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Rogge gives Games organisers cause to be confident

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David Bond | 20:58 UK time, Monday, 23 July 2012

The IOC president Jacques Rogge is not a man given to hyperbole. In fact he has steadfastly refused to follow his predecessor Juan Antonio Samaranch by passing judgement on Olympic hosts.

In his interview with the BBC Rogge said he would not be making an exception for London by calling their Games the greatest ever - no matter how well things go over the next three weeks.

But his clear confidence in London's preparations should give a slightly battle weary Sebastian Coe and his team a huge lift as they enter the final days before the Games.

For Lord Coe and organising body Locog this is perhaps the most frantic period of the last seven years. They are under enormous pressure and, as the security fiasco with G4S showed, blunders will be held up for the harshest scrutiny.

The organisers want the country to stop moaning and to start focusing on the extraordinary spectacle which lies ahead. That is absolutely right. This is a huge undertaking for London and Britain and, as with so many Olympic hosts before them, anxieties and backbiting will quickly give way once the sport starts.

Rogge told me how a few days before Sydney the national obsession in the press was with the lack of Australians in the opening ceremony marching band which had been largely sourced from America.

There are still a few more hurdles to clear before Lord Coe and his team can start patting themselves on the back.

Jacques Rogge

IOC president Jacques Rogge is not a man given to hyperbole. Photo: Getty Images

First of all there's the £27m opening ceremony. Last week tensions between the International Olympic Committee's host broadcaster service and the show's director Danny Boyle started to surface. The length of the ceremony has also been cut amid concerns over getting the 67,000 ticket holders home afterwards.

On Monday night 30,000 people got the first glimpse of how the spectacular might feel, although so many details about Boyle's Isles of Wonder extravaganza have leaked in recent weeks that they may feel they have seen it before. An even bigger crowd will be in the stadium to see a second and final major dress rehearsal on Wednesday.

Having invested so much money in the show - an extra £41m was allocated to all the ceremonies earlier this year - a lot is at stake. Get it right and it will give the London Games exactly the launchpad it needs for the subsequent 16 days. Get it wrong and organisers will be on the back foot.

The last big problem for Locog before the curtain is raised could come from transport. On Wednesday the notorious Olympic lanes are being turned on for the first time. How the road network copes is already one of the biggest headache for organisers.

Rogge said he was sure London had got everything right and were set up to stage a successful Games. He added that if Team GB can get off to a golden start then the whole country will get behind the Games.

There will be a few more jitters before the cauldron is lit on Friday night - but organisers are hoping Rogge's optimism and confidence will start to be reflected by everyone as London enters the home straight.


  • Comment number 1.

    Can we please start being more positive with comments and questions about the Olympics and stop being so negative! The BBC continue to raise negative perceptions and keep moaning....this is one of the most fantastic sporting events of our life time...let's get behind and it support what has already been's fantastic!

  • Comment number 2.

    It seems to me that the media and the BBC in particular are becoming increasingly desperate in their predictable need to find negative stories to report on the Olympics. Here we are, a week to go, stadia ready, athlete's village apparently good, security concerns under control, excitement building. For goodness sake Mr Bond and the BBC stop digging and give it a dam chance!

  • Comment number 3.

    I have just listened to the David Bond`s interview on News at Ten.The questioning around the subject of the standard of accommodation for the IOC amused me...rather like the kettle calling the pot black.I am quite sure Mr Bond and his other BBC collegues stay in 5 star hotels when they are on assignments.

  • Comment number 4.

    I'm excited about the games being in the UK - at 60 yrs old I know they'll never be here again in my lifetime. I just hope that once they start the media get behind them!

  • Comment number 5.

    Saw your recent interview with Jacques Rogge 23 July. Your aggressive questioning re motorway lanes was predictable and vey BBC. Presume you would like officials to queue up in traffic and events would then start when they got there , and they would eventually leave to spend the evening in the nearest Premier Inn! Why don't you guys get into the real world.

