IOC wraps up penultimate visit to London
Concluding its ninth and penultimate visit to the city of London (5-7 October), the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Coordination Commission for the 2012 Olympic Games found good progress being made project-wide and praised the efforts of organisers to bring the 2012 Games experience to the whole of Great Britain and beyond.
The Commission heard how the London Organising Committee for the 2012 Olympic Games (LOCOG) and its partners were starting to test how they would work at Games-time during the successful “London Prepares” series. London 2012 is learning valuable lessons through such programmes that will help it enhance the experience for athletes and supporters coming to the Games next year.
The Commission also remarked on how the strong collaboration and impressive detailed integrated work between LOCOG and its external delivery partners has stood the organisers in good stead in the face of the huge task of staging a Games. It has allowed them, for example, to deliver the Games venues on time, which has permitted the organisers to start testing their operations in optimal conditions. The Commission witnessed the result of this first hand during visits to the Olympic Park and an archery event at Lord’s Cricket Club.
“London 2012 continues to make good progress toward delivering great Olympic Games next summer,” said IOC Coordination Commission Chairman Denis Oswald. “We have once again been impressed by the overall level of planning and by the results of the first group of test events that were held this summer.”
“LOCOG and its partners are also looking beyond the confines of the venues and are working hard to bring the London 2012 experience to people across Great Britain and around the world,” Mr Oswald continued. “This will undoubtedly generate a great Olympic atmosphere next summer, and we congratulate them for their work.”
A common thread through all of the presentations this week was how people are able to experience the Games. The Commission noted that, since its last visit in April, LOCOG was responsible for the launch of a very successful ticket programme, great coverage generated by one-year-to-go celebrations, as well as popular Olympic Torch Relay and volunteer programmes that have already started to bring London 2012 to homes across the nation and abroad.
Also well-received were programmes such as the Cultural Olympiad — which will culminate in the London 2012 Festival next year — Get Set Education, International Inspiration and London 2012's live sites, all of which have raised the profile of London 2012 and brought the Olympic spirit to millions of people worldwide.
Chairman Oswald said, “The Olympic Games is a unique event that brings the world together every four years. We are delighted that London 2012 is focused on ensuring that the experience and atmosphere inside and outside the venues are of the highest standard and that everyone can feel a part of London 2012.”
The Commission also pointed to the fact that the Games were on track to leave a great legacy to London, Great Britain and the Olympic Movement. Initiatives such as the Get Set education programme, International Inspiration, and the other sporting, social, and economic programmes associated with the Games are all playing a role in ensuring that the spirit of 2012 will survive well after the Games are over. They particularly underlined how the new Olympic venues will help to form a lasting legacy for British sport at both the community and elite levels.
London 2012 Chairman Seb Coe said, “We have had a very busy six months since the last Coordination Commission visit, selling tickets, recruiting volunteers and relentlessly testing all our operations, including delivering 17 sport test events this summer. We are delighted to receive such strong endorsement from the IOC. With only 42 Fridays until the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games, everyone at LOCOG is focussed on putting on Games the whole country can be proud of and a part of.”
Over the three days, the Commission heard reports from LOCOG, the British Government, the Greater London Authority, and Transport for London, as well as updates on areas such as services to the athletes, National Olympic Committees, International Federations, the media, the Paralympic Games and spectators, as well as updates on topics such as marketing, technology, culture, education and communications. The next visit of the Commission to London will be from 28 to 30 March next year.