New Delhi, Aug 13 (UNI) On August 8, China exhibited one of the most guarded secrets ever since it was in the works for three years and now head of the 2012 London Games a former Olympics champion Sebastian Coe is in Beijing to take a first hand what it takes to host the Games.
Since being awarded the Olympics, Beijing has faced its share of criticism and controversy over human rights and political issues.
But the opening ceremony saw an immense demonstration of power and unity blended powerfully by a futuristic theme - exactly the message that China wanted to send out to the world that has been critical of its governance, its environment and its human rights record.
However, Lord Coe believes that international sports have enormous impact on the world.
''It's a powerful vehicle for bringing communities together in a way that sometime politicians don't manage to do,'' Coe told CNN's TALK ASIA while discussing Beijing's experience as a host city.
He added that though an event like this should not repalce political dialogue, ''we must never forget the power and the impact that international sport has had often in transformation, in helping with the process of change but it is not the first line of foreign policy.'' Coe, who is also a former British politician did not shy away from criticism that have been coming since London was awarded to host the next Olympics.
''You are never going to win the hearts and minds of everybody.
Our regular polling shows that well over 70 per cent of people in the UK are solidly behind this project,'' He believes that hosting the Olympics in one's own backyard can ''inspire young people to do things that perhaps they hadn't thought about.'' The former 1500m Olympic gold medallist is keenly waiting for August 24 - closing ceremony - when London will be handed the Olympic mantle.
The moment is of extra significance to Coe as this is the opportunity for London to showcase to the world what the city will expect to deliver in 2012.
''Of course we will have a very global moment in Beijing and that is the eight minutes that London will have in the closing ceremony.
''So, we better get it right,'' he asserted.
UNI RAR PY HT1917