  • Comment number 6.

    to be fair, David Bond was playing devil's advocate, reflecting the negativity apparent in some. Not sure where people would even expect the IOC to stay, hardly going to be put up in B&Bs.

    The Olympics is the world party, people should enjoy it for the positive it is for the world.

    But there are always those who will always complain, always look for things to go wrong to satisfy their own schadenfreude.

  • Comment number 7.

    David Bond was disrespectful, rude and badgering in his interview to Jacques Rogg, who maintained his dignity in what can only be described as desperate, sensationalist journalism simply designed to stir and aggravate Londoners with minor issues that have minimal impact in comparison to the greatest sporting stage London could possibly host. It is sad to see BBC condones this sort of journalism that we have come to expect from a 3 inch column, page 16 of the on the Sun on idle Tuesday. Simply embarrassing!

  • Comment number 8.

    Felt so strongly about the Bond interview tonight, have registered as a User for the first time in order to comment. Unfortunately I've been beaten to it: my main complaint is about the Accommodation question that others have already picked up on, and I was even going to mention B & Bs, as in where on earth does Bond expect Jacques Rogge to stay? So I agree wholeheartedly with those comments already made.

    It was breathtakingly impertinent, not to say rude, and I think it made Mr Rogge blanch, as he is unlikely to be used to such an approach from the main broadcaster of a country that supposedly wants the Olympics. I would hope the Games will be a net boost to the economy, and putting the IOC team up in this top hotel does not reflect insensitivity about the economic situation, nor would the reverse be helpful to it. Good put-down from Mr Rogge though.

    I do so agree that this is typical of the BBC.

  • Comment number 9.

    I'd have said that most of the BBC is clearly under instructions to promote these Olympics as hard as they can - hardly surprising considering the government's interest in a positive public perception of the return on 10 billion pounds, not to mention the BBC's own investment. Hence all the hours spent on telling the stories of individual athletes (both nationally and locally), the excited commentaries on local radio, etc.

    As always with these national events it is nigh on impossible to know whether most people are enthused, hostile, or somewhere in between (the "meh" vote). If the BBC and others can maybe ease off on too much of "the country celebrates" hyperbole then that would be a pleasant innovation - possibly the most irritating thing anyone can do is tell others how they should be feeling.

  • Comment number 10.

    I also registered to simply comment on the David Bond interview with Jacques Rogge. As with many others, his choice of questions annoyed me too. The report about the preparations (specifically accommodation and Games Lanes) suddenly became an opportunity to question the role of the IOC. The IOC members often have connections with sport, whether as former Olympians, or active members within the world of sports administration. As 'guardians' of the Olympic Movement why shouldn't they stay in quality accommodation? David Bond should know himself that Games Lanes are not just for the 'privileged' 105 IOC members but also for the wider Olympic Family, ie. athletes, officials from each of the 26 sports federations, sponsors, etc. It's part of the Host City Contract and a necessity after the debacle in Atlanta.

    The BBC can't be celebrating it's role as The Olympic Broadcaster whilst simultaneously stoking negative feelings towards these Games (as if there's not enough already). I simply expected a more balanced report from David Bond.

  • Comment number 11.

    I am so glad that others feel the same as me. I am yet another person who has registered simply to comment about David Bond and the BBC in general. They seem intent on undermining the Olympics and as a poster above says, appear to becoming increasingly desperate to find some bad news. I was absolutely seething after seeing Mr Bond interview Jacques Rogge. The IOC President showed himself to be a far better judge of a situation than either the BBC or Mr Bond. The BBC seem to have lost it as far as sports coverage is concerned. How long did it take them to report Bradley Wiggins' victory on Sunday? Far too long, because they were too busy reporting on the Golf. Get your act together Mr Bond - the Olympics are going to be stunning.

  • Comment number 12.

