London Terrorist Attack Won’t Affect Host City Status Says IOC – Celebration Cancelled
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said its decision to award London the 2012 Games wouldn’t be affected after a series of deadly explosions paralysed the city Thursday.
IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies said, “from what we understand, this is not at all related to the Olympic Games. We have full confidence in the London authorities in securing the event”.
Keith Mills, CEO of London’s bid team said, “I’m totally distraught. I think it goes to demonstrate that no city in the world can escape terrorism these days. Even London, that has probably the best and most sophisticated security services in the world finds it difficult to deal with these sorts of attacks”.
Mills said the London contingent in Singapore was “completely and utterly devastated. This is our town, our city, our home. We’re praying for the people who have been affected”.
Mills, London’s Mayor Ken Livingstone and London 2012 head Sebastian Coe flew back to London Thursday.
IOC President Jacques Rogge sent messages of condolence and support to British officials. He said in a statement, “it is a sad fact of society today that tragic and shocking attacks of this nature can happen in any city at any time”.
Last month Spanish officials said a car bomb attack close to the proposed Olympic stadium would not affect Madrid’s bid to host the 2012 Games. Madrid Mayor and President of Madrid 2012 Alberto Ruiz said at the time, “an attack can’t alter the criteria under which the Olympic city for 2012 is selected”.
Rogge had said, “terrorism is a worldwide problem and the IOC members know this. What’s important is not so much the risk as the capacity to respond, and that is guaranteed”.
Mills said, “clearly our celebrations as a result of yesterday will have to be put on hold”, and British Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell said celebrations planned to coincide with the return of the London 2012 delegation would be cancelled.
The London 2012 bid team was due to have a fanfare farewell in Singapore before flying back into Heathrow early Friday when they were expected to hold a news conference at the airport.
Dignitaries were then due to tour the proposed Olympic venues by helicopter.
Meanwhile, newspapers were forced to clear their pages of triumphant coverage of London’s successful bid to cover the terrorist attacks.
The London Evening Standard scrapped a special Olympic edition to devote the paper to events in the city. Write or read comments about this article
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