Governing bodies must connect with local communities: Coe

Tue Oct 7, 2014 1:45pm EDT
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By Michael Hann

LONDON, (Reuters) - Sporting governing bodies must do more to reconnect with local communities as this will attract cities into bidding for major events, Britain's former Olympic 1,500 meters champion Sebastian Coe said on Tuesday.

Oslo last week became the fourth city after Stockholm, Krakow in Poland and Ukraine's Lviv to pull out of the bidding process for the 2022 Winter Games because of the Norwegian government’s fears over the cost of hosting the event.

This year’s Sochi Olympics cost a record $51 billion and despite the International Olympic Committee offering an $880 million contribution to host the 2022 Games, only Kazakhstan's Almaty and Beijing remain as candidates.

Speaking at a sports security conference in London on Tuesday, Coe said the IOC and other sporting federations must have better lines of communication with potential host cities.

“One of the biggest challenges is the discussion around what is a cost and what is an investment,” Coe said.

“The current leadership of the IOC have struggled with this for a long time. Sochi was the catalyst because of the 51 billion dollars that got thrown around, but it is worth bearing in mind that there was nothing in Sochi, it was a summer resort.

“I think the challenge for the IOC -- and all the sporting organizations -- is reconnecting with local communities.

“This is a challenge for all sporting organizations. It is not a particular one for the IOC, although that has been showcased recently because of Oslo falling by the wayside.”   Continued...