    Again, I also registered to comment on David Bond's piece on the 10 O'clock News. Why so negative Mr. Bond ? Seems to me that with upwards of 10 million people turning out to cheer the flame the only people who are sceptics about the Games are journalists. Ironic that behind Mr Bond as he gave his interview last night was an Olympic Stadium full of people enjoying the dress rehearsal for what, I'm sure, will be an inspiring opening ceremony. And of course, as soon as the Games starts, the BBC will suddenly forget all their negativity and become cheer-leaders in chief for the nation. Too bad some of you weren't there when it mattered..

  • Comment number 13.

    Like other comments before me i have registered for the first time to vent my anger at Davids interogation of Mr Rogge on the news last night. It was like something out of the Leveson enquiry.
    The BBC is a brilliant service, with world class reporters - you just have to travel the world and see other news channels to appreciate the quality. However, this interview / interogation was just negative (yet again), disrespectful and denigrating.

  • Comment number 14.

    Can I ask please what on earth was going on in the mind of the interviewer when questioning Mr Rogge on the use of a 5 star hotel rather than a 3 star hotel?

    The interviewer mentioned something about austerity and hard times and how the public might look unfavourably on the Olympic Commitee.

    Shall we just remind ourselves that we actually bid for the games. We wanted the games here and we got them. If Mr Rogge and his organisation need a decent hotel for the duration of their stay then they should have it.

    Let's get positive shall we and stop looking for cracks?

  • Comment number 15.

    How dare David Bond talk to the Head of the IOC like that. Doesn't he know that all International Delegations travel First Class. He is the one that isn't in the real world. When Bond travels around at the licence payers expense does he stay at 3 star hotels, go by bus, eat at McDonalds? I think not. Next time lets have some decent questions, not tabloid type irrelavence.

  • Comment number 16.

    How heartening to see that so many others were seething after watching David Bond's typically negative interview of Jacques Rogge. His suggestion that IOC members should stay in 3 star hotels was insulting, pathetic and utterly unworthy of the BBC. For reasons best known to themselves many journalists have decided to look for anything that might go wrong, but surely the BBC, the self-styled Olympic Broadcaster, should rein in Mr Bond and prevent him from harping on like this? We won the bid, we built the venues, we organised the torch relay - now let's enjoy the fruits of all that hard work!

  • Comment number 17.

    I would imagine that Rogge would be fairly pleased with the interview - if half-baked hacks are getting so desperate that they feel the need to nit-pick in such a fashion, then things must be going fairly well!

  • Comment number 18.

    I am so glad to find others feel as I do. I was horrified at David Bond's questions. As others have already mentioned I don't believe he or any of his BBC colleagues stay in 3* accommodation! Unfortunately David Bond and other BBC reporters seem to be following the tabloids in their sensationalist reporting of the Olympics, their tone is always negative. They have failed to appreciate how many people are thrilled to have the Olympics happening here!

  • Comment number 19.

    Agreed - the BBC seems to think that negative, scaremongering stories are what the public enjoy and are looking for.

    Now it is certainly the case that often, bad news is "good" news in the sense that it seems to grip people more and, there is a certain "The Sun" reading section of society that thinks the games are an evil waste of money and are holding their breath waiting for it to fail.

    The majority of us aren't, however. And, we are quite fed up - as is evident here - of the constant searching for the "negative" story angle. Can almost sense how much it pains Mr Bond to write any positive comments on this "blog" above.

    He is simply a poor journalist and am confident that the majority of regular readers of bbc sport blogs will also think this. This 13 sentence blog (that may have taken all of 90 seconds to put together) is more evidence of this.

  • Comment number 20.

    I'd also like to say that I thought the interview was a disgrace.

    I thought that it was rather insidious to preface the questions with 'some people would say' to appear neutral, but still sounding accusatory. The questioning on the use of 5 star hotels by IOC delegates was bizarre- do the general public REALLY think it's wrong that they should be staying 5 star?

    I'm a bit confused as to why the host broadcaster is being so negative about the entire event. I've been particularly annoyed by Five Live Breakfast which has been flippantly negative about every story for the last 2 weeks.

  • Comment number 21.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 22.

    Its about time the media ended the negative tirade. Dont they realise the continual gripes are read by the whole world. Its about time it was presented positively and give the country a lift rather than trying to drag us down in the gutter.

