London 'ideal' for 2012 remit

London is ideally placed to deliver the more compact Olympic Games of the future, according to the chief executive of the capital's bid, Keith Mills.

The International Olympic Committee is looking to scale down future Games and Mills believes most events could be staged within a 20-minute walk of the Olympic Village if London wins the 2012 bidding.

"The current thinking is that the bulk of the events could take place within 15 or 20 minutes of the Olympic Village - walking distance for most athletes," the chief executive of Bidco, London 2012 told yesterday's Major Events Conference, hosted by UK Sport in London.

After attending a four-day IOC briefing in Switzerland, Mills is confident London can meet the requirements.

He sees the capital building on the success of last year's World Indoor Athletic Championships in Birmingham and the Commonwealth Games in Manchester to win the bidding and pledged it would not feature "white elephants".

He said: "Our ambition is to combine the regeneration of Barcelona, the atmosphere of Sydney and the enthusiasm of the Manchester Commonwealth Games."

He envisages the projected new facilities in the Lower Lea Valley - the proposed site for a 2012 London Games - benefiting the area for generations.

"Our bid for the London 2012 Olympic Games is at the centre of the British Government's plans to boost participation in sport from the school playground to the Olympic podium," he said.

Mills believes the trip to Lucerne underlined London's ability to produce a bid which meets the IOC requirements.

"We need to ensure that the bid isn't only highly competitive, but also captures the hearts and votes of the Olympic Committee.

"The IOC wants the Olympic Games to be more compact and London is ideally placed to fully embrace this new approach," he said.

The nine cities involved in the bidding have to submit mini-bid books by 15 January.

The outcome of that stage will be announced on 15 May next year in Lucerne. The surviving cities have been set a deadline of 15 November, 2004, to submit their full bids.

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