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Caroline Argyropulo-Palmer Headshot

Are We Snuffing Out the Olympic Flame?

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Maybe it was naive. Naive to believe that things would be different. That we weren't going to be back in exactly the same place four months on.

But the Olympic spirit got to us all. When the young, unknown athletes lit the Olympic flame at the opening ceremony it felt like we had nailed what the Games are about. Legacy was more than just a PR buzz word, we really meant it.

Fired up we suddenly believed, believed it was worth it, that we could do it, that we were going to produce a new generation of British champions. Cynicism fell away. It wasn't all about money.

And yet. Now. The Olympic Stadium, the centre piece, where Mo Farah won his two golds and vogue-d it up with Usain. Where history was made, where the Paralympics reached new heights of acceptance and respect. Is going to host pop concerts.

Now I like music, I actually, truthfully, like music more than sport. But we already have the O2 -we saved the disaster of the Millennium Dome by the skin of our teeth by turning it into a music venue, why create competition a few miles down the road? And Wembley stages gigs perfectly well. London, Britain, doesn't need another big concert venue. It does need a world class, world sized athletics arena.

The 80,000 capacity Olympic Stadium aside, the largest athletics venue in the UK is the Don Valley Stadium in Sheffield which holds 25,000. London's flagship ground, Crystal Palace, holds 22,000 tops.

In the Evening Standard London's Mayor Boris Johnson describes the relocation of Hard Rock Calling and the Wireless Festival from Hyde Park (due to complaints from residents) to the Olympic Park as "a ringing endorsement of our legacy plans."

But I really thought legacy was about building sport in the UK, and about sustainably reinvigorating the East End. So why are we seemingly only concerned with getting the biggest contract to use the Park, pushing athletics to the sidelines for gigs?

Because yes, athletics will still be held there, it's being downgraded not erased. And maybe we don't need an athletics stadium that large. But we should be looking at how to get the most sporting use out of it possible, making sport the priority, encouraging a long-term community and buzz around the Park. Not patting ourselves on the back for scoring Olympic sized crowds for nothing more than a few, blurred and confused concerts.