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'Games threaten future Olympics'

The president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has told The Times that he’s finding it difficult to make sport look attractive to youngsters – and games aren’t helping his cause.

“Kids are attracted to visual, interactive forms of communication. It's not going to be easy for sport to counter that,” said Jacques Rogge.

In an attempt to grab the attention of new athletes, Rogge will use 3,500 teenage athletes competing at the first Youth Olympic Games in 2010 in a bid to capture the hearts and minds of younger generations.

Rogge added that he will ask each competitor to link a personal blog to social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace.

“We need to hire more young people” in order to spread the Olympic gospel to under-18s, he said. “If they have baggy pants and pink hair, that's OK.

“You won't hear me saying sport is not fun - it is. But it requires austerity and discipline. The answer is achievement. You will never achieve in a videogame. It is not really success.”

However, as Next-gen.biz points out, earlier this year the IOC’s exclusive licensee, International Sports Multimedia (ISM), struck a deal with Sega to publish Beijing 2008 (pictured), the official videogame of the 2008 Beijing Olympics - the same contract that lead to Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Games.

The title is slated for release on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC in July.

According to The Times article, the average age of an Olympian is 24, whilst the average age of an Olympic viewer is 46 – and the typical IOC member is 61.7.

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Tags: olympics , international olympic committee , ioc , jacques rogge

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