IOC invites world’s athletes to compete at London 2012
With one year to go until the London 2012 Olympic Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) today officially invited the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) of the world and their athletes to attend the London Games.
IOC President Jacques Rogge formally invited the world’s NOCs during a public ceremony in London’s historic Trafalgar Square. In the presence of HRH the Princess Royal, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Mayor of London Boris Johnson, IOC Coordination Commission Chairman Denis Oswald and London 2012 Chair Sebastian Coe, as well as thousands of members of the public, the IOC President symbolically presented a number of NOCs with their invitations.
The NOCs that received their invitations directly in London were: the Hellenic Olympic Committee (representing the birthplace of the Games), the Chinese Olympic Committee (the host of the previous Games of the Olympiad), and the future host NOCs of Great Britain,Russia, Brazil and the Republic of Korea. The other NOCs will receive their invitations by post directly from the IOC’s headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.
“Inviting the NOCs to participate in the Games is a key milestone in organising the Olympic Games,” President Rogge said. “It symbolises the start of the one-year countdown for both the organisers and the athletes, and brings the dreams of all those involved a little closer to reality. For those aiming for London, I’m sure that today will motivate them that little bit more, knowing that their time to shine is drawing closer. I believe that the NOCs and athletes are excited and I’m sure that the fantastic British public is ready to give all the sportsmen and sportswomen competing next year a very warm British welcome.”
LOCOG Chair Sebastian Coe said, “Today is a proud moment for us as organisers. A year out is traditionally the point when the athletes of the world are invited to the Games. We are on track, but there is much to do. In 365 days’ time the eyes of the world will be on the UK. We will be ready.”
The invitation ceremony also featured the first dive into the London 2012 Aquatics Centre pool, performed by British Olympian Tom Daley, and the unveiling of the London 2012 Olympic medals. The Aquatics Centre also saw the first swim take place earlier in the day under the watchful eyes of President Rogge and Chairman Oswald.
London will host the Games of the XXX Olympiad from 27 July to 12 August 2012.