  • Comment number 23.

    The trouble with the Brits (especially the media) is to bash everything and the G4S scandal gave the media something to get its teeth into as everything since 2005 had seemed to be going well.

    24 hour news channels can only thrive on bad news as no one wants to see things going well. These journalists have to justify their job so any whiff of scandal is good news for them.

    As Jacques Rogge himself says, lets get on with the Games. I have my Union Flag hanging from my house and bunting over the porch. I'm proud we are hosting it and proud of Team GB.

    After 5 years of a bad economy, we need good news and the Olympics is a brilliant way to showcase the UK to the world.

  • Comment number 24.

    I think it would be great if the BBC would be the first prominent international news organization to post the Nation Metal Counts based on population. Metals per million-inhabitant is a much more interesting and accurate measure of a countries sport achievements.

  • Comment number 25.

    What happened to the magic of the Olympics? I look back to my youth when the Olympics were focused on track and field and swimming, restricted to amateurs, free from commercialism, free from doping, and (aside from '36) free from propaganda and nationalism. Then, the great heroes of the sport were people like Jim Thorpe.

  • Comment number 26.

    In response to many of the comments above, I just want to highlight the following. Jacques Rogge did nothing more than set himself a trap. He blatantly said he was working class. I agree with David's response to that wholeheartedly. There is absolutely no way you can call yourself working class in one breath and then in the other say "we have to have accomodation" and it just so happens it's the 5* Hilton Park Lane. This is the issue here. Yes David's response was pretty sharp, but please do not insult the millions of 'real' working class people in this country by saying you are working class! It was a ridiculous response from the IOC President.

  • Comment number 27.

    Sadly the media in this country seem to use their priviledged position just to try and have a moan.
    Yesterday morning I helped marshall the torch through my home town, and everyone had a great time - no self important media types to complain about things.
    Then last night I was fortunate to get to watch the rehearsal of the opening ceremony. Can I suggest to anyone thinking of giving it a miss on Friday to change their plans. It will be stunning. But expect the journalists to complain that their seats were too stiff...

  • Comment number 28.

    I thought David Bond's interview with Jaques Rogge was disgraceful and disrespectful. He was really scraping the barrel to ask about their accommodation. Winning the Olympics for Britain was a fantastic achievement and the competitors, officials, etc deserve the best in terms of venues, training facilities and accommodation. The bill from the Hilton hotel will be just a drop in the ocean when the final accounts are drawn up.

    The BBC dropped one Almighty clanger with the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant coverage - now they have scored another own-goal with this appalling interview.

  • Comment number 29.

    I have also registered off the back of the Bond-Rogge interview last night. I just don't get what purpose it served and I'm a news producer! Bond is the BBC's supposed sports editor - I think he's rubbish and last night it showed. Just such poor journalism.

    What is your top line? That Mr Rogge stays in a 5 star hotel? So what! All top business leaders do and the IOC would be no different. And do you think the public even care where he stays? So long as the Games are a success and he does his job then I think you'll find no one cares where he stays.

    I have a few more questions for you:

    1. If you think the Olympic lanes are a sign that the IOC is out of touch how would you propose athletes and officials travel speedily and without delay to/from Olympic venues?
    2. What star accommodation do you stay in when you're travelling for business?
    3. Can you confirm that you don't select the 5 star option that I'm aware is available on the BBC's hotel booking site and, opt instead for a 3 star hotel?
    4. Do you think you're in a postion to lecture someone when your own 4/5 star hotel bills are being picked up by the British tax payer?

    It was a truly appalling interview.

  • Comment number 30.

    David- You've scored another 'bullseye' with this blogg, just look at all the indignant posters on here today, all absolutely seething about your interview with Jacques Rogge! How dare you Sir? .......... well at least its not (yet another) blogg about the Glazers!

  • Comment number 31.

    Looks like you got this one wrong David

    Note to (your)self - ignore the Daily Mail & Sun for your journalistic "insights" - real sports fans are not impressed!

