News - Olympic Games


David Bedford

London 2012’s Olympic marathon chief David Bedford has stepped down after expressing his “frustratio

n” with organisers of the Games, it has been revealed.

The former distance runner, who is also race director of the London Marathon, was marathon manager for the 2012 event, but it emerged on Monday that he quit in February.

Bedford told the London Evening Standard: “I quit my role; I resigned. We (London Marathon) are a professional business run by professionals and it was very difficult to work for another organisation who in the main have never organised an event of their own.”

London Marathon chief executive Nick Bitel said Bedford's decision was “personal” and the organisation would continue to work with Games organisers on the marathons and race walk events.

“David has decided not to work on the Olympic events any more,” Bitel told the Press Association. “That's his p

ersonal choice and I very much regret his decision. The decision was due to his frustration with LOCOG's (London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games) approach to event management.”

Bitel, who would not expand on what had caused Bedford’s frustration, added: “He has incredible knowledge and experience so we regret the fact he's not working on the events, but we are continuing to work closely and harmoniously with LOCOG and we are confident that they will be great events.”

Demand for Olympics tickets at London 2012 could easily outstrip supply with one in five adults in the UK claiming they plan to buy tickets for the Games, a new survey published today has discovered.

But while 70 per cent of people polled believe the Olympic Games will boost the UK economy, only 39 per cent believe this will outweigh the cost of hosting the spectacle.

Organisers are releasing 6.6 million tickets to spectators in Britain, with a deadline of April 26 for applications to join the ballot.

Outdoor advertising agency Kinetic Worldwide said the Games could be "massively over-subscribed", with 10 million Britons saying they plan to apply for tickets.

A further 2.2 million tickets will be available to overseas spectators and organisations sponsoring the Games.

In the capital, 36 per cent of people say they plan to buy tickets, with just 23 per cent saying tickets are too expensive.

Organisers say one quarter of tickets will cost less than £25 ($40) and 90 per cent will cost less than £100 ($161).

The best seats at the Opening Ceremony will cost £2,012 ($3,243).

More than half of Londoners say they are now excited about the Olympics, up 10 per cent since October to 51 per cent.

Across the UK 40 per cent of those surveyed said they are excited.

More than half of those planning to go to the Olympics say they are not sports fans but consider it to be a "once in a lifetime" experience.

James Copley, of Kinetic UK, said: "Our research suggests the level of anticipation and interest in attending the Games is growing and London will see a surge in visitors at the top end of expectations."

Kinetic Worldwide surveys a panel of 500 UK adults every quarter.


Members of the IOC are shown around the Athletes’ Village, where construction of the first of the 11 residential plots has been completed.Construction progress on the Athletes’ Village was praised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) today as the first residential plot was completed.

The IOC’s tour of the Village was part of their biannual Coordination Commission visit, and coincided with the release of the new Olympic Park flythrough and latest aerial images.

IOC Coordination Commission Chairman Denis Oswald said, ‘The Olympic Village is at the very heart of the Games experience for thousands of athletes. It represents their home away from home and the place where they will prepare to achieve their Olympic dreams.

‘It is therefore encouraging to see that excellent progress has been made in constructing this accommodation, especially knowing that this Village will become a vibrant new community in legacy.

‘With its close proximity to the Olympic Park, the athletes will undoubtedly take full advantage of being able to walk to events and this will allow them to soak up the atmosphere and live their Olympic experience to the full.’

The other 10 plots of the Village remain on track to be completed by the end of the year. The Village lies adjacent to the Olympic Park and will accommodate the athletes and officials during the London 2012 Games. After the Games the Village will deliver new homes for east London. These homes will be joined by new parks, open space and new education and healthcare facilities in one of the best-connected parts of the capital.

Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) Chief Executive Dennis Hone added: ‘The IOC’s praise for the Athletes’ Village is extremely encouraging and with our first residential plot now completed, we are seeing beds for athletes and new homes for Londoners taking shape.

‘The Village will create a new neighbourhood for east London with the best of city living all in one place where essential new housing will be joined by education and healthcare facilities, new parklands, public squares and open space.

‘With construction work firmly on track, discussions to secure a long-term private investor in the Village are also making good progress with a shortlist of investors due to be selected in the coming weeks.’


Jeremy Hunt, UK Culture Secretary. Photo courtesy: Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has called for a swift resolution to the current dispute between the British Olympic Association (BOA) and the organising committee for the London 2012 Games (LOCOG).

The BOA, which is effectively seeking a bigger cut of any financial surplus to arise from the Games, is taking its dispute with LOCOG to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland. The disagreement escalated late last week when BOA chairman Lord Moynihan and CEO Andy Hunt were barred from LOCOG board meetings.

"This is not the right argument to be having so close to the Olympics in our country," Hunt told BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek. "I think it is an extraordinary thing that just over a year before the Games that we are going into this sort of dispute, which frankly is not going to benefit anyone."

Hunt added: "We need to sort it out quickly, it is just very disappointing and I do not think anyone would say it is the right way to be focusing our energies...I can't really see how anyone's going to be a winner from this because there is no more money."

The dispute centres on whether the BOA is entitled to a share of the surplus from the Olympics alone, or the Games and Paralympics combined.

The BOA has insisted the two events should be kept separate on the final balance sheet, but the International Olympic Committee recently backed LOCOG's claim that the Olympics and Paralympic Games should be combined before surplus payments are distributed.


Blame game: London 2012 organisers have pointed the finger at Lord Colin Moynihan Photo: GETTY IMAGESLord Moynihan, the British Olympic Association chairman, is facing a backlash from some of the sports he represents following his decision to pursue a controversial legal action against the London 2012 organising committee.

Moynihan, who along with BOA chief executive Andy Hunt has been suspended from the Locog board until the dispute over Olympic cash has been resolved, will face accusations that he is taking the BOA down a highly damaging path when the leaders of all 33 summer and winter Olympic sports in Britain gather in London on Tuesday for what could be a stormy National Olympic Committee meeting.

Moynihan has written to each of the NOC members setting out the reasons for his legal challenge, but he is certain to face strong opposition.

The head of one national governing body, who asked to remain anonymous, said the stance taken by Moynihan was “unacceptable” and “severely embarrassing” and that he was prepared to “take him on” in Tuesday’s meeting.

He said: “We seem to have alienated the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee and now we’ve clearly got difficulties with Locog.” He also branded as “abhorrent” Moynihan’s argument that the Olympics and Paralympics should be separated for accounting purposes to boost the surplus payable to the BOA.

He said: “Where do we stand in terms of our image with the public and the international community if we’ve taken a decision, purely out of avarice, to treat able-bodied and disabled people as a different matter?”

The NOC is the BOA’s policy-making body which re-elected Moynihan as chairman in 2008 and also appoints six board members. Although any decision to halt the legal dispute would rest with the board, a groundswell of opinion against taking the case any further would be impossible to ignore.

One board member said: “I think the board would have to listen to the NOC. They would be fools not to. The board is put in post by the NOC because they are their electorate.”

The legal row centres on how Locog calculates any surplus after the 2012 Games. The BOA is entitled to a 20 per cent cut of the profit but Moynihan believes any surplus should be confined to money generated by the Olympics.

Locog insists the Paralympics, which could make a loss and reduce the amount payable to the BOA, should be included.

The IOC and the IPC have both sided with Locog but Moynihan has refused to back down and is prepared to take the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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