JAMES SHIELD: 2012 affair shames our country

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IT’S one of sport’s great myths that hosting the Olympics produces a ‘can do’ generation.

Too many folk now would rather wile away the hours massaging their egos by dispatching 140-character messages into cyberspace in the misguided belief that someone actually cares about their thoughts on what constitutes a proper breakfast or Beyonce’s latest frock.

(Come to think of it, plenty of sad souls probably do).

But that does not mean the 2012 games, or its showpiece arena to be precise, should be hawked around like a piece of useless old tat.

Which is exactly what the powers that be seem intent on reducing it too as they allow West Ham and Tottenham Hotspur to squabble over it.

It is particularly unpalatable state of affairs which casts this country, Talking Sport is ashamed to say, in a very bad light. And one which, to his shame, even a great figure like Pele has decided to ‘grace’ with his presence by throwing his weight behind the latter’s bid to move in when the likes of Bradley Wiggins and Kobe Bryant have moved out.

Given that vast sums of public money are, quite rightly, being pumped into this project, the stadium at Stratford should be put to proper and regular use when the curtain comes down on the closing ceremony.

This impoverished corner of the capital - and the communities which surround it - must be granted access whatever its final purpose.

So, with West Ham pledging it will remain a multi-purpose venue should they take charge while Spurs want to bulldoze it, the final decision is a no-brainer.

(Well, it would have been until the money men started to put their grubby paw prints all over it).

Having pledged to ensure athletics could continue to be staged their during the initial bidding process, it reeks of dishonour that a nation which complained so vociferously about double dealing after losing the right to host the 2018 Football World Cup, should even consider going back on its promise.

Even though it is likely to prove fruitless, we are bound by our word to try and leave a legacy for the entire nation.

Not a bunch of opportunistic Premier League chancers from the boardroom at White Hart Lane.