On the 27th July 2012 London will open its doors to the XXX Olympiad for the third time (the first city to do this in Olympic history). Elected in 2005, to huge applause and enthusiasm in the Capital, London eventually won the bid over contestants Moscow, New York City, Madrid and Paris after four long rounds of voting.
After winning the bid ‘The London Organising Committee For The Olympic Games’ was established, chaired by Olympian Lord Sebastian Coe to oversee and guide the development of the project. Conscious of the debacle of the Millenium Stadium every effort has been made to bring the development in on time and in budget, especially with the current economic climate and the recent disaster in India with the Commonwealth Games in 2010.
London 2012 has been driven and guided by the premise that areas that have been compulsorily purchased and redeveloped will be handed back to communities after the event, thus re invigorating otherwise poor communities with housing and facilities that would otherwise have stayed in neglect. The venues have been divided into three zones The Olympic Zone, The River Zone, and The Central Zone, within Greater London and the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy in Dorset with enormous development in each and even a potential cable car across the Thames between Greenwich Peninsula and The Royal Docks.
Originally a budget of £5.3 billion was set aside for building and development of the venues with an extra £1.7million to regenerate the Lower Lea Valley in Stratford, this does not include costs for staging the games, policing or running the Paralympics which have now brought the final coat to £9.345 billion. Whilst the coalition has sought to trim these costs at a time of countrywide austerity the hope will be that the spectacle will regenerate a global interest in GB plc and engender a feel good factor throughout the country from which the government would hope to benefit politically.
The eyes of the world will be centred on London for two weeks in the summer of 2012 expecting a showcase of sporting excellence, framed by a seamless infrastructure, which ensures a memorable event. Lord Coe certainly has his work cut out as do the British athletes who will be under enormous pressure to perform well.
Find out more about some of the features of the London 2012 Olympics: