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2012 Games could be revolutionary and recycable

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Adrian Warner | 10:27 UK time, Friday, 28 May 2010

London 2012 are building the first completely recyclable Olympic arena.

Former Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell has told me that negotiations have been taking place to take down the temporary basketball hall after the Games and move it to Brazil.

Sao Paulo is interested in buying the Olympic Park venue and it could even before used at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

If this happens, London 2012 will play a special part in the history of the Olympics as well as getting some cash back.

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For years, Olympic chiefs have been talking about finding ways to help less developed countries stage the world's biggest sporting event.

The transfer of temporary venues from host city to host city would be a revolutionary way of making sure countries can keep their costs down in the future and make sure they are not left with white elephants.

The Olympics have never been to Africa or South America (Rio will be the first time) and the huge cost of the Games is a massive hurdle for less developed countries.

London 2012 could therefore set a trend which would mark a significant moment in the 114-year history of the modern Games.

The negotiations were the last act of Jowell before Labour lost the election.

After playing such a crucial role in getting the bid up and running, the London MP is emotional about having to step down. If you've got a moment, take a look at the interview I've done with her this week.

For Jowell, I suppose it's a bit like the end of a seven-year love affair with the project.

We all know how tough breaking up can sometimes be. But it's looking increasingly likely that the former minister may be called upon by the new coalition government to play a role in the run-up to 2012.

New Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson told me he is keen to get Jowell on board.

Her international contacts, nurtured during the bid, might make her a perfect candidate for work on the International Inspiration programme to inspire children around the world to take up sport. She has already been involved in helping Rio to learn from London's experiences.


  • Comment number 1.

    I wonder if the new government will change the logo. Is that unlikely?

  • Comment number 2.

    Josh, no chance of that. It's the organising committee (LOCOG) who decide on things like the logo (not the government) and the reality is that, after the initial controversy, most people, including the sponsors, seem to like it. People I talk to seem to like the logo the best when it has the Union Jack colours in it. It is now incorporated into so many things, it would be impossible to change it now as well.

  • Comment number 3.

    Josh - whatever your views on stuff like the logo I think it's important that the government doesn't make decisions like that. I also think that whilst there of course has to be some govt involvement it should stick to things like security & the budget. Too much political interference was a disaster for the Dome & thankfully we seem to have avoided that so far with the Olympics. Fingers crossed this is one thing that doesn't change with the new government.

  • Comment number 4.

    Enthusiastic as I am towards the London Games it's great to see them break the mould in so many ways that look towards the next generation. minimising the amount of superfluous junk after the games and reducing the carbon footprint are a case in point. supporting the games and sport in developing countries is gold. i hate the logo (and signed the petition) but who cares what a 30-something like me thinks? the graffiti tag clearly resonates. and moving away from furry mascots... need i say more?

  • Comment number 5.

    Mr Warner,

    The BBC pride themselves in their professionalism, the use of the "Queen's English" and in general as the upholder of broadcasting standards.

    I have, on numerous occasions, complained to the Beeb about the incorrect address for our National Flag - the Union Flag. IT IS NOT THE UNION JACK. The Union Jack is a Union Flag hoisted at the Jackstaff of one of her Majesty's Ships. Everyone calls it by the incorrect title because organisations such as yours continue to perpetuate this myth. Sort it out Mr Warner and get your facts right.

    May be we can tolerate the logo, but that "Mascot". What a load of rubbish, where's the symbolism with London, England, or even Britain as it should be, but that's another long lost debate! The mascot looks like a one eyed metalurgic sperm. What the heck was going through the designers mind when they thought that one up I don't know.

  • Comment number 6.

    #5: Simon sonic

    Unfortunately, your point re: the Union Flag, while strictly accurate, doesn't reflect current standard usage of the term. Even the OED (which is bound to reflect usage rather than proscription) recognises that in modern times, 'Union Jack' refers to the flag in all circumstances, not merely the restricted ship's jack meaning. Language evolves; if you don't change with it, you run the risk of being seen to be merely a reactionary at best, or at worst, a curmudgeon.

    Re. the mascot: you are not the audience. Kids love the mascot, and that is the only signifier.

    I do hope Tessa Jowell gets some kind of position to assist the 2012 Games and the development of kids' interest in sport in a more general sense. She has invested so much time and energy (along with Msrs. Johnson and Livingstone), that it would be cruel to deprive her of the opportunity to reap what she has sown.

  • Comment number 7.

    Could Baroness Ford at OPLC use a little help from TJ? Good women, top positions and all that????


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