London 2012 - An ambitious and visionary project24 April 2006
The IOC’s Coordination Commission for the Games of the XXX Olympiad – London 2012, led by its Chairman Denis Oswald, has concluded its first full visit to the British capital since London’s election last July at the 117th IOC Session in Singapore.
The meetings, which took place over three days, demonstrated that London 2012 has an ambitious and visionary project and that it has been able to keep up the momentum of its work since its winning bid last year, to date delivering all key milestones.
The Commission heard from the Chairman of London 2012, Lord Sebastian Coe, and its Chief Executive Officer, Paul Deighton, as well as from key members of the Organising Committee (LOCOG)’s administration.
The Commission was also briefed by key leaders of the different stakeholder groups involved in the London Games, including Richard Caborn, Minister for Sport; Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London; Lord Colin Moynihan, Chairman of the British Olympic Association; and David Higgins, CEO of the Olympic Delivery Authority.
Speaking at the end of the Commission’s visit to London, Chairman Denis Oswald said, “The IOC, as the ultimate guardian of the Olympic Games, is very proud to guide the London 2012 organisers through the preparation and implementation of Olympic Games that will transform the local landscape physically, socially and economically. We are especially delighted by the fact that London has really understood the ethos of the Olympic Games and the Olympic values, whereby the Games are a vehicle and catalyst for development and provide a platform to educate society through sport. London’s project is ambitious and visionary, but as sporting people we admire this ambition and look forward to playing our part in London’s Olympic journey.”
Speaking about LOCOG, Oswald noted, “The very professional approach that LOCOG has shown us during this visit and during my previous visits to London, since its election last July, has demonstrated the energy and excitement that this project is bringing to the city and the country. What is particularly encouraging is the way in which the London team has been thinking about all aspects of Games preparation and planning, and how each area of the project is intrinsically linked.
"This understanding, and the putting of it into practice by sharing information between departments and entities, will stand LOCOG in good stead for the coming years, and we encourage them to continue in this vein. We are also delighted to see that the IOC’s new and improved Olympic Games management processes, whereby knowledge is transferred from Games to Games, and support is given from a bid’s inception right through to Games delivery, has assisted London in making a speedy and effective transition from bid to host city.”
The Commission members received more detailed reports on the progress of several key functional areas, such as sport, Olympic venue construction, transport, finance, sustainability and environment, communications, marketing, accommodation, culture and the Paralympic Games. They also toured some of the key Olympic sites, including the Millennium Dome, the Olympic Park and Stratford International Railway Station.
Commenting on what the Commission saw during the venue tour, Oswald said, “We were able to see the first, early signs of the huge transformation that will follow, when we saw the work being done to bury electricity cables in the Stratford area. Developments for the indoor arena at the Millennium Dome were also encouraging and exciting.”
LOCOG Chairman Sebastian Coe said the Coordination Commission visit had provided an important opportunity for London Olympic organisers to demonstrate progress made in planning for the Games, highlighting commitments to delivering a lasting legacy of community and sporting benefits from hosting the Games.
"We are united in our desire to see spectacular Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in 2012. We are also committed to ensuring that the Games leave a lasting legacy of social, environmental, economic and community benefits for London, the UK and for sport that demonstrate the power of the Olympic Games to change lives," Coe said.
LOCOG CEO Paul Deighton said the Coordination Commission visit reinforced the close working relationship that the London Olympic organisers had formed with the IOC since London was selected as Olympic host city last July.
"Our plans for the London Games will benefit significantly from the highly productive meetings with the IOC's experts, and we look forward to further visits from the Coordination Commission as we move ahead together towards the London 2012 Games."
The next visit of the Coordination Commission to London will take place in 2007.
The Commission visits the future host city on a yearly basis until four years from the Games when the frequency increases to two visits per year.
The visits of the Commission are supplemented by the regular visits by smaller IOC teams involving the Commission Chairman, selected members of the Commission and members of the IOC administration.