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Manchester looks to firm up Olympic role

Talks to start on torch route and hosting more teams

Published on October 18th 2010.


Manchester looks to firm up Olympic role

Manchester is ‘highly likely’ to feature in the 2012 Olympic Torch relay and wants to host more teams in training camps for the London event.

The city is also targeting more sporting and business link-ups with countries such as Brazil and the USA.

Manchester has already agreed to host Australia and Thailand to train for the Olympics and Paralympics. Around 800 athletes and staff are scheduled to visit Manchester for training and acclimatisation before the games.

In a new report, the city council said the ‘co-ordinated approach’ it took within key international markets such as the US and Brazil ‘provides potential opportunities to strengthen the case to host an Olympic or Paralympic team.’

‘For example, the proposed connections with Brazil include, Manchester hosting the Brazilian Paralympics team and Manchester currently investigating a four-year programme of activity in Brazil, which might incorporate investment, trade, culture and academic links.’

The 2012 Olympic Torch Relay will visit the North West for five days and Visit Manchester has been in discussions with the games’ organising committee about the city’s potential involvement.

The council has suggested hosting its own event around the torch, but admitted that while it would generate some PR opportunities, ‘many will be limited to local and regional news, as national and international press will be focussed on key events such as the arrival of the torch into England, and its arrival into London.’

Manchester has been asked to provide possible starting and finishing locations, photo opportunities, locations for evening celebrations and suggested modes of transport for the torch.

‘It is highly likely that the torch relay will traverse Manchester in one way or other,’ said the report.

Manchester Utd’s Old Trafford will also be used for Olympic football in 2012 and is expected to sell 400,000 tickets. The council said it was looking at ‘potential proposals to dress the city’ during the Olympic football.

The council said the presence of several high profile-teams in the city could generate opportunities to host other international sporting events.

‘The presence of elite athletes from foreign countries, training in Manchester’s neighbourhoods and interacting with community sport clubs and local fans, has a very powerful and positive impact at a grassroots level,’ it said.

Other plans for the Olympics in Manchester include a large video screen in Exchange Square which broadcasting all events, a live site at MediaCity on Salford Quays and several possible projects at the National Football Museum, which will occupy the Urbis building in Manchester.

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AnonymousOctober 16th 2010.

Nothing about supporting the two sports whose national centres are based in the City.

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