SBD/November 7, 2013/Olympics

Philadelphia Mayor Seeks Advice On Hosting Olympics While Visiting London

Nutter hopes the Olympics lead to long-term rehabilitation in Philadelphia
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter "has spent time on his trade trip" to London "seeking tips" for his city's bid to host the '24 Summer Games, according to Chris Hepp of the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER. The Olympics "figured into private discussions with government officials and were a visible part" of Nutter's agenda yesterday. With the '12 London Games "long over," the effort to revitalize areas in East London "continues, boosted by the infrastructure now in place and a long-term plan to bring new housing to the previously blighted area." This "was not lost on Nutter." He said, "A big part of the location decision was what would happen afterward. Hosting the Games is great in and of itself, but they only last a couple weeks. ... Hosting the Games has to serve as the catalyst for something long term, the rehabilitation of something." Hepp notes Philadelphia looked to "raise its profile among the Olympic community" when the city "sought to host Olympic trials, successfully landing those for table tennis, fencing, gymnastics, and squash." Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau President & CEO Jack Ferguson said that the city "already has 27 of the 35 venues needed to hold a Summer Olympics" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 11/7).

SAFETY FIRST: SOCOG President & CEO Dmitry Chernyshenko appeared live on today's episode of NBC's "Today" and said Sochi is "ready" for next year's Games. Chernyshenko: "We already successfully tested all our competition venues during the most extensive test event last winter." NBC's Matt Lauer said security is "always a major concern" during the Olympics, but this will be the first time "that the Games will be staged right next door to what is considered to be a terrorist epicenter." Chernyshenko said, "It will be the safest Games ever because we understand from the very beginning of our successful campaign that the security is the key priority of the organizers and it's a global threat. ... From the beginning we established very good cooperation between Russian and American security (agencies) and they exchange intelligence. I know that everybody is confident that Russia is able to provide this." Chernyshenko said there will be security but it "will not be dressed in military uniforms so the atmosphere will be festive." He also reiterated that any athlete expressing support for gay rights will "absolutely not" be arrested or detained. Chernyshenko added, "What else can I add?" ("Today," NBC, 11/7).
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