The Olympics Have to Go to Africa, Says Coe
London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe claims more major sports events must be taken around the world in order to improve the infrastructure and enhance the well being of fans in developing nations.
“You are going to need to share our big sporting moments,” Coe told delegates. “But that presents challenges and puts more pressure on the organizations like the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and FIFA because inevitably these countries have less expertise and experience in delivering major championships.”
Coe pinpointed vision as the number one priority for anyone hoping to host the Olympics.
“At London 2012, our vision was to use the Games to transform the lives of young people,” he said. “One of our aims was to use the Paralympics to challenge misconceptions. Britain will never look at disability in the same way.”
Later at a media briefing, Coe said the African continent was the last great unchartered territory for the Olympics, just as it was for the FIFA World Cup before 2010.
“The Games have to go to Africa,” Coe said. “The issue is about timing. The challenge is to protect the interests of competitors at all times.”
After Coe’s podium address and to a reverential welcome, the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani mapped out the importance of staging a conference dedicated to the power of sport.
“As you know, our Arab region stands on the verge of a quantum leap,” said the Emir. “The Arab Spring bloomed into a generation of young people who are determined to achieve their dreams and ambitions.”
He made it clear that the conference was not just a talk shop with no lasting impact and “would not just be on paper but be translated into viable initiatives.”
Contact the writer of this story at email@example.com. Inside the games is a blog published by the organizers of the recently held London Olympics. This article is reprinted here with permission from the editors.