Lord Coe supports Olympic bid in UAE

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Former Olympic gold medalist and sports administrator Lord Sebastian Coe said he believed that UAE Olympic Games would help raise sporting standards in the region, Sports 360 online reported on Saturday.

Asian athletes enjoyed their most successful Olympiad in London 2012 summer. A total of 219 pieces of gold, silver and bronze were handed out to the continent’s competitors, but of that amount, more than 70 per cent went to athletes from China, South Korea and Japan.

To restore the balance and encourage more youngsters to take up sport in the Middle East, Lord Coe – who served as chairman for the organizing committee of the 2012 Games – would support a proposal to bring the Games to the Gulf region.

Dubai stepped down of the running for the 2020 event last year, but hinted at a possible bid to host it four years later.

“I hope of course one day that particular region of Asia is staging an Olympic Games,” said Lord Coe, aware that Doha also bid for the 2016 and 2020 Olympics.

“The Olympic Games is a global product, it’s very important we build global capacity for the Olympic movement throughout the world. In four years’ time we are going to a continent (South America), a city (Rio de Janeiro) and country (Brazil) that we’ve never been to before, that’s important. Sometimes that presents particular challenges,” Lord Coe added.

Lord Coe said he believed that role models in Olympic sports with the help of effective governing bodies and efficiently structured world- class programs are often the best way to motivate young people to engage in sports.

The status of National Olympic Committee, Lord Coe said, could be elevated in a particular country through the region’s active participation.

“Anywhere that needs to focus on getting more young people into sport, I think it’s best done by helping the elite level competitor gain the confidence and global reach that an Olympic medal brings; to a country that may never have had an Olympic medal before,” he said.

Lord Coe’s efforts in organizing the extravaganza in London have earned him praise worldwide, as well as a new title of Chairman of the British Olympic Committee (B.O.A.).

He advised the countries interested to host the Games should understand the concept of Olympic from the region’s perspective.

“What impact you want the Games to have on sport or social cohesion or your growth agenda within your country and city,” he said.

He also suggested that countries should also appoint professionals to assist in the project management procedures for the Games and develop a dialogue amongst countries that have previously hosted the Olympics.

“We had an observer presence in Athens, in Beijing and in Vancouver. It’s very important that you are always in a position to learn from the previous Games. That will help you become a better bidding city and will certainly help you become a better host city.”

Lord Coe was appointed as Lord Moynihan’s replacement at the B.O.A. on Wednesday cutting short his appearance at the Olympic Committee of Asia’s General Assembly in Macau.
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