Exclusive: London 2012 will surpass Sydney 2000 as "best-ever Games", predicts IOC stalwart Gosper
Sunday, 22 April 2012
April 22 - Australia's Kevan Gosper, one of the longest-serving and most influential International Olympic Committee (IOC) figures, has admitted that London 2012 is likely to surpass Sydney 2000 in being viewed as the best Olympic and Paralympic Games of all time.
The 78-year-old – an IOC member since 1977 and who has held numerous senior positions within the organisation over the last 30 years – served as vice-president of the Organising Committee for Sydney 2000, and is widely credited with helping make that Games the most successful ever.
However, Gosper (pictuerd top) feels that, under the leadership of chairman Sebastian Coe, London 2012 will surpass Sydney's status (pictured below, the Closing Ceremony) as the greatest-ever Games.
"Sydney 2000 was a benchmark Games and, at the time, it was given the accolade of best-ever Games," Gosper told insidethegames.
"But best-ever is a bit like breaking the world record in sport.
"You will always expect that record to be broken and nobody will be happier than Sydney to see London being seen as the best ever.
"If all goes well, and we all have to deliver and get to that Closing Ceremony, Australia would be the first to congratulate London."
Gosper – twice IOC vice-president and chairman of the IOC Press Commission since 1989 – also believes London 2012 is setting new standards in terms of organisation.
"London 2012 has the best Organising Committee, and has enjoyed the best lead-up to a Games, I have ever seen," said Gosper, a former athlete who won silver at Melbourne 1956 in the 4x400 metres relay.
"While that does raise expectations, and you always get a bit nervous about that, I'm confident that when the time comes we will see one of the great Games of all time for a whole range of reasons."
Gosper expanded: "There is huge support across the country for the Games, there has been great co-operation between all the stakeholders and the Government, and there is huge international support.
"It has been a dream run [so far].
"So, barring any unforeseen circumstances, when we get to the Closing Ceremony the [media] opinion will be that London 2012 is the best-ever Games."