Olympic dreams for White City

Sports Centre in Du Cane Road to be pre-games training camp

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Linford Christie Outdoor Sports Centre on Wormwood Scrubs has been selected as a pre-games training camp for the 2012 London Olympics.

This means visiting teams will be encouraged and funded to train there in the run up to the Games. It should also encourage investment in the stadium and young people locally to get more involved.

Ironically, the news came just weeks after London Mayor Ken Livingstone was forced to retract Linford Christie's invitation to carry the Olympic torch through the capital, claiming it had been sent to him "by mistake".

Christie, a former Olympic gold medallist who grew up in White City and attended Henry Compton Secondary School, has a lifetime ban from the Olympics after testing positive for the steroid nandrolone in 1999.

However, he still received a letter signed by Ken Livingstone asking him to be one of 80 people to take the torch across the city in April as part of the build-up to this year’s Games in Beijing.

The invitation provoked a storm of controversy, before the Mayor's spokesman admitted it had been sent by mistake and without Mr Livingstone's knowledge. The Greater London Authority (GLA) issued a separate statement saying Christie was not invited after all.

White City, which hosted London’s 1908 Olympics, has a proud tradition in the Games.

During the 1908 Olympics, the exact length of the Marathon was determined. To this day, it is still 26.2 miles, the distance between Windsor Castle and White City Stadium.

March 7, 2008