04.17.06

London 2012 goes to Beijing 2008

Posted in News at 12:28 pm by Nicole

The Guardian Unlimited (UK) has published two excellent stories in the last few days on last week’s visit to Beijing by Sebastian Coe, the former middle-distance running star and chair of the London 2012 organizing committee. The preview story published a week ago Sunday laid out Coe’s goals for the Beijing visit and offered up some very interesting observations about China, the IOC, and the ways in which politics play a role in the selection of Olympic host cities. Today’s story is an overview of Coe’s experience in Beijing and compares the budgets and long-term goals of the Beijing and London Olympic organizing committees.

In other news, the Miami Herald reports that the United States Olympic Committee will send a delegation to China next week to get the lay of the land in advance of the Beijing Olympics. The article provides an excellent overview of the Chinese effort to train the world’s best athletes. Among the most telling observations: that in the United States, nine-year-olds won’t practice twice a day, but they will in China, where promising athletes attend special sports schools. “Politics aside, it’s true that young athletes can be cloistered and trained more efficiently in a totalitarian society,” the article states. True enough – and a reason why China will be an extraordinarily formidable athletic force in 2008.

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