Already looking forward to 2012

By on 15/08/2009 in Blog

boltAfter a successful trip to Berlin, Sharon Lea, Strategic Director of Environment and Culture, reflects on why she is already excited about the build-up to the 2012 Olympic Games.

The fastest man on earth is coming to Birmingham!

And Usain Bolt can expect a warm welcome when he and his Jamaican team mates make our city their training camp ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games.

I've been in Berlin for the last few days hoping to persuade the Jamaicans to set up camp in Birmingham in three years' time and when Jamaican Amateur Athletic Association President Howard Aris gave us the nod yesterday, it felt like the entire city had won Olympic gold.

With the finishing touches just being added to the USA Track and Field contract, that means some of the world's biggest athletics stars will fine tune their preparations for 2012 in Birmingham - the Games can't come quickly enough.

We were lucky enough to meet Bolt on Thursday and the buzz out here surrounding the 22-year-old sprinter's 100m showdown with American Tyson Gay is amazing.

When the world's fastest men go head-to-head it's a massive occasion so imagine what the build up to the 2012 Games will be like i with both Jamaica and the USA in Birmingham. The eyes of the world will be on our city and that's an exciting prospect.

Last year's Olympic heroics made Bolt a megastar but he seems to take the intense media spotlight in his stride and it was nice to see his mum Jennifer accompanying her boy as he prepares for the re-match with Gay.

Mrs Bolt is planning to visit Birmingham soon and she can be guaranteed a warm welcome - hopefully she'll be back with her son and his team mates in 2012.

Look at most coverage of the 2012 Olympic Games and the message seems to be London, London and yet more London.

But don't you believe for one second that Birmingham is ready to take a backseat while others reap the rewards of the biggest sporting event in the world.

I travelled to Berlin with council leader Mike Whitby ahead of the World Athletics Championships because we're determined to play our part in 2012.

That will definitely be the case and it already feels like we've struck gold.

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