Rogge does not believe credit crunch will affect London

October 1, 2008

He said: “No one has certainties today, but I am not pessimistic for the Olympic Games.”

Funding for the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver is secure while authorities in London, Rogge said.

There is “no issue” concerning Vancouver, which had a budget for building venues set last year at $577 million (£324.5 million), Rogge claimed.

He said: “The [London] Olympic construction authority is looking for more funding but the latest report we had is that they would manage in finding the proper funding.”

The Olympic Delivery Authority and its partners are currently struggling to raise capital to build the Athletes Village and the Main Press Centre and will almost certainly need to use the £2.747 billion contingency fund set aside by the Government to cover the shortfall.

But Rogge said the money needed to create city infrastructure for the Olympics should be seen as an investment, not an expense.

He said: “These are investments for 40, 50, 60 years to come.

“This leaves a big legacy to the city.

“The authorities [in London] will build an Olympic Village.

“It is going to recoup itself because it is going to be sold after the Games to private citizens and customers, as we have seen in Beijing.”

Rogge rejected the suggestion that the Olympics have grown too big and become an extravagance for host and bidding cities.

He said: “People are always speaking about small Games, without financial means and without TV rights and so on.

“We had Games like that and they are absolutely hypocritical.

“To reduce the [size of the] Games we would have to reduce the media and this is something we do not want to do because the media bring the money.”

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