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PM Tony Blair's Olympic speech (July 6,2005)


Tony Blair:

(In French)
Mr President, IOC members, distinguished guests. I am sorry I can't be with you in person. My responsibility as host of the G8 summit, which starts today, means I must be back in the UK. It is the only reason I am not at your historic session. I was, however, honoured to meet many of you over the last few days, and delighted to renew old friendships.

Last year I was privileged to attend the superb Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in Athens. And proud to be one of 20,000 Britons, the largest group of overseas spectators.Athens inspired me - and taught me much about the Olympic Movement. Our goal is to witness its power in London.

(in English)
It is a unique honour to act as Host City. I also understand it is an honour which comes with a great responsibility - and which requires the highest levels of co-operation with the IOC.

My promise to you is that we will be your very best partners. All of us who have made guarantees to you are ready to deliver on them now. On security. On finance. On every single undertaking we have given. If you award London the Games, I pledge to you personally we will continue to give the highest level of support to Seb Coe and Keith Mills as they lead the Organising Committee, backed up by our Olympic Minister Tessa Jowell.

My entire Government - and the main Opposition parties too - are united behind this bid. It has total political support. It is the nation's bid. It has excited people throughout the country. More than three million have already volunteered their support. And that support goes beyond our shores too. We were honoured to receive the endorsement of the most inspiring statesman of our age: Nelson Mandela. He said this: `I can't think of a better place than London to hold an event that unites the world. London will inspire young people around the world and ensure that the Olympic Games remain the dream for future generations'.

Those words remind us that as leaders, in government or sport, we have a duty to reach beyond our own time and borders. To have a vision which serves those who come after us.

Our vision is to see millions more young people - in Britain and across the world - participating in sport, and improving their lives as a result of that participation.

And London has the power to make that happen. It is a city with a voice that talks to young people. And, with more than 1,000 foreign media correspondents based here, it is a city with a voice that is heard all around the world.

It is that unique combination of strengths which London offers - a global platform for the Olympic message to young people. Not just for the 17 days of the competition, but for the years leading up to the Games, and beyond.

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