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Britain ‘must not let Olympic success fade like Australia’
9th August 2012
Australia’s failure to capitalise on Sydney sets stark example
Ministers have been urged to seize a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” and use the euphoria generated by the Olympics to tackle a host of social problems before it is too late.
Sports organisations, business and charities yesterday called for action after Sir Matthew Pinsent, the four-times Olympic rowing champion, said that Britain must avoid the fate of Australia, which failed to capitalise on the enthusiasm of the 2000 Sydney Games.
The warnings came amid fears that government funding will be severely reduced for athletes preparing for Rio 2016. An Olympic coach yesterday described the possible cuts as “insane”.
Leading public figures have lauded the inspirational effect of the Games, which have resulted in an unprecedented number of British gold medals.
Dr Maggie Atkinson, the Children’s Commissioner for England, said that the Olympics offered a chance to end the demonisation of young people after last summer’s riots and provide them with role models.