Mayor welcomes Olympic winning Mayor of Rio to London
Olympic winning city Rio received some top tips on staging the Games from London’s Mayor Boris Johnson, during a visit to City Hall by Mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes.
Boris Johnson congratulated Mayor Paes on Rio’s historic victory in winning the race to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games and offered to share London’s experiences so far on the road to 2012. Mayor Paes was keen to discuss potential collaborations and developing strong ties as Rio de Janeiro begins the work on hosting the Games.
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:
“It’s great to experience the excitement of a city that is at the beginning of the journey that London and the UK set out on four years ago. I can assure the Mayor and his team that it will often be nerve racking, but it is a fantastic experience full of opportunities for the host city and its people. Today gave us the chance, as Mayors of two great world cities, to commit to building a strong and mutually beneficial relationship, which goes beyond the shared interests of the London and Rio Games.”
Following their meeting, Mayor Paes and his team participated in an Olympic workshop hosted by City Hall’s Olympics Team and led by the Mayor’s Olympics Advisor, Neale Coleman. The Rio delegation used the opportunity to discuss with the Mayor of London’s staff how they managed the next stages of planning after winning the Olympic bid in 2005.
See the City Hall website for more info
See an illustrative video clip here
Boris Johnson has spoken of the value of the classics in understanding modern politics. For example, in the popular press, as well as in the classics, the same theme is played out again and again: political leaders who let power go to their heads and then pay the price. There are many other parallels, but Greek history is also full of inspirational stories. Over the next few weeks, we will be posting some incidents from Greek history that still have lessons for us today.
THE FIRST MARATHON RUNNER
In 490 BC, Athens was under attack by the Persians, led by King Darius. The world’s first democracy was under threat of extinction. The vastly outnumbered Athenians desperately needed the help of Sparta’s military base to help fend off the attack. With danger imminent, the Athenian generals sent Phidippides, a professional runner, on a two-day 140 mile run over mountainous terrain to Sparta to ask for help.
Phidippides’s brave effort was in vain – the Spartans would not come until the Moon was full, due to their religious laws. Phidippides had to run back to Athens with the terrible news that the Athenians would have to fight alone.
The small Athenian army, vastly outnumbered, with Phidippides, marched to the Plains of Marathon. They launched an amazing surprise offensive thrust, and by the end of the day, 6,400 Persians lay dead on the field while only 192 Athenian soldiers had been killed. The surviving Persians fled, hoping to launch an attack by sea, and Phidippides had to run another 26 miles to carry news of the victory to Athens and warn them of the impending naval threat. He had already fought all day in the battle.
Phidippides pushing himself to the limits of human endurance, reached Athens, delivered his message and died of exhaustion. Sparta came to the aid of Athens and the Persian threat was overthrown. Centuries later, the modern Olympic Games introduced a “marathon” race in memory of the brave Athenian runner who gave his life to deliver his message.
It is a glorious morning. The daffodils are still pretty perky. The tulips are surging away. The birds are a-wooing and a-cooing all over the place, and it seems absolutely criminal on a morning like this – an April morning, when there is frankly nowhere in the universe more lovely than England – that I should be sitting inside and slaving over a computer and brooding about Damian McBride. Continue reading Damian McBride and Labour smears
Save the planet by cutting down on meat? That’s just a load of bull.
Continue reading UN Panel on Climate Change
Boris officially opened Redbridge Cycling Centre with its 2km circuit and off road trail on Tuesday, 19 August. The track has been created as a public facility to compensate for the loss of the Eastway Cycle Circuit which is being turned into the VeloPark for Olympics 2012. After thanking all those involved and having a quick race round the track with some children, Boris cheerfully described it as a ‘breathtaking’ facility that all could enjoy. Here’s the video link.
What on earth has come over our aimless, feckless, hopeless youth?
Shurely shome mishtake, I keep saying to myself. They must have the wrong country. Continue reading British medals at Beijing Olympics … and 2012?