BBC BLOGS - Gordon Farquhar

Archives for January 2011

Inspirational example of Olympic volunteers

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Gordon Farquhar | 17:19 UK time, Monday, 31 January 2011

The current debate about Olympic legacy is focussed on the physical aspect. Who gets the stadium? What will be the future use of the aquatics centre and the media facilities once the circus leaves town? They're easy discussions to understand, because they largely involve numbers and the crucial point, who's paying.

On the day when colleagues have been tracking the movements of millionaire footballers on transfer deadline day, I've been contemplating the possibility of a potentially hugely important legacy from 2012 that has nothing to do with bank accounts, liabilities or financial reward.

Some 250,000 people have applied to be what Locog likes to call the Olympics games makers. Around 100,000 of the them will be interviewed for Games-time roles, 70,000 of them will selected. None of them will be paid. It's the biggest post-war volunteer recruitment drive this country's seen.

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The Battle for the Olympic Stadium

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Gordon Farquhar | 16:11 UK time, Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United are preparing to deliver into the hands of the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC)the final details of their rival offers to take over the Olympic stadium after 2012.

Much of what the two Premier League clubs are proposing has been kept confidential, including the potentially pivotal details of the financial dividend for the public purse should they be chosen as tenants. But they have to satisfy five criteria laid down by the OPLC at the start of this process:

1. To achieve a viable long-term solution for the Olympic Stadium that is deliverable and provides value for money;

2. To secure a partner with the capability to deliver and operate a legacy solution for a venue of the stadium's size and complexity;

3. To re-open the stadium for operational use as rapidly as possible once the 2012 Games have finished;

4. To ensure that the stadium remains a distinctive physical symbol supporting the economic, physical and social regeneration of the surrounding area;

5. To allow flexible usage of the stadium, accommodating a vibrant programme of events that allows year-round access for schools, the local community, the wider public and elite sport.

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Qatar get things right off the pitch

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Gordon Farquhar | 14:00 UK time, Saturday, 8 January 2011


If only the spectacular fireworks and pyrotechnics that launched the 16-nation Asian Cup in Qatar had put some fire in the bellies of the hosts' national team.

The opening game was something of a damp squib but for this observer it proved the perfect opportunity for a first view of what the World Cup might feel like when it is here in 2022.

On the day Fifa president Sepp Blatter steered our thinking firmly in the direction of a winter World Cup in the Gulf State, Qatar took on Uzbekistan at the Khalifa stadium in Doha.

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