Sports Minister: Games organisers face a 'grim week'


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Sports minister Hugh Robertson predicts a "grim week ahead" for Olympic organisers, as the world's press turns its forensic eye on London, but said, "the moment it starts, it's all about the sport".

"Almost whatever happens in the build up to the Games, the moment the starting gun fires, everyone's attention is on the sport," he said in an interview with i. "The only thing people will be talking about is sporting gold medals."

Mr Robertson said the G4S situation was a "classic example of all the extraneous crap you have to try not to focus on".

"You can analyse to death why this all happened, but the fact is last Wednesday we had a problem and we had to fix it, which we did," he added.

"There'll be a bit of whingeing [among the armed forces], but then they'll get on with it, and will produce a fantastic result... If you said to most young soldiers, 'Would you rather be sitting in your barracks at Bassingbourn doing guard duties, preparing to go on exercises on Salisbury plain, or do you fancy a couple of weeks at the Olympic Park doing all the security?' To a man or woman, they would rather be at the Olympics."

With five days to go until the opening ceremony of the Games of the 30th Olympiad, the Sports Minister is not having sleepless nights.

"I'm a fairly decent sleeper," he said.

The gold medal he would most like to see is "one of the women rowers. "Wouldn't it be great for them to win one? Katherine Grainger, if she got a gold after her three silvers, that would be quite something."

A bet with his Australian counterpart means that should the Aussies top TeamGB's medal haul, Hugh Robertson will have to dribble a hockey ball around Australia House in full Australia kit.