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Legendary British athlete Sebastian Coe spoke about his role as chairman of the London 2012 Olympics organizing committee during a panel discussion at the University of Haifa on Wednesday.
"What we're doing at the moment is planning for a games for everyone, a games that has an international traction," the two-time 1,500-meter Olympic champion (1980, 1984) and former world-record holder said. "We're planning a games which will inspire young people wherever they live in the world to take up Olympic sport or some of the cultural activities around sport.
"We're also hoping to deliver a games that is a great experience to people coming to London. We have 200 different communities living in London and there will be a home crowd for virtually every Olympic team competing." Coe was a member of Parliament for five years during the 1990s. He came to Israel to pay tribute to Alex Gilady, who was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate degree from the University of Haifa Tuesday night. Gilady, senior vice president of NBC Sports and a member of the International Olympic Committee, is also founder and president of Keshet Broadcasting.
Gilady, 64, received the award in recognition of his contribution to advancing television coverage in Israel and around the world, his involvement in advancing sports in Israel and the international community, and for his willingness to support the Center for Sports Research at the University of Haifa.
Gilady began his career as a reporter and sports commentator on Israeli television. Over the years, he has been behind the production and television coverage of major events in Israel's history, including Anwar Sadat's visit to Jerusalem on November 19, 1977, the 1977 election upset and entrance of the Likud as the ruling party in the Knesset and the 1979 Eurovision Song Contest in Jerusalem.
In 1981 he was appointed vice president of NBC Sports. He received Emmy Awards for NBC's coverage of the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 and the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.
Before the event, Coe was shown a student-built model depicting how a Tel Aviv Olympics venue might look.
"We must continue dreaming of hosting the Olympics one day," Gilady said about the project, which was completed by students seven years ago. "The Olympics could only be hosted in Israel 20 years after peace is achieved. I think that we should plan for the 2048 Olympics on Israel's 100th birthday."