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Coe's compelling stories for Young Reporters

LOCOG is to invite the outstanding candidates from the IOC’s Young Reporters programme to London 2012 to join the press operations team. Lord SebCo of Locog said: “London 2012 will create compelling stories across the world – from world-class sport, to the effects the Games will have on the city of London and the UK as a whole and beyond."

I wonder, which effects would they be?


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Kapoor's bit of steel needs 'mundane' redesign

CABE has sent the already iconic Kapoorbit back to the drawing board. The design has some 'mundane' flaws in its entrance pavilion, viewing platforms, lift and stairs. CABE fears that "Without these details being submitted as part of the planning submission, we, and the planning authority, are being asked to take on trust that they will be elegantly resolved."

That certainly wouldn't do for the mittal pile of steel. Mind you, Zaha Hadid's design for the Aquatic Centre was accepted with known flaws and was originally too big for the site so I am sure CABE will 'take it on trust'. They may not have a choice. I expect Lakshmi will be on the phone to his mate Seb if his 'lasting gift' of 1,400 odd tons of steel looks like being scrapped.

Talking about Seb, if AK needs any help with the design he can ask Seb for a hand. Sebastian recently picked up an Hon FRIBA from RIBA. Now he can get on with designing the athletics track for the stadium post 2012.


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Anne's legacy hell

Anne Laurence, nee Windsor, thinks the Olympic Park is already a hell of a legacy! In an interview with BBC's Inside Sport she enthused about the work that has been done to date saying "That's a hell of a legacy just to begin with...." However, she wasn't sure there would be much more to come after the Games when she went on "never mind the sports legacy that might come afterwards." That was about it for Anne's understanding of legacy, a hell (of a lot) of half finished stadiums.

She went on to set out her understanding of the purpose of the Olympics which seemed to be to bring more sports into people's conscious minds: "but we would be foolish to think an Olympic Games would change people's habits overnight but I do think it raises many more sports in people's conscious thought as options for interest and enthusiasm."

Seb thought she was wonderful! He said he had paid to join her fan club.

So that's £9-£12billion (depending on who's counting) to provide options for interest and enthusiasm in more sports, or not, as the case may be. After all they are options. A legacy from hell!


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Chime - that rings a few bells

insidethegames reports that Alan Pascoe's company, Fast Track, has been dragged into the corruption scandal dogging the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

A report released by India's Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) claimed that choosing London-based Fast Track Sales Ltd as a consultant resulted in the revenue loss of more than £3 million ($4.6 million) in sales of Games broadcast rights.

Further down the page:

Fast Track was founded by Pascoe, a member of the British 4x400 metres relay team that won silver medals at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, and has grown into one of Britain's most respected and successful sports marketing companies.
Pascoe...played an important role in London's successful bid to host the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.
Fast Track, whose major clients include BT, IHG, Sainsbury's and UK Athletics, are now part of the Chime Group, who brought them in 2007 for £15 million ($23 million).
Pascoe is now the chairman of the company while Jon Ridgeon...a former team-mate of London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe, is the chief executive.

Readers of Stalwarts on our newsgroup will doubtless remember Chime aka Bell Pottinger for their attempts at 'community engagement'


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Sports field to be tarmaced for Olympics

Drapers Field in Leyton is to be tarmaced over for “back of house facilities” to supply the athletes' village if the ODA has its way. It seems that the demolition of Clays Lane, which was also knocked down to make way for these 'back of house facilities' was insufficient for the purpose.

The irony of demolishing children's sports facilities for the Olympics led local school governor Stephen Pierpoint to say: “It's an amazing contradiction that in trying to promote sports they are preventing our pupils from playing sports.”

Waltham Forest Council leader Chris Robbins said: "The Games are understandably going to cause some disruption locally but the council is looking to make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

"Using Drapers Field as a holding area could potentially result in significant improvements to an area which is in need of regeneration. This is what we will now have to decide."

Another area in need of regeneration! So what odds planning permission will be refused?!


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The Olympics: Warfare, Murder and Funerals

It's probably unfair to blame the Olympics. In Australia, a former water polo champion, Keri Lane, is accused of murdering a new born baby because she wanted to compete in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Almost as alarming is Peter Keen, Director of Performance at UK Sport, who puts sport up there with 'economic domination' and 'warfare'. In an interview with the Guardian he said: 'Short of economic domination and warfare, I'm not sure what else makes sense of our national identity...'

Maybe all this is not so surprising considering the Olympics are reputed to have their origin in funeral games.


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No Jag Hoy - should have been on his bike!

One Jag Hoy is now No Jag Hoy after the cycling star smashed up his £80K XKR Jag near the National Cycling Centre in Manchester where he had been practising on his bike. Makes me wonder why he wasn't cycling to work in line with his Skyride with BoJo.


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School's out for the Olympics - except in Dorset

Dorset County Councillor Tim Munro has described the proposal to to moor a private cruise ship in Portland Harbour to house 800 police for the Olympics sailing events as "disgusting".

"If the figures are right and £6.6million is spent on housing police, then why on earth is it not invested somewhere in Weymouth and Portland? A cruise ship will sail in and sail away and that's £6million going in the pocket of the owner of the cruise ship group.

"It should be spent on a housing development to help create a permanent legacy or it could be used to start a social housing project."

The police said no local military barracks, holiday camps or schools were available. Hmm, Dorset children must be really hard working.


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On yer hired bike for the Olympics

The sustainable transport charity Sustrans has criticised the focus on cycle hire rather than extending cycle use in Mayor Johnson's plans to expand his London bike hire scheme. "Plans to boost cycling in 13 outer boroughs appear to have been put to one side in favour of the high-profile and city centre cycle hire," a spokesman for the charity said.

"Assigning money to the boroughs would mean that each borough could spend their share on the cycling improvements that would have the biggest impact locally."

However, Kulveer Ranger, the London mayor's transport advisor, said Boris Johnson "has always said that if the scheme was a success he would be keen to see it expanded".

TfL provided the inevitable justification: "Expansion could include extending the scheme to the east of London in time for the Olympics...."


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After the logo the torch

London 2012 is looking for a team to design the Olympic and Paralympic Torches as well as lanterns, cauldrons and other fire carrying paraphenalia.

Paul Deighton, LOCOG CEO, said: 'The creation of the torches to carry the Olympic and Paralympic Flames is a unique opportunity for London 2012 to literally shine a light on the UK’s best design, engineering and manufacturing talent.'

Like, literally, the logo?


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