Sebastian Coe, the London Olympics chief, says he wants the 2012 Games to replicate the packed venues in Vancouver that had helped make the Winter Olympics a success. As chairman of the London organising committee, Coe has been in Canada with a 60-strong delegation for the Games that ended last night. "I think for me there is one thing that really has been done extraordinarily well here and that is that we've got full stadiums," said Coe, one of the greatest middle-distance runners of all time and winner of gold medals at the 1980 and 1984 Summer Olympics.
"I haven't been anywhere where there's been an empty seat effectively in the house even in some of the earlier competitions where they've not been fighting out finals," he added. "People look like they want to be in those stadiums." Coe said Vancouver had embraced the Games and he believed the Olympics would also catch the imagination of Britain, adding that the 2012 organisers had spent a lot of time on planning for full venues and thinking about their ticketing strategy.
"We want to create a Games that has the forensic eye for delivery in the way that Beijing did," he said. "I want the party atmosphere that Sydney injected. I want the heart and the spirit of Barcelona. And I think we can sensibly add the city engagement now that I've witnessed here." Coe said that his team had also taken away lessons from Vancouver in city operations, including issues such as security and transport.
And he was impressed with the "live sites" around the city providing entertainment and giant screen showings of Olympic events and highlights. Coe said the success of the Canadian athletes had been a major boost for the Games, adding: "Having a good Canadian performance has actually elevated these Games for everybody." * With agencies