before he was arrested. Coe said he didn’t advocate vigilantism, “but it was poetic justice that he was sitting next to a judoka”.
who provide the largest source of revenue for the IOC, have come in for
criticism for not showing the 100m final live. New 400m champion Sanya
Richards-Ross said she was also disappointed that her event was not
screened live by the US broadcaster.
The IOC’s director of communications Mark Adams hit back at the criticism.
said the 100m race was available livestreamed, with NBC already
reporting record figures for the London Games. “They are a good partner.
I don’t think it is for us to tell them how to reach their audience.
They tried to get the moment where they would reach the biggest possible
audience, which they did.”
IOC Bans U.S. Judoka
Judoka Nicholas Delpopolo became the first Olympian of 2012 to be banned for recreational drug use.
Nicholas Delpopolo. (Getty Images)
Delpopolo tested positive for THC during an in-competition drug test.
"My positive test was caused by my inadvertent consumption of food that I did not realize had been baked with marijuana, before I left for the Olympic Games," Delpopolo said in a statement.
"I apologize to U.S. Olympic Committee, to my teammates, and to my fans, and I am embarrassed by this mistake."
USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky said in a statement that the USOC "absolutely support the disqualification."
Delpopolo, 23, made the quarterfinals of the men’s 73kg judo event before losing to South Korean Ki Chun Wang.
Australia “Review” Swimming Performance
Following an Olympics where the team sank more than swam, Swimming Australia says they will review their performance and administration.
The Australian 4x100m medley relay team won bronze. (ATR/Panasonic Lumix)
SA president David Urquhart made the announcement in a statement on the SA website.
Australia, typically a dominant force in swimming, won 10 medals in London with a lone gold. In Beijing, Aussies netted 20, the second most of any team.
Urquhart said “it is clear the world has lifted the bar when it comes to swimming and so must we.
“This is not a time for blame and scape-goating, this is an opportunity to make the changes required to rise to the international challenge,” he added.
He said no one should doubt the commitment or effort of Australian swimmers, and the review would focus on SA high performance programs and administration.
Gold medalist Susie O’Neil and coach Bill Sweetenam will lead the review.
Written by Mark Bisson and Ed Hula III.
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