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Our chance to make history, says Edwards.

Jonathan Edwards today called for London to carry the passion of their Olympic bid all the way through to the "historic opportunity" of hosting the Games in 2012.

Edwards, the former Olympic triple jump champion and Gateshead Harrier, was one of the bid ambassadors and wants to continue his involvement with the London Games.

Speaking in Singapore before the bid team flew back to London, Edwards (pictured) said: "We have a historic opportunity to do something absolutely amazing now.

"It's about realising a vision that we put forward and my aim is still to be involved in exactly the same way.

"The energy, dynamism and passion has to carry on. The athletes will still be there and we will be holding the Games organisers to account."

Edwards, who spoke of the power of sport to do good, also praised the IOC for making the right decision and suggested the presence of athlete members such as sprinter Frankie Fredericks could have been crucial.

He added: "In my career, I often struggled with the purpose of what I did ( jumping into a sandpit ( but now we are staging the Games I recognise the power of sport more than ever.

"Looking at Ken Livingstone, who I'd always thought of as a hard-bitten politician, during our final presentation there were so many tears I thought he must be suffering from hay fever.

"It was a good day for the IOC. I stressed to my friends who are athlete members that our sporting legacy was very strong and if we had lost we would have still come out with out heads held high, but the power of our vision won through.

"So it was a good day for the IOC which has not always been showered with glory for the way bid cities have been chosen in the past."

Jarrow-born Steve Cram ( Olympic silver medallist behind Lord Seb Coe in the 1500m at the 1984 Games and now chairman of the English Institute for Sport ( hailed the successful bid as "fantastic news", and urged development of British talent into genuine medal contenders over the next seven years.

"This is the greatest opportunity British sport has ever been presented with," the 44-year-old said.

"We need to cut through the euphoria, and concentrate on our definitive task ( winning medals."
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Copyright 2005 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jul 7, 2005
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