Work on London’s plans for hosting the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games continued to advance today as the capital marked the seven year anniversary to the Opening Ceremony of world’s biggest and most important sporting and cultural event in 2012.
"Seven years from today we will be just a few hours away from welcoming the world to the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games," London 2012 Chairman, Seb Coe, said this morning while inspecting work at the site of the Aquatics Centre, which will host Olympic swimming, diving and water polo in the new Olympic Park in east London’s Lower Lea Valley in 2012.
Preparation work involving the London Development Agency is already underway at the Aquatics venue, located close to the site for the new Olympic stadium where the high profile Opening Ceremony will be staged.
"London is world famous for its theatre and there is no bigger show on earth than an Olympic Opening ceremony," said Jude Kelly, director of the London 2012 Culture, Art and Education Committee. "In 2012 the full creative talents of Britain’s spectacular world class directors and artists, technicians and performers will be used to fill the Olympic Stadium with magic, wit and wonder. Their skills will combine in a dazzling celebration of the Olympic spirit, our cultural diversity and friendship."
The seven year countdown was marked in London by a series of events including the official launch of National Lottery operator, Camelot Group’s new "Go for Gold" scratch card, which goes on sale tomorrow (Thursday 28 July) and is one of a series of dedicated lottery games to help fund the London 2012 Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games. "The new Go for Gold scratch cards will provide key funding to make the Games happen and we are very grateful to Camelot and National Lottery," Coe said.
London will be transformed over the next seven years into an Olympic Host City designed to provide athletes, the Olympic family and spectators with the best possible Olympic Games and Paralympic Games venues, conditions and experience and inspire more young people to take up Olympic sport. Over 10,000 athletes from more than 200 nations also will have moved into the new Olympic Village, which will be converted into affordable housing after the Games. 15 Olympic sports will start the day after the Opening Ceremony at London venues and landmarks that will have been converted into spectacular Olympic settings for sports ranging from boxing at ExCeL to Gymnastics at the O2 and Volleyball in Olympic Park. 70,000 volunteers will have been selected, trained and will be in place to make the visitor and athlete experience one to remember.
The Olympic Torch Relay flame will also be wending its way through the capital on its way to the Olympic stadium to ignite the Olympic cauldron, a highlight of the Opening Ceremony. The seven year anniversary is the first milestone for London 2012 in its preparations for the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games since it was selected as Olympic host city by the IOC in Singapore earlier this month.