Exclusive: FIG official hails North Greenwich Arena as "worlds's best"
Wednesday, 11 January 2012
January 11 - International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) executive member Brian Stocks has revealed his delight with the North Greenwich Arena as the gymnastics event host for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Speaking exclusively to insidethegames at Visa International Gymnastics, the London 2012 gymnastics test event being held at a venue better known as the O2, Stocks, a former chief executive of British Gymnastics, admitted he approved of the North Greenwich Arena's ability to stage the sport.
"In 2009 we ran the World Championships, so most of the team here is the one that was here for the World Championships," he said.
"The venue is unique.
"We had the opportunity when we bid for the event in 2009 to actually design the arena around gymnastics so it's a nice arena, but they actually allow 17 rows of seats to come out – which is more than they would normally allow.
"[Because of that] you get a larger amount of space for the gymnasts.
"If you look down into the arena, you can see there's a tremendous amount of space which we don't get at any other arena in the world, so this is probably the best – one of the best – arenas in the world for staging gymnastics.
"I think it's a little early to say how the crowd are reacting, because we're going through qualifications and the first round of qualifications never get a big audience, although ticket sales have been very, very good.
"I think they're actually better than they were for the World Championships and considering the [British] women have already qualified, there's less British interest in the programme.
"I think the crowd are more frustrated with the ticket process surrounding the Olympic Games – I think they're finding that a little bit difficult.
"We've got one or two people who are gymnastics fanatics who have been unable to get tickets for the gymnastics.
"That's not isolated to the gymnastics, though."
The remainder of the gymnastics qualifiers are currently ongoing and are being staged here until January 18.
January 2012: North Greenwich Arena hits the right note as Britain's men qualify for London 2012
January 2012: Tickets still available for London 2012 gymnastics test event