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Strong Partnership Brings Good Progress

The International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Coordination Commission for London 2012 today wrapped-up its fourth visit to the British capital. The three days of meetings – from 21 to 23 April – and site visits allowed the Commission to fully assess the advances made on the London 2012 project by the local organisers. The Commission was impressed by the good progress that London 2012 has made since its last visit and put this down in no small part to the strong spirit of partnership that is being shown, under the leadership of LOCOG, by all of the stakeholders involved in the Games.

Speaking after the meetings, Commission Chairman Denis Oswald said, “We have been greatly impressed by the good progress that London 2012 has made since our visit last year, particularly in moving from planning to operational
delivery. This was evident in all the presentations and discussions we had about LOCOG’s Games time planning, and of course during our visit to the Olympic Park. Seeing the transformation that has taken place in the Lower Lea Valley is nothing short of astounding and this area will be a great legacy for the people of London and Great Britain.”

He continued, “When I visited the Olympic Stadium last year, the foundations were just being laid. Today the main structure has risen from the ground and the roof is already going-on. Other sites such as the aquatic centre, Olympic Village and velodrome are also rapidly growing from the ground and this fast pace of development is no doubt down to the great spirit of cooperation that exists between the different partners involved in the 2012 project. Their ability to work as a team, plan ahead and solve issues together is ensuring that the Games and legacy planning remain on track as we head towards 2012.”

During its visit, the Commission heard updates from the London 2012 Organising Committee and its partners on a number of important areas of Games preparations including transport, accommodation, field of play, sustainability, legacy planning, technology, ticketing, medical services and press operations. These areas of operations were also examined from the perspective of different groups, such as athletes, spectators and media, which allows the Commission to get a global perspective on each subject and an overview of how each group will experience the Games. This helps the commission to guide the Organising Committee, as it enters more and more detailed levels of operational planning.

Oswald commented, “At this stage in preparations, we have seen in all the client focused working groups that London 2012 is moving in the right direction in order to ensure that individuals attending the Games in a little over three years time will have a first class Olympic and Paralympic Games experience. I think LOCOG and its partners deserve credit for the detail and quality of their work, which is also helping to make sure that the Games deliver as much value for money as possible in these economically challenging times.”

He added, “We also heard from LOCOG that it has had good success on the commercial front and has generated just under GBP 500 million worth of sponsorship revenue. This is an important position to be in with the current global financial difficulties and it once again underlines the strength of the Olympic brand.”

Sebastian Coe, Chairman of London 2012 commented, “The IOC are our partners in delivering the Olympic Games. They are experts. So we gain valuable insight and knowledge from them each time they visit. I’m obviously delighted that they are impressed with the progress we are making. This is a vast and complex project, with no room for complacency, but we are on track and on budget, and have a very strong and talented team of people working hard to make sure we deliver an Olympic and Paralympic Games which the whole country can be proud of in 2012.”

Some of the Commission members also visited the Eton Dorney rowing venue during their stay and were impressed with the quality of the venue, as well as the sub-village for the rowing athletes at Royal Holloway College. The next visit of the full Coordination Commission to London will be in November 2009. (IOC)