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littlesaint

1988 London Olympics

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I am a journalist researching development in London. I wondered if anyone knows how seriously London considered bidding for an Olympic games in the 1980s (prior to Birmingham's failed 1992 bid). I understand (partly from the John McKenzie film the Long Good Friday) that the Isle of Dogs was earmarked for the 1988 Olympic park at one stage, which a bid a serious possibility in the early 1980s. Anyone know about this?

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I have never heared that London considered a bid for 1988 before - I just know that Athens, Beijing, Melbourne, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, Vienna and Belgium considered a bid, but finally didn't bid.

Nagoya was the only opponent of Seoul...

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I am a journalist researching development in London. I wondered if anyone knows how seriously London considered bidding for an Olympic games in the 1980s (prior to Birmingham's failed 1992 bid). I understand (partly from the John McKenzie film the Long Good Friday) that the Isle of Dogs was earmarked for the 1988 Olympic park at one stage, which a bid a serious possibility in the early 1980s. Anyone know about this?

Have you already tried with the British Olympic committee?

As far as I know only Seoul and Nagano showed any interest in the Olympic Games of 1988....

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Which ended with Seoul winning and Nagoya, at the time, had a urban legend about 300 people committing "ritual suicide" because of the city's loss of those Games. Well, it hosted last year's World's Fair. However, I don't see it bidding for the Olympic Games any time soon in the future, with the way Japan's JOC are for the 2016 Olympic Games: Tokyo or Fukuoka.

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I know a little about a possible London bid for 1988, but its only hearsay. Basically the government was trying to figure out what to do with the Isle of Dogs after port operations ceased in the mid/late 1970's. A number of ideas were considered such as a Garden Festival of the sort that happened in Liverpool, Stoke, Glasgow and Gateshead....the main purpose being to clean up the contaminated land to prepare it for future development.

The idea for the Olympics was mooted however Thatcher put the mockers on it because she wanted the land to be used for commercial development and the UK economy was on its knees...this would have probably been about 1980/81. She also wanted to get her new Development Corporation idea off the ground and the Isle of Dogs was the perfect testing ground. Bidding for an Olympics would have delayed this pet project. At that time (pre LA84) the Olympics were tainted with boycotts and debt (Moscow/Monteal) and so I guess there wasn't the desire to expose the government to that kind of international political controversy.

In short an '88 bid was considered but ruled out long before the idea got anywhere near the IOC, or before any masterplans were produced. The governance of London was also in chaos as the GLC was openly at war with the Thatcher government. Any bid would have been chaotic and underfunded in that context....the IOC would have run a mile. As we know she eventually scrapped the GLC.

The Tories always hated costly events and showed little enthusiasm for the Birmingham and Manchester bids in the late 80's and ealy 90's. They also flatly refused to help Edinburgh with the 1986 commonwealth games and Sheffield with the 1991 Universiade. It simply wasn't in their political ethos to support such events because it involed public money with not much, if any, fiscal returns.

Hope that waffle is helpful  :;):

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I know a little about a possible London bid for 1988, but its only hearsay. Basically the government was trying to figure out what to do with the Isle of Dogs after port operations ceased in the mid/late 1970's. A number of ideas were considered such as a Garden Festival of the sort that happened in Liverpool, Stoke, Glasgow and Gateshead....the main purpose being to clean up the contaminated land to prepare it for future development.

The idea for the Olympics was mooted however Thatcher put the mockers on it because she wanted the land to be used for commercial development and the UK economy was on its knees...this would have probably been about 1980/81. She also wanted to get her new Development Corporation idea off the ground and the Isle of Dogs was the perfect testing ground. Bidding for an Olympics would have delayed this pet project. At that time (pre LA84) the Olympics were tainted with boycotts and debt (Moscow/Monteal) and so I guess there wasn't the desire to expose the government to that kind of international political controversy.

In short an '88 bid was considered but ruled out long before the idea got anywhere near the IOC, or before any masterplans were produced. The governance of London was also in chaos as the GLC was openly at war with the Thatcher government. Any bid would have been chaotic and underfunded in that context....the IOC would have run a mile. As we know she eventually scrapped the GLC.

The Tories always hated costly events and showed little enthusiasm for the Birmingham and Manchester bids in the late 80's and ealy 90's. They also flatly refused to help Edinburgh with the 1986 commonwealth games and Sheffield with the 1991 Universiade. It simply wasn't in their political ethos to support such events because it involed public money with not much, if any, fiscal returns.

Hope that waffle is helpful  :;):

mmm interesting i never new that! thanks

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Going back to the Sheffield World Student Games of 1991, I'm fairly sure the people of South Yorkshire are still paying for those Games.

I hadn't heard of a possible London 1988 bid before now. I do know that the late athletics commentator Ron Pickering produced designs for an Olympic Park in the 2012 area back in the 1960s, but nobody was interested then. At least they came round in the end.

It doesn't surprise me in the slightest that the Thatcher government put the mockers on a London 1988 bid, because they just weren't interested in sport full stop.

Just to add to the bit about Ron Pickering's plans, if you get in touch with his widow Jean through the Ron Pickering Memorial Fund, she can tell you more.

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Going back to the Sheffield World Student Games of 1991, I'm fairly sure the people of South Yorkshire are still paying for those Games.

I hadn't heard of a possible London 1988 bid before now. I do know that the late athletics commentator Ron Pickering produced designs for an Olympic Park in the 2012 area back in the 1960s, but nobody was interested then. At least they came round in the end.

It doesn't surprise me in the slightest that the Thatcher government put the mockers on a London 1988 bid, because they just weren't interested in sport full stop.

Just to add to the bit about Ron Pickering's plans, if you get in touch with his widow Jean through the Ron Pickering Memorial Fund, she can tell you more.

Oh, boy. And, to think, I thought I read somewhere that the UK is comtemplating another idea of another Universiade hosting. Of course, with London 2012 and a possible Glasgow 2014, it could be shelved for a long while. Come to think of it, wasn't Dublin the one that was showing interest in it?

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The Tories always hated costly events and showed little enthusiasm for the Birmingham and Manchester bids in the late 80's and ealy 90's. They also flatly refused to help Edinburgh with the 1986 commonwealth games and Sheffield with the 1991 Universiade. It simply wasn't in their political ethos to support such events because it involed public money with not much, if any, fiscal returns.

Hope that waffle is helpful  :;):</font>

Speaking as one who remembers all too clearly the tepid support offered by the Thatcher and Major governments for Manchester's 1996 & 2000 bids,I think your summary is spot on!

Which makes me rather anxious about the future of London 2012 if the Tories get back in power come 2009 (as is beginning to seem more and more likely). Will a future Campbell government move heaven and earth to make sure 2012 is a roaring success or will they revert to form and try to scale it down and limit its funding?? :blink:

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