Tomorrow, October 31, London 2012 celebrates 1,000 days to go until the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, with the news that more than 5 million people are participating in London 2012 Games-related projects.
London 2012 initiatives include the Inspire Programme, which has seen thousands of people take part in hundreds of community projects in sport, culture, business and sustainability; the â€˜Get Setâ€™ education programme which has reached over 11,000 schools; the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad; Open Weekend, which has seen more than 1 million people taking part over the past two years; London 2012 sponsor Lloyds TSBâ€™s School Sports Week which saw thousands of schools taking part in sport; and the hundreds of companies all over the country that have won contracts to work on the London 2012 Games.
In addition millions of children and young people around the world are already benefiting from London 2012. The vision of the International Inspiration programme is to transform the lives of 12 million children and young people in schools and communities in 20 countries around the world through the power of sport and play. So far, more than 1.25 million children and young people and over 50,000 teachers, coaches and community leaders have taken part in the programmes.
London 2012 Chairman Sebastian Coe commented, â€œReaching 1,000 days to go gives us an opportunity to celebrate. Millions of people are already inspired by, benefiting from or delivering London 2012, from those who are taking part in sport participation projects inspired by the Games to the millions of National Lottery players who are helping to build the Olympic Park in east London. Over the next one thousand days our teams will put their heart and soul into ensuring the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in 2012 are a spectacular success and deliver a tangible legacy for future generations.â€
To celebrate The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) will be marking the 1,000 days to go landmark with the launch of a Games-themed photographic exhibition alongside Tier One Partner BT at the National Portrait Gallery and an event at Londonâ€™s iconic BT Tower. The National Portrait Gallery/BT Road to 2012 exhibition will create 100 world-class photographic portraits celebrating the people, both high-profile and those working behind the scenes, who collectively are making the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games happen. The first commissioned portraits which will launch the project include IOC member Sir Craig Reedie, recently appointed to the IOC Executive Board, four â€˜Young Ambassadorsâ€™ who travelled to Singapore as part of the bid and Mike Dobriskey (a member of the Olympic Stadium team) with his daughter Lisa Dobriskey, 2009 World Championship 1,500m silver medallist.
Meanwhile the London night sky will be transformed as the BT Tower will be spectacularly lit up with a pyrotechnic display on Saturday October 31 and for the first time ever will display messaging at the top of the tower. The lighting of the tower will happen live on The National Lottery Draw Show between 8:45pm and 8:55pm on BBC One. National Lottery players will contribute almost Â£2.2 billion to the funding of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, of which Â£750 million will come from sales of specially-designated lottery games. The total raised for London 2012 towards this Â£750 million target is currently more than Â£450 million.
Other London 2012 sponsors and licensees will also be celebrating 1,000 days to go. BA pilots flying into London will welcome passengers with a message about the 1,000 days to go, the first London 2012 licensed toy goes on sale in Hamleyâ€™s â€” a Corgi-made replica London bus (as featured in the closing ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and Paralympic Games) and the Royal Mailâ€™s first set of London 2012 stamps are now on sale.
Instructors and young sailors based at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) have marked the 1,000 days to go milestone by sailing past Durdle Door, Dorset in London 2012 branded Laser sailing boats. Together with the adjacent Portland Marina, the WPNSA is the sailing venue for the 2012 Games and the first venue to be fully completed. Durdle Door is one of the most recognisable landmarks along the World Heritage Jurassic Coast which will form the backdrop for the 2012 sailing events. The residents of Portland are also set to celebrate the 1,000 days milestone with a free family event at Portland Marina on Saturday evening featuring a firework display. Meanwhile in Glasgow, 60 young people are competing in special 1,000 days to go heptathlon event run by scottishathletics. Teams will take part in activities including sprinting, low hurdles, endurance, jumps and throws.
London 2012 has also surveyed people all over the country to find out what they will hope to achieve in the next 1,000 days, with results being broadcast on the London 2012 Live Sites across the country, including the four latest Live Sites in Dover, Edinburgh, Leicester and Woolwich. The Live Sites are a joint initiative between the BBC and LOCOG, with funding from BT, Lloyds TSB and the Olympic Lottery Distributor. The campaign has also been run on Twitter, with contributions being featured on www.london2012.com. Visitors to the website can upload photography and tell their own stories about what they hope to achieve in the next 1,000 days from Saturday.
