The other thing I think is really important is that no organizing committee is an island. We found out pretty quickly that the only way to deliver the games is to have a lot of friends. Corporations, governments, agencies—unite as many entities as possible that can help you deliver the projects. In our case, we had hundreds of partners. It takes a while for the organizing committee to realize there’s room on the stage for everyone, that this is a process that requires collaboration across the country. That’s an area we really have emphasized, to let everyone in who can help you.
If you were to look back, what would you do differently?
The whole exercise is a learning one because you don’t have an example that’s recent from your own country to draw on. Don’t underestimate how challenging it’s going to be, and tell the public that. I would have started that earlier. I would have said in the bid phase, “This is going to take everything we have to give. We’re going to need every citizen and every community and every politician and every leader to play a role in this.” I think you want to start really being grounded in the scope, and not play it down.
When you watch the London games, what’s the one thing you’ll be excited to watch for that only a fellow organizer could appreciate?
The predictions about London—with respect to transportation and security, and all of these other logistical things that they’ve been second-guessed on for the last two years—I think they will all pass, and the London Organizing Committee will score an A on their report card. I will be watching that. The measure of a great organizing committee is their ability to take virtually uncontrollable things and bring them under control.
Are you going to London? Where are you going to be watching the opening ceremonies?
In my living room. I have a professional soccer team I have to look after. I will be watching and cheering.
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