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Frankie backs Olympics in Africa

Buoyed by a successful football World Cup in South Africa, sprint legend Frankie Fredericks pledged on Friday to do all he could to make an Olympics on the continent a reality.

The Namibian four-time Olympic silver medallist, in Singapore to offer advice to youngsters competing at the inaugural Youth Olympics, said he was determined to play his part.

“I will take up the challenge of improving athletics in Africa and take up the international challenge to make changes,” he told Sapa-AFP.

Fredericks, chairman of the International Olympic Committee’s Athletics Commission, said his mission included securing the Games for an African nation.

“It would be nice to share our culture, to share our vuvuzelas, to share our food, to share the way we do things with the world,” he said. “I do think we should get a chance to host the largest event in the world.”

The race to stage the 2020 Olympic Games opens next year, with South Africa set to throw its hat in the ring.

A bid for the Olympics is regarded as a way of maintaining the country’s new international profile and of maximising the investment it gained for hosting the World Cup.

In 1997 Cape Town made a bid to become the first African host of the Olympic Games, but failed to win the 2004 edition.