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Last Updated: Monday, 14 February, 2005, 07:41 GMT
MacArthur voyage boosts 2012 bid
Ellen MacArthur
Ellen MacArthur's sailing heroics have helped London's bid to stage the 2012 Olympic Games, says Culture, Media and Sport Secretary Tessa Jowell.

The yachtswoman's homecoming from a record round-the-world voyage was attended by thousands of people.

Jowell told BBC Sport that MacArthur's triumph will lift the bid to stage the Games in London, which hosts a visit by IOC inspectors from Wednesday.

"It shows we're a nation which is passionate about sport," she said.

MacArthur, who returned last Monday after more than 71 days alone at sea, has indicated she would welcome the chance to be an ambassador for the Games bid.

The British sailor told BBC Five Live: "I think it will be fantastic if the Olympics come to this country."

Jowell said the warm reception for MacArthur typified British support for sporting heroes.

"Thousands of people came out on the streets of Falmouth wanting to be part of Ellen MacArthur's welcome home, and that's how we are," said Jowell.

"So whether it's welcoming Ellen MacArthur home or welcoming our Olympic heroes and heroines back with their medals, or welcoming the Rugby World Cup team, we are people who take to the streets and celebrate that.

"I'm sure that Ellen is 100% behind the bid. She's in an incredibly strong position to act as a high-profile advocate for the bid, and I'm quite sure she's backing it."

Interview: Dame Ellen MacArthur

Interview: Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell


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