The results of the London-wide London 2012 pin badge vote have also been announced, with local residents voting for a landmark in their borough to be immortalized in badge form. Tower Bridge in the City of London, the Globe Theatre in Southwark and Three Mills in Newham are among the chosen landmarks to be celebrated.
International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge commented, â€œThe Olympic Games are a massive undertaking. They require a real team effort to bring together all the elements that allow the best athletes from 205 National Olympic Committees to compete and fans worldwide to be inspired by their exploits. The people involved in London 2012 have so far done a magnificent job in preparing for the Games. Whether volunteers, senior officials or ordinary people in the street – who support the Games and their local athletes – they are all helping to ensure that London 2012 will be a great success. The London Games are inspiring people across the globe through sport, and in the next 1,000 days, the IOC will continue to work closely with the organisers to ensure that the inspiration continues, as we all prepare for spectacular Games in 2012.”
Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell said, â€œIn 1,000 days the whole country will come together to mark the opening of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the UKâ€™s Games in London.
â€œThe Olympics will create new national heroes and heroines but now with 1,000 days to go the people we want to celebrate are the men and women outside the spotlight who are making the Games a reality. The construction workers building the venues, the teachers delivering the â€˜Get Setâ€™ programme or the youth ambassadors spreading the word about London 2012. We all owe them thanks as they will be every bit as important to our Games as the medal winners in 2012.â€œ
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson commented, â€œI am hugely encouraged that millions of ordinary citizens have already engaged in, and are benefiting from, the London Games. There is still a long hard slog ahead but during this precious time we must pull out all the stops and use this amazing project to inspire many more. Whether it is taking up sport, learning new skills or volunteering at the Games this is the time when we can change the lives of a generation.”
Colin Moynihan, British Olympic Association Chairman commented, â€œAthletes are at the heart of the Olympic Games, and with just 1,000 days to go to the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, the Games are now becoming very real for many. Olympic gold medallist rower Andy Triggs Hodge will, in the next 1,000 days, take 3 million strokes on the water and erg and lift 1,470,000kg-worth of weights. Heather Fell, Olympic silver medallist in Modern Pentathlon, will between now and 2012 compete in 3 world champs, 3 European champs, 12 world cups and 3 world cup finals. Olympic bronze medallist gymnast Louis Smith has already completed over 900,000 rotations of the Pommel Horse over the 12 years of his career – that is over ten days supporting himself on his arms. These are exciting times as athletes now have 1000 days left to train, to qualify and, ultimately, to be selected for Team GB.â€
ODA Chairman John Armitt said, “With 1,000 days to go until the Opening Ceremony we are on track and within budget. Over 7,000 people are now working on the Olympic Park and Athletes Village and together the team is putting in place the foundations for the sustainable regeneration for the residents of east London. People are also feeling the business benefits as the project is continuing to fill order books all over the UK.
“Construction is surging ahead not just on the new sports venues needed for 2012 but also on infrastructure and transport improvements. As we have said many times 75p in every pound we are spending is for long term legacy. The next phase will be a challenging one across the site but also an exciting one as the Park really starts to take shape. I remain confident that we will deliver a world class stage for the athletes, that LOCOG will stage a brilliant Games and together we will leave a lasting legacy for the people of London and the UK for decades to come.”
Key landmarks for London 2012 over the next 1,000 days include:
Â· Launch of volunteering programme â€” 2010
Â· Unveiling of mascot â€” 2010
Â· ODA handover venues to LOCOG â€” 2011
Â· LOCOG run test events at venues â€” 2011
Â· London 2012 tickets go on sale â€” 2011
Â· London 2012 Torch Relays begin â€” 2012
Â· Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games â€” 27th July 2012
LOCOG has made significant progress with its commercial programme, raising more than Â£550million in domestic sponsorship alone. Meanwhile on the Olympic Park site, the ODA has achieved its â€˜Big Buildâ€™ targets, with the completion of the Aquatic Centreâ€™s roof the next major landmark to be completed before the end of 2009. There are now more than 7,000 people working on the Olympic Park, with over one in five (21%) resident in the five Host Boroughs – Greenwich, Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest and over half (55%) living in London.
For further information please contact the London 2012 Press Office on +44 (0)203 2012 100 or visit the website at www.london2012.com. Find out the latest from London 2012 HQ on our blog http://blog.london2012.com or follow us on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/london2012team
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