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LOCOG pledges support to Rio 2016

11-18-2012 14:34 BJT

By Michael Place

RIO DE JANEIRO, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- London Olympic organizing committee chairman Sebastian Coe has pledged to offer Rio officials support in the lead up to the 2016 Games.

Speaking during the 2012 Olympic debriefing in Rio on Saturday, Coe dispelled fears of a rift with Brazilian officials after the theft of computer files from their London counterparts.

The incident prompted the September sacking of nine Rio employees and led to widespread criticism of the 2016 organizing committee.

"We want to assist Rio and other future organizers with the London experience," Coe said. "We will share our learning and we are willing to help out in all areas."

The event, which began on Saturday and ends on Wednesday, will provide Rio officials with the ideal opportunity to learn from previous Games experiences, Brazil's sports ministry spokesman Luis Fernandes said.

"We thank the British government and LOCOG for all the information exchange." Fernandes said.

The debriefing also features organizers of the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, and the 2016 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea while officials from Madrid, Istanbul and Tokyo - the three bid cities for the 2020 Games - were also present.

The event will include a review of all aspects of the London Games, including detailed reports concerning athletes, fans, volunteers and the press.

Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes said London had set a new standard for future Olympic host cities.

"London has made us realize the work we have ahead of us," Paes said."Since we won the right to host the Games, Barcelona has been our model for the way the Olympics changed the city.

"But what London did was incredible. You transformed the hearts of the people. I will now make sure that Madrid, Istanbul and Tokyo will have even more work ahead of them.

Paes irreverently added that while Rio was eager to learn from the London experience, the 2016 Olympics would carry a strong Rio flavour.

"We are starting by banning the use of ties from now on," he said.The recommendation drew a positive response from those present with even Rio Games chairman Carlos Nuzman heeding the advice.

During his speech shortly after, Coe said: "Thank you Mr Paes. With those words, you have changed the Olympic movement forever."


Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

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