Seven years after he presented vision of a Games that would inspire the youth of the world, London 2012 chairman Seb Coe has returned to a similar theme as he revealed the official Olympic slogan.
Beijing had ‘One World, One Dream‘, Athens went for ‘Welcome Home‘ and Sydney chose ‘Share the Spirit’ and London’s organising committee, with exactly 100 days to go until the Olympic opening ceremony, have unveiled ‘Inspire a Generation’.
I’m delighted to announce the motto, I hope it’s no surprise. It is everything we have been saying since starting this incredible journey. It is the heartbeat and the very DNA of our organisation. It is also a rallying cry for athletes to come to the UK, to perform at their very best and to inspire the world – Coe
Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt insisted the slogan was ‘not a platitude but a challenge’ but in one key legacy target, sports participation, the Games have so far spectacularly failed to ‘inspire a generation‘.
Figures revealed by Sport England last year revealed that the number of people playing sport regularly had fallen in the previous 12 months, despite unprecedented public investment and the legacy promises attached to the 2012 Olympics. In addition, the number of young people and women involved in sport had gone down over that period – key demographics targeted by Olympic organisers.
Meanwhile, Coe predicted the British public would be the star of the Games, although a poll to mark the 100 days to go milestone has revealed that two thirds of the UK population think the Games, whose budget has soared to £9.3 billion, are costing too much.
And just over half believe they will deliver a lasting legacy, a key commitment when Coe’s team won the bid in 2005, and that number falls dramatically the further you move from the capital.