Olympic Games ‘lack ambition’

WITH the Olympics about to start, a researcher from Eastbourne is challenging the way the Games have been organised and the International Olympic Committee model followed by the London organisers.

Mark Perryman, a research fellow in sport and leisure culture at the University of Brighton’s Chelsea School of Sports in Meads, has written a book called Why The Olympics Aren’t Good For Us, And How They Can Be.

In this he argues that the 2012 Games model lacks ambition, precludes the widest possible participation, and should have been organised nationwide, not just in London, using mainly existing facilities.

Mark, a leading sports commentator, said, “I love the Olympics but I can’t stand what they’ve become.

“And so I was appalled that no politician, not a single sports administrator, none of the well-resourced think tanks were coming up with any kind of alternative. What I’m proposing is something quite simple really, a better Games, for all.”

His model, he said, would have massively boosted the numbers of tickets available and at a much reduced price.

Mark, a leading sports commentator said, “Without involving the maximum number of people as your core vision we are left with a home Games relatively few will have a part in and one that most will watch via a remote from their sofas.

“For them, the Games might just as well be taking part on the other side of the world, with none of the cost or the inconvenience.”

He has set out a blueprint for a better Games and says it should be de-centralised by choosing a host nation, not a host city, and spread events over the entire country and maximise participation by using the largest possible stadia.

“Britain has an unrivalled number of huge stadia,” said Mark, “mainly football grounds which could have been used by a vast range of the 26 Olympic sports.

“This idea would massively increase capacity, provide more tickets at lower prices, and fewer new-builds would be needed.”

He also believes organisers should off more free-to-watch events and asks why is there no cycling tour of Britain, a round Britain yachting race or a canoeing marathon, choose Olympic sports that are universally accessible and says the Games should be a symbol for sport not a logo for sponsors.

He added, “The Games is starting to look like a means to sell fizzy drinks, fast food and mobile phones. Don’t sell sport short.

“The sponsors need sport just as much as sport needs their millions.

“Reverse the priorities – the only groups permitted to use the five rings symbol should be voluntary and community groups working to promote sport.