SBD/August 13, 2012/Olympics

London Games Described As A Triumph For The City, An "Explosion Of Goodwill"

Rogge was "very happy and grateful" of London as a host city for the Games
IOC President Jacques Rogge yesterday said the London Games were “absolutely fabulous,” according to Ashling O'Connor of the LONDON TIMES. Rogge declined to compare London with previous host cities, but he said he was “a very happy and grateful man." Rogge: "These Games were a great Games definitely. ... The Games were absolutely fabulous." Rogge’s remarks “topped off a day of back-slapping that reverberated" around London. U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said, “We showed the world what we are made of.” LOCOG Chair Sebastian Coe: “We lit the flame and lit up the world. ... We know more now, as individuals and as a nation, just what we are capable of.” Asked about his defining moment, Coe said, “The British people day after day have filled our stadiums and turned them into theatres of sport” (LONDON TIMES, 8/12). London Mayor Boris Johnson in a special to the London TELEGRAPH writes, “London has put on a dazzling face to the global audience” (London TELEGRAPH, 8/13). Rogge added, "London has absolutely refreshed the Games in many aspects. These were athletes' Games, the Athlete's Village was fantastic, the venues were state of the art and well run, you had a fantastic public." He said that there were "minor" issues to be ironed out, including ticketing. Rogge: "We are definitely going to review the ticketing policy of the Games. The sale of tickets is a very complicated issue, you need a balance between the home public and the rest of the world" (GUARDIAN, 8/12).

APPRECIATION OF COE: In London, Alan Hubbard wrote Coe "will have fashioned an astonishing Games, one of the most successful ever, and unquestionably the finest episode in British sporting history." He has done so with "professionalism and panache, and the result, so far, has been beyond anyone's wildest dreams, including, he admits, his own" (London INDEPENDENT, 8/12). Also in London, Joe Churcher noted Coe will continue his involvement with the Olympics as Cameron's "Legacy Ambassador." Coe will now advise Cameron on the "best ways to secure long-term benefits for the U.K. and act as a roving ambassador to help secure deals for British firms." Coe will also be responsible for ensuring "efforts to boost sporting, volunteering and regeneration effects" remain on track (London INDEPENDENT, 8/12).

DOPE-FREE GAMES: The AP's Graham Dunbar wrote, "Even before the flame was out, Rogge said efforts to fight doping at the Olympics were a success." Only one athlete tested positive for a banned substance on the day of competing at the London Games. Seven more were "caught in doping controls" conducted since the official testing period for the Games began on July 16. Rogge: "I think that is a sign that the system works.” He also cautioned that "some samples are still being analyzed." Rogge said, "We might hear something tomorrow or the day after. Hopefully not, but you never know" (AP, 8/12).

FROM LONDON, ALL CHEERS
: In London, Paul Hayward writes, “The Games will be remembered as a triumph for warmth, civility, excellence and enthusiasm -- hosted by a nation in love with sport, and happy in its own skin” (London TELEGRAPH, 8/13). Also in London, Simon Barnes writes, “Looks like we got away with it. ... London got it right” (LONDON TIMES, 8/13). The London INDEPENDENT’s James Lawton: “These were the Games you couldn’t fail to love. The Games that seduced cold-headed calculation of cost and reward with their sheer vitality. The Games that took on astonishing life” (London INDEPENDENT, 8/13). The GUARDIAN’S Richard Williams writes the Games “began with an explosion of goodwill and never lost its capacity to charm and to amaze“ (GUARDIAN, 8/13). A London TELEGRAPH editorial stated, “The Olympics did not dominate London: London dominated the Olympics. … This was an event about the people, not the VIPs” (London TELEGRAPH, 8/11). A London INDEPENDENT editorial states, “Hosting the Olympics has boosted national morale more than any single event in most people’s living memory. The capital and country have been transformed” (London INDEPENDENT, 8/13).

MAKING IT LOOK SMOOTH: The WALL STREET JOURNAL’s Orwall & Bryan-Low write LOCOG is winning “strong reviews for a smooth running, well-executed 17-day event that avoided all the feared problems.” Yesterday it “seemed as if London didn’t want the games to end” (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/13). In N.Y., Sarah Lyall wrote, “To the shock and then relief of a nation used to large events going awry, the Olympics instead went smoothly” (NYTIMES.com, 8/12). The FINANCIAL TIMES’ Simon Kapur writes, “Throwing a party costs money. You do it not for profits but for happiness. Even in strapped times, that might be worth” the cost (FINANCIAL TIMES, 8/13). In Toronto, Steve Simmons writes under the header, “London Games Rank Among Best,” and adds, “The brilliance of the London Games was not all about sport. It was about putting the country on display and they managed that perfectly” (TORONTO SUN, 8/13). Also in Toronto, Cathal Kelly: “London succeeded in its primary Olympic missions -- first, keep the city undetonated and second, having a good time” (TORONTO STAR, 8/13). The AP’s Stephen Wilson wrote, “Take a victory lap, London. The nightmare that was supposed to be the 2012 Olympics … simply never materialized” (AP, 8/12). In Boston, John Powers: “On the whole, these Games were a smashing success” (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/13).

GOOD JOB, GOOD EFFORT: In N.Y., Filip Bondy writes London was “rightfully congratulating itself for hosting a Summer Games that avoided any sort of disaster and left very little Olympic litter behind." Bondy: "A good time was had by most” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 8/13). In Chicago, Rick Morrisey: “In London, I saw a city full of people who normally keep to themselves come together for a common goal. There’s currency in that, even if the Olympics are an economic risk” (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 8/13). In Pittsburgh, J. Brady McCollough writes under the header, “London Fell In Love With Olympics” (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 8/13). SI.com’s Jon Wertheim writes, “The operative word of these Games was epic. ... The hosts did a well, epic job. ... There was an unmistakable sense that this was the feel good movie of the summer, big-budget as it may have been” (SI.com, 8/13). In Ft. Worth, Gil Lebreton: “London proved over this fortnight, it takes a special city -- one of the world’s great cities -- to be a memorable Olympic host. The Games, I would suggest, have never been welcomed any better” (Ft. Worth STAR-TELEGRAM, 8/13). In Memphis, Geoff Calkins: “These really were happy and glorious games” (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 8/13). In Miami, Linda Robertston: “The Games were a smashing success for the home team” (MIAMI HERALD, 8/13). In Sunday’s N.Y. TIMES’ Week In Review section, Frank Bruni wrote, “For all their flaws and frustrations, [the Games] have been a phenomenal spectacle. More than that, they’ve been a phenomenal inspiration, in precisely the ways that they were supposed to be, during a season when we needed the uplift” (N.Y. TIMES, 8/12).

NOT SO SURE: The FINANCIAL TIMES’ Matthew Engel wrote the Games’ “global legacy will be a little fuzzy,” as the athletic performances “seem to have made little impact on the audience at home or abroad” (FINANCIAL TIMES, 8/11). In Las Vegas, Ed Graney writes while the Games were good, “there were no iconic moments, no snapshots by which to truly define the legacy of these games” (LAS VEGAS REVIEW JOURNAL, 8/13).
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