Page last updated at 11:21 GMT, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:21 UK

Public 'must back 2012 Olympics'

Dora Bakoyannis
Ex-Athens mayor Dora Bakoyannis is now Greece's foreign minister

Londoners need to become more excited about the Olympics if the 2012 games are to succeed, the woman behind 2004's Olympics in Greece has said.

Ex-Athens mayor Dora Bakoyannis said residents need to "endorse" the games, to be based in Stratford, east London.

"You need the big support of the people in this city," she said.

In April six out of 10 Londoners felt the 2012 Olympics would bring no real benefit to their area, a survey for BBC's Inside Out indicated.

The survey of 2,000 people also found that just one in five adults across the UK felt the games would inspire them to exercise.

'Support vital'

Athens' Olympics were hailed a success despite last-minute concern that preparations were behind schedule.

Ms Bakoyannis, who is now Greece's foreign minister, told BBC London that residents' support was a vital part of the event.

"They have to be proud of London, they have to be ambitious," she said. "You can do nothing alone."

The International Olympic Committee has praised the progress London is making for the 2012 Games.

However the budget for the games has risen to 9.3bn - nearly four times the estimate that helped win the bid in 2005.

Last month London Mayor Boris Johnson said he wanted the benefits of the 2012 Olympics "and the sporting enthusiasm that they generate" to be felt across the entire city.

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