Birmingham targets more Olympic glory

By on 15/04/2010 in News

With American and Jamaican athletes already heading to Birmingham in 2012, the City Council is stepping up efforts to bring more Olympic teams to the city.

Talks are ongoing with Indian hockey officials, while work is also ongoing to attract the US gymnastics and martial arts teams.

And, with the Jamaicans, including fastest man in the world Usain Bolt, set to fine-tune Olympic preparations in Birmingham, other Caribbean countries are also being courted as the city makes the most of the London Games.

Assistant Director of Sports and Events Steve Hollingworth said: “We have been very successful in securing two of the biggest teams, but are continuing to speak to more.

“We're looking to bring the Americans to the GMAC (Gymnastics and Martial Arts Centre) and the Indian hockey team played at the University of Birmingham last year and were impressed with the facilities.

“The Indians seem very positive, but they are focussed on Delhi hosting the Commonwealth Games this year so we do not expect a conclusion until the autumn.

The two deals already signed are worth an estimated £15 million to the Birmingham economy and mean many of the world's top athletes, backed by an army of coaches, support staff and officials, plus friends and family will be spending the Olympic Games build-up in the city.

USA Track and Field will set up camp at the Alexander Stadium while Jamaica will be based at the University of Birmingham and that means a significant number of gold medal hopefuls will be based in the Birmingham ahead of the London Games - including Bolt and other contenders for the prestigious 100m crown.

Officials are also looking at the legacy though and Mr Hollingworth added:  “We want to use this as a chance to raise the profile of athletics in Birmingham, with a focus on Jamaican and Caribbean communities. Athletics clubs are already involved.

“With Jamaica celebrating 50 years of independence in 2012 this will be the chance to create a host of sporting and cultural events.”

ENDS

For more information call Geoff Coleman on 0121 303 3501

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  1. Martial Arts we are proud of our school heritage and the connection we have to the origin of the martial arts. Our training centers are honored to be part of a martial arts family network linking Korea, Japan, the United States and Canada.

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