London is ready to host the Olympic Games as excitement builds
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission for London 2012 today concluded its 10th and final visit (28 and 29 March) to the 2012 host city with the message that London is ready to welcome the world’s best athletes and Olympic and Paralympic fans this summer.
“With only 119 days to go until the Games begin, London is ready to welcome the world this summer,” said Coordination Commission Chairman Denis Oswald “London presented us with a strong vision in Singapore seven years ago and, while many details will need to be finalised between now and 27 July, they are well on track to deliver an outstanding event.”
With dozens of successful sports test events already completed and as organisers put the final touches on preparations for the Games, anticipation is building in Great Britain and around the world thanks to a multitude of cultural, educational and sports programmes, which are bringing the Olympic spirit to the whole of the country and beyond. This includes the Olympic Torch Relay, which kicks off in 42 days and will travel the length and breadth of Great Britain after reaching the UK from Greece on 18 May.
A Cultural Olympiad known as the London 2012 Festival has been running since 2008, and, having reached 16 million people around the UK, it offers something for everyone: musical performances, artistic performances, film screenings, and much more.
The London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) also told the Coordination Commission that Londoners were gearing up for the Games by starting to adapt their travel habits and discerning the best routes and times to attend the events this summer. Restaurants, shops, airports, government agencies and others are also throwing their support behind the Games by adjusting their operations to help the UK deliver its best to the world. Training for volunteers is also in full swing, while educational and “local leaders” programmes are getting the public informed and involved in Olympic- and Paralympic-related initiatives.
“You can really sense the growing excitement for the Games,” said Oswald. “As they draw closer, the numerous activities that London 2012 and its partners are putting on for the public are really helping to build anticipation. This will no doubt be a summer like no other for London and Great Britain, but with the support of Londoners and the British population, London 2012 will surely be a memorable event for the athletes and the fans. The world expects a lot from London but we know you’re ready and we know you’ll deliver.”
LOCOG Chairman Sebastian Coe said, “We are obviously delighted with the IOC verdict that we are on track to deliver a great Games and welcome the world in 17 weeks’ time. We couldn't have a better or more committed team of people, not just at LOCOG but all over the UK, delivering on the promises we made when we bid for the Games.”
As part of the Coordination Commission visit, IOC President Jacques Rogge, Coordination Commission Chairman Denis Oswald, International Paralympic Committee President Sir Phil Craven and IOC Olympic Games Executive Director Gilbert Felli met the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, at 10 Downing Street. The Prime Minister reinforced his government’s full support for the Games and the great legacies they will deliver. These include Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the rejuvenation of the East End (where six of the eight permanent venues already have post-Games tenants); volunteerism; job creation; upgraded transport infrastructure; economic benefits and an increase in young people’s participation in sports activities.
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