So the curtain has been drawn on the worlds biggest sports spectacle. The last month has literally been a blur, and every single person I have spoken to in the last month, has mentioned soccer. But it’s not only that. It is the manner in which we did this. We pulled it off. No one can say we messed up. Yes, there was a glitch with the airport in Durbs. Yes, there was a mugging here and there. But overall, I think we get a 9.999 out of 10. But what now ? What’s the next step ? Do we smile and bask in the glory of the world cup, and say “yes” we did it? We need to think forward. We need to think “What next ?”
Durban has received 2 brilliant write ups over the last week. An article by Washington Post columnist Steve Goff, entitled “Oh Durban, where have you been my whole World Cup?”, is an inspiring look at Durban by a foreign journalist. Former London financial times sports editor, David Owen, also adds another perspective to Durban in a piece called “I think I have seen Africa’s first Olympic city.” These 2 articles add an outsiders perspective to this amazing & versatile city.
The Moses Mabhida stadium could easily be given first prize for the most picturesque stadium of the world cup. The fact that it is less than 200m from the Indian ocean, gives it a sub-tropical holiday feel when looking at it from the overhead helicopter shops. My experience of the stadium has been beyond all my expectations. From my first visit while the stadium was still being built, through to a visit with the family to the top of the arch, right through to my 2 games, I simply cannot fault it on anything. Really.
Durban has been tipped to bid for either the 2020 or 2024 Summer Olympic games. Emperor Sepp has given his blessing, as well as President Jacob Zuma. Durban & KZN are fully capable of hosting the Olympic games. The fact that 80% of the events can be held within a 3km radius from the Moses Mabhida stadium bodes well for the bid. Durban already has everything in place, and after doing a research, I can only see the need to maybe build one or 2 new venues, if that. KZN has hosted numerous sporting events over the last couple of years, with a couple big ones lined up. Pietermarizburg is hosting the World BMX championships in 3 weeks time !! We also host the world biggest ultra marathon, as one of the, if not THE, biggest river canoe race, the Duzi canoe marathon.
I been thinking about this a lot lately after reading some of the articles above, and I honestly think we can do it. Everything is in place, and with a few tweaks at the airport, which is being continuously expanded, Durban has everything in place to bid for the Olympics. After doing a bit of research I put together a list of venues, which can be used in and around Durban & KZN, for the various Olympic sports:
I really hope Durban gets their act together and bids for an Olympic Games. Imagine hosting THE worlds largest sporting event on African soil. Wow, after the feeling of euphoria after the amazing world cup, I can’t imagine how we will feel when the Olympic Flame is put out.
Below is a map with some of the venues showing their proximity: