The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission for the London 2012 Games concluded its seventh visit to the British capital today, following three days of meetings with representatives of London 2012 and its partners. Read the full and unedited press release here
With a little over a year and a half to go until the London Games, the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) remains on track as it transitions from planning to the operational phase of its preparations, with test events starting in earnest next year.
In addition to receiving updates on the progress made since its last visit in July, the Commission, led by Chairman Denis Oswald, visited a number of the venues, including Wembley Arena, Earls Court, Hadleigh Farm, the Royal Artillery Barracks and the new velodrome being built in the Olympic Park. These visits allowed the Commission to witness firsthand the progress being made on the London 2012 project and its legacy.
“We can see the pieces of the puzzle falling into place now, and the big picture is rapidly becoming visible,” Oswald said. “Preparations are advancing at an astonishing rate and LOCOG, the ODA, and their partners should be congratulated for the high quality of the work they are producing across this complex project. The continued support of the British government for the Games has also been key to the progress made since our last visit, and they should be thanked for the efforts that they have made in these challenging times. This underlines the British people’s strong connection to sport and to the Olympic Games in particular.”
London 2012 Organising Committee Chairman Sebastian Coe said: “We are entering a new phase of delivery, where we will be testing our plans right across the project on a range of sports events over the next 18 months. These testing opportunities are an important part of our journey to hosting a great Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012.”
With the London Games drawing nearer, the Commission held a series of workshops aimed at examining London 2012’s plans from a client perspective to better understand what each group can expect to experience at Games time. The sessions looked at the plans from the perspectives of the athletes, spectators, International Federations, National Olympic Committees, media, the International Paralympic Committee, marketing partners, workforce, and others. Technical meetings were also held on subjects ranging from communications and branding to technology and ceremonies.
An unforgettable welcome awaits visitors to London in 2012 thanks to the innovative Look of the Games programme outlined by LOCOG and the Mayor of London’s office during the visit. The Commission was impressed by how the programme would be rolled out across the city, and, while a lot of planning remains to be done, it was confident that this would greatly add to fans’ Olympic and Paralympic experience in 2012. The Commission also received updates on the successful launch of both the London 2012 volunteer programme and ticketing prices in recent months, and welcomed LOCOG’s plans to ensure that families of athletes participating at the 2012 Games will be able to secure tickets to events featuring these athletes.
The Commission was also presented with London 2012’s matrix of test events for the months leading up to the Games. The test events are integral in the journey to preparing the services, operations, venues and related infrastructure, so that they are running smoothly by Games time. The events provide an important testing ground to ensure that pre-Games planning is workable and to allow improvements and changes to be made, where necessary, ahead of the Games.