New government maintains all-party support for Games as solid progress continues with 2 years to go
The International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Coordination Commission for the London 2012 Games concluded today its sixth visit to the British capital since the city was awarded the Games in 2005. The meetings, which ran from 6 to 8 July, saw good progress being made across the project, particularly in the area of venue and infrastructure construction. The week’s meetings began with IOC President Jacques Rogge and Coordination Commission Chairman Denis Oswald meeting the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt and Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson, as well as the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, at No.10 Downing Street.
“We held very constructive talks with Prime Minister Cameron and Mayor Johnson about the upcoming Games, and we are assured that the government at all levels remains completely behind the project,” said Oswald. “We also realise that we are working in a difficult economic environment at the moment, but we are confident that LOCOG’s early entry into the market and its robust private sector financing will mean that the delivery of top class Games will not be affected.”
London 2012 Chairman Sebastian Coe said, "This week, we have taken the IOC through the progress we are making across both the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and we are delighted with their very positive report. With two years to go, our focus is very much on working through the details of delivering this large and complex project. There will of course be challenges ahead, but we have an excellent team in place, and we benefit from great partnerships with the government, the Mayor of London, our sponsors and, of course, both the British Olympic Association and the British Paralympic Association. The strength of this team, combined with the tremendous support of the public, will help us work through any challenges and deliver Olympic and Paralympic Games we will all be proud of in 2012."
During its stay, the Commission visited a number of the Olympic venues, including the Olympic Park, Olympic Village, Broxbourne, Excel, and Royal Holloway, and heard reports from the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) on the progress being made in preparing the services for a number of Games participants, such as the athletes, media, spectators, National Olympic Committees and International Federations, as well as in areas like technology, medical services, commercial, transport, communications, marketing, culture, ceremonies and education. LOCOG also updated the Commission on its plans for the ticketing, volunteer and Olympic Torch Relay programmes, which will be rolled out over the coming two years.
With the Games a little over two years away, London 2012 is now approaching a crucial stage in its development as it shifts from the planning stage into its operational testing phase.
“The staff at LOCOG is top class and has been key to the success of the project so far. And there have been many successes, including the great advances in construction, in particular at the Olympic Park,” Oswald said. “They have done an exemplary job so far, but now is not the time for complacency; they need to continue working diligently and to focus on the details of the project during the up-coming operational testing phase in order to put on great Games in 2012.”
In the next 18 months, LOCOG will run numerous tests to determine that everything is in place to smoothly deliver the Games. It is at this stage that the local organisers will determine where improvements can be made and calibrate their plans accordingly. The Commission said it was impressed with the work completed to date and was looking forward to seeing LOCOG and its partners’ plans put to the test and refined over the coming months.
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