Sports press fight for just 20 media passes for 2012 Olympics

Cycle journalists face missing out on reporting from once in a lifetime event, despite being held on home turf
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Construction may be complete on the Velodrome and Olympic Stadium, but with over a year left before the games begin in London cycle journalists are finding they won’t be able to report directly from the event.

Despite it taking place in the UK for the first time since 1948, the cycle press will have to cross their fingers that they will receive one of the very rare media accreditation passes that will allow them to report from the games, where demand has massively outstripped supply.

Thousands of applications have been made for only 400 media accreditations, with only 20 of those available to sports journalists – meaning cycle journalists have to compete with the likes of Yachting World.

Ironically, those same journalists are being invited to see and ride the courses in the build-up to the games.

“As the host nation in 2012, the International Olympic Committee rightly awarded the British Olympic Association (BOA) far more accreditations than in the past and more accreditations than any other National Olympic Committee in the world,” the BOA’s head of communications Miriam Wilkens told BikeBiz.

“Regardless of this, demand – over 3,000 applications – has far outweighed supply, with less than 400 accreditations available. Out of the 400 there were just 20 sport specific accreditations. Unfortunately, 20 sport specific accreditations doesn’t even allow for one specialist per sport (of which there are 26), let alone discipline (39 in all).

Wilkens continued: “It is impossible for us to satisfy everyone’s wishes, but we are doing and will continue to do our very best to make sure that we can assist as many media as possible to cover the Olympics in 2012.”

Singletrack editor Chipps Chippendale told BikeBiz: “It's odd that we're expected to help in all the build-up hype of this event without actually getting a chance to see the payoff.

“I imagine I might be able to sneak in under some guise – perhaps wheel-bag carrier to the Slovenian team, or I could buy a chance to win a ticket, but it appears that to be able to report on an Olympic sport that we run a specialist magazine about, on home turf, is going to be nigh-on impossible, which seems a little odd.”

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