Gulf can host the Olympics, says Dame Kelly Holmes
Qatar World Cup has put region firmly on the world sporting map
Athletics legend Dame Kelly Holmes has said that the Gulf would be well placed to host the Olympic Games after Qatar landed the 2022 football World Cup.
"I think the Qatar bid has now put the Gulf states on the map in terms of hosting world-standard championships," Holmes told Arabian Business on the sidelines of the Laureus Sports Awards in Abu Dhabi.
"The World Cup is big and if they can pull that off, that will give them a grounding to see what they can do in the future.
"They [Qatar] are such a progressive country that I think definitely in the future you can see an Olympic Games coming somewhere like that."
The middle distance runner won two gold medals in the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
Although she has now retired from athletics, Holmes has taken on a role mentoring young British athletes and will also be an ambassador for the British team during the London Olympics next year.
Qatar in December secured a surprise victory by beating the US, Australia, Japan and South Korea for the right to host the 2022 World Cup.
The decision has been plagued by controversy with high profile names such as FIFA president Sepp Blatter and England manager Fabio Capello suggesting the games should be moved to winter to avoid the Gulf state’s searing summer heat.