The 2012 London Games succeeded in refreshing the Olympic brand by injecting enthusiasm as organizers delivered on their promise to create an event tailor-made for athletes, Jacques Rogge said on Sunday. Hours before the flame was extinguished at the stadium’s cauldron during the Games closing ceremony, International Olympic Committee president Rogge said he was a happy man.
“I am a happy and grateful man. On July 6, 2005 London promised athletes’ Games and that is exactly what we got,” said Rogge, who presided over his last Games, sitting next to London Games chief Sebastian Coe. “I will say history has been written by many athletes. The Games were absolutely fabulous. London has absolutely refreshed the Games,” he told reporters.
Organizers, who struggled with some empty seats in officials’ seating areas in the opening days, saw the British public pour into the arenas, setting new spectator records. The host nation have won a record 28 gold medals going into the final day of competition - their best performance in more than a century as well as 15 silver and 19 bronze.
Rogge said London would not be the same after hosting the Games and urged national sports bodies and politicians to harness the energy and momentum the Olympics had created across Britain with a long-term sports plan.
“I think this is a challenge Britain faces, to continue on this wave. There is a great foundation that has been laid.”