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Arts 'an integral part' of 2012 Olympics

5th March 2012

The 2012 Olympics will play a bigger role in bringing arts to the fore than any other previous Games, poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy has claimed.

According to the T. S. Eliot Prize winner, the London Olympics will 'celebrate the wholeness of human endeavour' by not only showcasing athletic achievement, but artistic ability also.

After reading aloud a line from her new poem 'Eton Manor' - a tribute to the sporting club founded on the Olympic Park - Duffy noted that the original Greek Olympics involved poetry as well as sport and this year's spectacle will attempt to rekindle that artistic magic.

'I think it is very good they are echoing the early spirit of the Olympics, as it would be a shame not to bring the arts into people's focus. I think it makes us healthier, as well as our running, jumping and marvellous physical achievements, to look more internally at art, music and poetry,' she added.

Duffy, who scooped the poetry prize at this year's Costa Book Awards for her collection The Bees, said she hopes the legacy of the London Olympic Games will be as much about culture as sport.

A steel and brass engraving of 'Eton Manor' will be placed at the entrance to the wheelchair tennis and training venue, while an engraving of a line from Alfred Tennyson's 'Ulysses' - 'To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield' - will be installed in the Athletes' Village to inspire competitors.

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