Beijing Olympics 'challenges' London

Updated: 2008-08-08 17:53


BEIJING -- Beijing Olympics will pose a challenge to London's preparations for the 2012 Games, British Olympic Association chairman Colin Moynihan said in a recent interview with Xinhua.

Moynihan said that Beijing's high level organization will deliver a "historical" Olympic Games, which will make the job tougher for the hosts of the 2012 Games.

"It will be a great challenge for London to be able to match what Beijing has given to the OLympic movement.

"We have to work very hard the day we get back. We only have four years to go," he said.

London organizing committee had sent over a hundred people in Beijing,  working alongside BOCOG to learn about running the Games, according to Moynihan.

Impressed by the organization and facilities, he believed that Beijing Olympics, starting on Friday, would be a friendly and successful one.

"First the facilities, better than I've ever seen. They are state of the art, absolutely right for the 21st century,' he said.

"The attention to detail for the athletes. It's a soft feeling to the Olympic village, which makes it more like a home for the athletes. And the extraordinary venue of the Olympic park - the use of water, the environmental focus, a lot of trees...clearly with the support of government and the city authorities, Chinese are ready for the Games.

"The way they've been receiving the athletes indicate there will be a friendly and successful Games." he added.

Moynihan, who have been to Beijing for many times, were surprised to see the "significant changes" in the city and China.

"This is a country with an phenomenal high growth rate. you can see that not only in the preparation of the Games but in the city constructions

"By western standards, your recent growth and economic develop are remarkable. It's visible and you can see it. In any street, you can see a new hotel or a new office building.

"The city has been transformed and continue to be transformed," he added.

He also felt that the air quality had been improved with great efforts from the government.

"What the gov has done here is to really seek to tackle it, very strongly in a range of measure, planning construction, shutting down pollution industries...The air quality is much better compared to a year ago when I was here." he said.

Moynihan is looking to London Games as an exciting one.

"London's very different. It's a very cosmopolitan city with many different languages, very different ethnic groups.

"Every the Games has some character. London will be an exciting, lively, cosmopolitan and welcoming city for 2012."

He said that Beijing Olympics has an unusual meaning to the 313-strong UK Olymic team here, known as Team GB.

"For us, every Games is important in its own respect. But this's different, a stepping stone to London," he said.

"London will have a team of over 600 athletes, which is nearly the double of the size here. The hosts nation will be expecting great things from team GB.

"So it's unusual Games. Normally it's 100 percent on the Games. This time it's certainly that but it's also a stepping stone to London," he said.

With an ultimate target for achieving fourth in the medal table in London, Moynihan wants to see good progress but shrugged off clear medal goals in Beijing.

"I think we will. We are a better financed, better prepared, better supported team than ever."

"I think other countries will do well here. That's good. But from my perspective and that of BOA, we simply want to see good progress from Athen's tenth towards London." he said.

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