Bringing It Home Strong: Jacques Rogge Happy With London Games So Far
IOC President Jacques Rogge yesterday said that London “has delivered a ‘very good Games,’ with athletes, teams and federations delighted with the facilities,” according to Karolos Grohmann of REUTERS. Rogge said that he had “no complaints with what he had seen so far.” Rogge said, "All in all I would say these are very good Games and I am a very happy man." Rogge as of yesterday had visited "22 of the 26 sports with the remainder on his schedule for the final four days.” He said, "There is also the success of the home team and that is very important" (REUTERS, 8/8). In London, Ellen Branagh notes LOCOG Chair Sebastian Coe gave a "'heartfelt thank you' to troops who are helping provide security at the Games.” Coe yesterday visited troops, many of whom "have been carrying out different roles at the Olympic Park and ExCeL Centre.” Coe said, "I really genuinely think that when we look back at these Games one of the defining features will be the involvement and the commitment of our armed services. They've discharged their duties with professionalism, with humour, and with grace, and that has really gone noticed in pretty much every corner of this project" (London TELEGRAPH, 8/9).
LINE UP: In London, Josh Loeb notes with “only days remaining Olympic fans are queuing up to get the last tickets of the Games.” Today’s first tickets cost $55-1560 “depending on the event and seat location,” and they “went up for grabs” at 12:00pm local time (London INDEPENDENT, 8/9). Ticket sales for the Paralympics “have surpassed 2 million since the start of the Olympics.” Organizers report that more than “600,000 tickets sold in the past month, taking total sales to 2.1 million and exceeding the previous record of 1.8 million set four years ago.” The Paralympics start on Aug. 29 (AP, 8/8).
SHOW YOUR SUPPORT: In London, Ashling O’Connor notes U.K. government officials “have been urged to seize a ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’ and use the euphoria generated by the Olympics to tackle a host of social problems before it is too late.” Sports organizations, businesses and charities yesterday “called for action after Sir Matthew Pinsent, the four-times Olympic rowing champion, said that Britain must avoid the fate of Australia, which failed to capitalise on the enthusiasm of the 2000 Sydney Games.” The warnings “came amid fears that government funding will be severely reduced for athletes preparing for Rio 2016” (LONDON TIMES, 8/9).