POSTED: October 4th 2009

Boris Johnson opens London 2012 door to triumphant Rio

Boris Johnson takes over the 2012 flag in Beijing
Boris Johnson takes over the 2012 flag in Beijing

KEIR RADNEDGE / Sports Features Communications

LONDON: The winning links between London and Rio de Janeiro, respective hosts of the 2012 and 2016 summer Olympic and Paralympic Games, will be enhanced over the next three years.

The Rio bid team which was successful in its campaign last Friday at IOC Congress in Copenhagen, had developed close links with London organisers over the past two years.

This co-operation and sharing of information and organisational lessons will be continuing according - as London Mayor Boris Johnson emphasised in a congratulatory message to Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes and his colleagues.

Johnson said: "Hosting the greatest sporting event on the planet is a huge honour that will transform Rio de Janeiro as it is transforming London, even before the first starting gun has been fired. I am sure that, like London, your wonderful city will stage a fantastic Games for athletes and spectators alike.

"Enjoy this moment of well earned celebration. Although the real hard work now begins, I look forward to welcoming you and your 2016 team to our city in the coming years, and will be happy to share our experiences of the road to 2012 as Beijing has done with us both before and since their awesome summer Games in 2008."

Andy Hunt, chief executive of the British Olympic Association, added his congratulations, saying: "Congratulations to the city and people of Rio de Janeiro on winning the bid for the 2016 Olympic Games. It is four years since we won the bid for the 2012 Olympic Games so we know what an exciting and busy time now lies ahead. I am sure that Rio de Janeiro will host a superb Olympic and Paralympic Games for the athletes of the world.

"We have been lucky enough to be the host National Olympic Committee for Olympic Games three times and we would be happy to share our experience and knowledge with the Brazilian Olympic Committee, any time they need it. I wish Rio de Janiero the best of luck over the coming years in their preparations and look forward to having Team GB compete there in 2016.”

Rio will be handed the banner - and the formal responsibility - at the Closing Ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Keywords · Olympic Games · London 2012 · Rio de Janeiro 2016 · Boris Johnson · Paes · IOC

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