Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Olympics organizers insist early woes are minor
Concerns » U.S. security and law enforcement officials worry there might not be enough personnel.


< Previous Page


"Apart from a misturning and a couple of tweets, we’re in pretty good shape," Coe quipped. "The majority of athletes got in in good shape and on time. When they were met by our village mayor and chief executive, they were busily tweeting, saying how much they were enjoying village life. Ninety-eight percent of these journeys went without a hitch."

At Heathrow itself, the airport sailed through its heaviest passenger day ever with short immigration lines and plenty of help for Olympic travelers.

Photos
Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Coe also played down complaints about a miles-long traffic jam caused by the opening of the Olympic lane on the M4 highway from the airport into the city.

"I understand there was an accident at Reading, which slowed some stuff down, but the vast majority of people got through and it seems to be working quite well," he said.

The Olympic "Games Lanes" remain a contentious issue. Hundreds of London cab drivers blockaded the square outside Parliament on Tuesday, blaring horns and snarling traffic to protest their exclusion from the lanes. The cabbies claim it will be all but impossible to ferry passengers around once most of the special lanes take effect July 25.

Britain’s notorious rainy weather may prove an even more intractable problem.

Coe said "we’ve got mops and buckets" to deal with the incessant rain that has soaked London for most of the summer. There is waterlogged ground at two key venues — rowing at Eton Dorney west of London and equestrian at Greenwich Park, south of the Thames River.

"It is a problem," Coe said. "It is causing us extra challenges now."

Organizers are resurfacing areas at the two venues, laying down temporary tracking for vehicles and spectators, and putting up special tent shelters to keep the workforce dry, he said.

Although forecasters say the weather could clear in time for the July 27 start of the games, Coe noted that organizers have contingency plans. Extra competition days were built into the schedule "as a last resort" for rowing and equestrian. There is an alternate course available for sailing events at Weymouth, in southeast England, and Wimbledon has a retractable roof over Centre Court for tennis.


story continues below
story continues below

Olympic Park, however, still resembles a construction site, with workers laying cables, installing seats and landscaping grounds Tuesday.

Not to worry, Coe said.

"Our venues will be open on time," he promised. "There is still stuff to be done, but it’s about dressing up. We’ll be ready."

Organizers also said they are reducing capacity at several stadiums hosting soccer matches after failing to sell all the tickets.

More than 1 million soccer tickets had been left unsold recently, but organizers cut the number by reducing capacity by 500,000 at the various venues, which means they might not open a section or a top tier of the stadiums.

Organizers said 250,000 soccer tickets are still on sale and that an additional 200,000 tickets will go on sale soon after being returned by national Olympic committees. A further 150,000 free tickets could be released for schoolchildren.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.