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London is ready to host a memorable Games, says Olympic legends

02-06-2012 10:56 BJT

LONDON, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- Five Olympic legends boasting 19 gold medals between them have used the Laureus World Sports Awards to pass a unanimous vote of confidence in London hosting a successful Olympic and Paralympic Games on Sunday.

Edwin Moses, Laureus Academy Chairman and one of the most dominant athletes of his generation, hosted a special star-studded press conference one day ahead of the Awards, which is to be held amid the majestic splendor of Westminster's Central Hall on Monday night.

"The atmosphere will be unique. I have seen London's Olympic venues and they are fantastic," said the hurdler.

"Some of the most impressive and beautiful features are going to be the trees and parks there. When I visited the site there was one particular area where there were wild flowers growing on a hillside. It is going to be very spectacular," he added.

Sergey Bubka, the greatest pole-vaulter in history, said: "It is a great honor to be in London for the Laureus World Sports Awards prior to the 2012 Olympic Games. It will be a unique Olympiad, the first time one city has hosted three Olympic Games."

Bubka, a Laureus Academy Member who is also President of the National Olympic Committee of the Ukraine, believed the ethos behind the Laureus Awards is a perfect fit with the Olympics.

"The Games are all about medals, of course, but I believe their main value is to celebrate humanity. It is about the importance of sport, to give passion to the younger generation, to engage them," said Bubka.

Swimming great Mark Spitz, also a Laureus Academy Member who in 1972 became the first athlete to win seven gold medals at one Olympiad, said: "It is always fun to watch what the results are in all the sports. I'm just jealous I never had the chance to compete in an Olympic Games in London."

Laureus Academy Member Nadia Comaneci, the most celebrated gymnast of our time, said: "I'm very happy that we can stage the Laureus World Sports Awards in London because it is a great pre-Olympic start for what is going to happen in the summer."

Double Olympic decathlon gold medalist Daley Thompson, completing the panel of Laureus Academy Members, revealed he cannot wait for the world to come to Britain.

"I'm looking forward to the opportunity to show people how well we can do things, it will be a fantastic Games," he said.

"I'm just glad that we have the chance to show our country off. We put on big events really well, and no event is bigger than the Olympic Games."

The Laureus World Sports Awards, which recognize sporting achievement during the year, are the premier honors on the international sporting calendar.

The winners are chosen by the Laureus Academy Members and proceeds from the Awards directly benefit and underpin the work of the Laureus Foundation, which supports 91 community sports projects in 34 countries and regions.

Editor:Zhang Rui |Source: Xinhua

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