Athletes urge London organizers to keep track

A group of 16 British Olympic and Paralympic athletes has signed

an open letter urging authorities to keep the running track at

London’s Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games.

Former champions Kelly Holmes, Daley Thompson and Sally Gunnell

are among those asking London 2012 organizers to honor their

original pledge that the running track would remain in the


”It would be unacceptable for the stadium to lose the track and

effectively become an Olympic Stadium with no Olympic connection or

legacy,” the letter said.

The Olympic Park Legacy Company has narrowed the bidding to two

Premier League soccer teams.

West Ham has said it would retain the track after the 2012

Games, but Tottenham – which is bidding alongside sports and

entertainment company AEG – has plans that do not include the


”Here was a stadium that would see young athletes competing for

an English schools title run on the same track as Usain Bolt, where

Premiership footballers could play whilst club athletes train,”

the athletes said. ”Here was somewhere that could play host to

Twenty20 cricket one week and a pop concert the next.”

A final decision is due by March 31.