The chairman of the London 2012 organizing group today rejected security concerns ahead of the Olympic Games, despite the firm hired to provide security offers announcing it would be able to offer only 4,200 of the 10,400 personnel it promised.
"People forget that we are welcoming the greatest athletes in the world," said Sebastian Coe. "The biggest and strongest in the world. People willing to accept any challenge. And now we give them the challenge of protecting themselves, Olympic spectators and the historic city of London during the upcoming London Games. We know they will rise to the occasion."
The failure by private security firm G4S escalated fears that the London Games could be targeted by violence or terrorism, but Coe reminded his nation that more than 100 Olympians are trained in martial activities.
"Taekwondo, judo, boxing. I know I wouldn't want to mess with those people," said Coe. "And those are just a few examples. Sprinters could be used to chase down villains, while athletes competing in swimming, sailing, rowing, canoe and kayak will keep our waterways safe. At least that's the idea because it's our only option now."
Olympic organizers also stressed that the security personnel that were expected to be provided by G4S were only one element of London 2012's security plans.
"Let's not forget that London police will also be on the scene," said Coe. "Most of them have whistles and hard, wooden sticks that will surely scare away any would-be criminals. And if not? Fencers with Ã©pÃ©es will be waiting for them. This will be the safest Games ever. In fact, I am so sure that everything will go smoothly that I won't even be attending any of the events. I'm going on vacation far, far away."