January 16 - The tone of the London 2012 Olympics will be in keeping with the difficult economic circumstances of the times, with "no extravaganza", International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge has pledged.

The leader of the global Olympic Movement also says, in an exclusive interview with insidethegames, published today, that he will use public transport at the Games "when I can".

Speaking here, where he is attending the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games, the IOC President predicts that there will be "no white elephant" after London 2012, "which is very important".

The Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) revealed recently that the legacies of three more London 2012 venues – the Aquatics Centre, the Handball Arena and the 114-metre high ArcelorMittal Orbit – had been secured.

However, the Olympic Stadium and the International Press and Broadcast Centre have still to find tenants.

Rogge says he understands that the consequences of staging the Olympics in London might cause difficulties for some people.

However: "This is a two-week event that is probably not going to happen [again] in a very long time in London.

"It is going to benefit London a lot.

"There are some inconveniences, but I think the public will accept that."

Acknowledging that the European economic situation places an extra responsibility on the Movement to set the right tone, Rogge states that the Games should be "sustainable, that's the bottom line", adding: "We always want to be sober and not to exaggerate.

"We ask the organiser not to go into extravaganza.

"I'm very clear there is no extravaganza in London.

"I insist on that."

The IOC President says that "when I can go with public transport" in conducting his duties at the Games, "I will.

"There is no doubt about that."

However, Rogge (pictured above with Sebastian Coe and London Mayor Boris Johnson) underlines that his job at the Games will include visiting all 26 Summer Olympic sports.

This logistical challenge, plus security considerations, may well mean that his opportunities to sample the public transport system are, in practice, limited.

On the necessity for Olympic lanes, Rogge says: "You can't ask an athlete who is competing at 10 o'clock to wake up at 4 o'clock in the morning to have breakfast, to go to the underground, to shuttle.

"You need an Olympic lane for that."

-David Owen

Source: www.insidethegames.biz


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