Her legacy lives on: Sport stars pay tribute to Dame Tessa Jowell

Some of the biggest names in British sport have remembered Dame Tessa Jowell for her key role in bringing the Olympics to London.

Lord Sebastian Coe, former chairman of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, said there would not have been a London 2012 without the contributions of Dame Tessa.

He said: "Tessa was not just a close friend, she was a life enhancer.

"Her contribution to the Olympic and Paralympic Games is easily defined - without Tessa there would have been no London 2012, and without Tessa they would not have been the success they were."

Four-time Olympic gold medal-winning rower Matthew Pinsent said: "RIP Tessa Jowell - absolutely central to the effort to win and stage the Olympics and Paralympics in 2012. Her determination and sense of humour surrounding them was infectious."

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek, chairman of the British Olympic Association Hugh Robertson said: "It is absolutely true to say that the great British summer, one of the best of most of our lifetimes, would probably not have happened without her.

"Firstly she corralled government support in the early stages, which was not easy to do.

"The regeneration of Stratford and everything that has happened around there is a tribute to her vision and work.

"Also, and this tells you so much you need to know about Tessa as a person, when the Labour Party lost the 2010 election, instead of going away and feeling sore about it, she just put her shoulder to the wheel."

He continued: "We invited her onto the Olympic board, she couldn't have done more to help deliver London."

Tessa Jowell with Olympic Gamesmakers at a rally to honour Team GB athletes in October 2012 (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Tessa Jowell with Olympic Gamesmakers at a rally to honour Team GB athletes in October 2012 (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Olympic rower and UK Sport chairman Dame Katherine Grainger said: "This is incredibly sad news. As with every other aspect of her life, Tessa was a much respected and loved figure within British sport.

"Her accomplishments are enormous but just as impressive is how she achieved them: with decency, determination, guts and grace.

"Others have already noted how there would have been no London 2012 without Tessa's vision and drive.

"Tessa was a true believer in the power and inspiration of sport, for which all of us who benefited from her support and conviction will be eternally grateful. Her legacy lives on."

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