Britain’s passion for sport will make London 2012 ‘special’

London 2012 bosses believe Britain's affinity to many of the Olympic sports will make the Games special

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles
london 2012
The running track at the Olympic Stadium was unveiled this week Photo: Locog/Getty Images

london 2012

Britain’s passion for sport will make next summer’s Olympics very special, according to London 2012 bosses.

Denis Oswald, head of the IOC’s London 2012 coordination commission, believes next year’s Games will have a distinctive feel because many of the 26 Olympic sports originated in Britain.

And he added that the public’s passion and involvement in many of the Olympic events will be the unique selling point for London 2012.

“In this country you have invented most of the sports and it’s why you have a special connection,” said Oswald.

“The British people are very sport friendly and are participants in many sports and because of that I think the Games here will have a special flavour.”

Oswald, a former Swiss rower, refused to be drawn on whether London 2012 will outshine other recent Olympics and insists each host city has its own individual appeal.

“The richness of the Games is that every time they are in a different country with different cultures and distinctive aspects,” added Oswald. “All the Games are are very successful because there is something special each time.

“Athens [in 2004] had a specific relationship with the Games of ancient times so they could make that connection and one event even took place in Olympia, the shot putt, just as a reminder to the ancient Games.”

“Beijing [in 2008] was in a country opening itself to the world and it gave a different flavour but still a special one.”

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