LONDON 2012: Five Years to Go!
Today, 27 July 2007, is exactly five years to the day from the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. To mark this occasion, a number of events have been taking place over the course of the past week across Britain, including a roadshow, where you can try out different sports, the creation of a giant number five using people on the Olympic Park and lectures and debates featuring Olympic personalities.
Inspirational Power of the Games
“Two years ago I sat in a room with 121 of my IOC colleagues, and witnessed a very bold vision for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London. A vision to reach young people all around the world. To connect them with the inspirational power of the Games. So they are inspired to take up sport”, said IOC Coordination Commission Chairman Denis Oswald speaking on the five-years-to-go mark. “Now, two years down the line, I feel that vision is stronger than ever – and it’s exciting to see it being applied in so many practical ways. Initiatives like the UK School Games and the recent ‘Join In’ Roadshow – all these are in line with the promise to inspire young people through sport. Every time I visit the UK to complete my various sporting duties, I return feeling energised by the passion of the young athletes I meet, and the enthusiasm of the wider public.”
Speaking about the next five years and how London was using the Games as a catalyst for wider socio-economic change, Oswald noted, “It’s a challenging agenda, and the nature of Olympic project management dictates that things will get more complex still in the five years before the Games. But I have every confidence in the team in place. My colleagues and I have been deeply impressed with the professionalism and spirit at every level of the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG).” He continued, “If I have one piece of advice for the London organisers - five years out from the Opening Ceremony - it is to continue in just the same vein. It’s important they keep a calm and steady focus over the next five years. They’ll need to call on that British cool to respond with the necessary degree of perspective to all the issues arising. This, after all, is a project of scale, and one you can all be rightly proud of for generations to come.”
London was elected as the host city for the Games of the XXX Olympiad on 6 July 2005 at the 117th IOC Session in Singapore. London eventually succeeded in the fourth round of voting, taking 54 votes from a possible 104. London faced stiff opposition during the vote from the other four Candidate Cities: Paris, New York, Moscow and Madrid. There will be 26 sports on the Olympic programme in London in 2012 and around 10,500 athletes.
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