  • Comment number 32.

    David - I'd be interested to know your thoughts on the response to your interview with Jacques Rogge.

    More importanly, will you, The BBC and other parts of the media start to communicate the postive news story The Olympics are and celebrate what promises to be an amazing event for our country. All hosts cities have their problems in the build up to The Games, and the IOC themsleves rate London as the the best prepared host city ever.

    I and millions of others think The Games are going to be a truly wonderful event for our country and plan on enjoying them. We can put up with delays on public transport and airport style security access to venues - I wish you, The BBC and the wider media would accept such matters as small trade-offs in the big picture, and start to tell the plentiful positive news stories. I commute to work in London every day, and this city is ready and excited to be hosting the greatest sporting event in the world.

  • Comment number 33.

    Unfortunately, as I'm outside the UK, their website restrictions don't permit me to watch the interview.

    But having interviewed Mr Rogge myself, I'd like to add that he is without doubt the most dignified and principled person I've yet to come across in the world of sport. I got the sense he was one of the few 'good guys' to somehow make it to the top, an 'anti-Blatter' if you like.

    I've always been very pleased that Rogge was in charge of maintaining the Olympic values, something that seems to come with ease to him, and wondered how much better the game of football, for example, might be with somebody like him in charge.

    Wouldn't the BBC be better saving their barbs for the universally unpopular and blatantly corrupt characters within FIFA?

  • Comment number 34.

  • Comment number 35.

    David Bond has come to prominence out of nowwhere it seems to me. I've seen 2 reports in 2 days on the BBC from this journalist, once criticising the accommodation arrangements of the IOC (at whose behest ?), and this evening focusing twice in one commentary on the problems associated with the incorrect flag shown for N. Korea. Mr Bond, you are already an annoyance we can do without. BBC -please remove journalists such as this who are going out of their way it seems to rake up negative spin. Is the BBC turning into the tabloid press ? Is Mr Bond an ex-Sky or tabloid reporter who has snuk in under the wire. "Journalism" of the worst kind I am afraid and of no interest. Please place Mr Bond on ice for the foreseeable.

  • Comment number 36.

    I too have registered for the first time. How does the BBC and specifically Mr Bond justify the way they are reporting the Olympics? Tonight's news at ten had Mr Bond telling us about the huge embarrassment of showing the wrong flag..interviews with people in traffic jams seemingly unaware that we have been told for a year not to expect to drive around London hassle free this week , and dare I say, marked disappointment that the border force had called their strike off tomorrow...what has that got to do with sport.? And more to the do they have the audacity to fill our news reports with negative tittle tattle whilst broadcasting from the very place they are attacking? The BBC are the Olympic broadcaster...please heed millions of people and report the greatest show on earth..not a florist who hasn't bothered to plan ahead...disgusting and downright embarrassing for the BBC...I bet they don't report all the complaints they have had regarding their Olympic build up.

  • Comment number 37.

    Mr bond shame to see you on your pedestal of doom and gloom. As a professional journalist your interview with mr rogge was offence and rude. As a so called sports reporter I'm amazed at your lack of passion for the start of the biggest sports event in the world. Tonight the fact London traffic worked fine seemed to disappoint. Please can we get behind London 2012.

  • Comment number 38.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 39.

    Mr bond please take gardening leave and leave sports reporting to someone interested in the olympics. BBC you are the Olympic broadcaster please behave as the Olympic broadcaster

  • Comment number 40.

    He is still at it tonight -making a meal about the N Korea flag issue and being completely negative about the Olympic traffic lanes again. I listen to his opposite number on the ITV news shortly afterwards and although all the same subjects were broached there was no banging on and on and on and everything finished on a positive note. Please BBC save yourselves some additional salary overheads and get rid of him. If he is freelance and paid "off the books" then bin him tomorrow. If not then put him on gardening leave for the Olympics and then bin him. There are hundreds of unemployed who could do a far better job and without such a big attitude problem so why not give them a chance. I too, like so many others, have never complained before.


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