IOC president Jacques Rogge confident over security at Olympics

 

International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge today insisted he is still confident that the London 2012 Olympics will be a success despite the G4S security shambles.

The preparations for the Games had appeared to be on course until last week when the Government announced it would be drafting in 3,500 soldiers after the firm said it would be unable to provide the necessary number of security staff.

But Rogge insisted that would not affect the security nor the image of the Games.

He pointed out that Sydney experienced last-minute problems before they hosted the Olympics in 2000 and the Games went on to be regarded as the best-ever.

Rogge said: "I am not disappointed in London. This will be my 21st Olympic Games and there are always issues that come up.

"Just before the very successful Sydney Games we had the bankruptcy of the company that was to deliver the buses. Overnight the organising committee found more than 300 buses to cover the shortfall. Other issues come up in other Games.

"I think and I hope London is going to be successful. There has been a good preparation, in spite of the problems of the security.

"I think it is going to be a very good Games and I think the spirit of the Games will wipe away all question marks and as soon as the Games begin, as usual, it will have a very positive atmosphere."

Rogge said he was not concerned that the public image of the Games might be affected by the increased number of military uniforms in evidence.

"They will not be running around with machine guns and very visible," he added.

"They will be ready to intervene and this has been the policy in all Olympic Games since Munich '72 - there has always been security in place but not obtrusive and this will definitely not spoil the fun.

"I think there has been a good show of flexibility. There will be an extra influx of soldiers and this is something that gives us tranquility in the field of security.

"There have been very good reassurances from the Government that the security is absolutely in place.

"They are fixing the issue that came up and we feel secure in terms of the transfer of soldiers to cover the missing people from G4S."

Rogge added that he was not worried about the poor summer weather having an adverse effect.

"I would definitely prefer the Games in brilliant sunshine rather than rain but it is nothing fundamental," he said.

"There might be some issues for Wimbledon and the tennis as most of the matches are not under the roof. That might need some rescheduling but Wimbledon has great experience in that.

"It might influence the sprint competitions a little bit if it is cool and humid but it is nothing fundamental."

PA

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