London marks year to go
Trafalgar Square to host party to mark milestone date
By Graham Fitzgerald, Sky News. Last Updated: 28/07/11 12:37pm
Preparations for the London Olympics entered the home straight on Wednesday with a series of events to mark a year until the 2012 Games begin.
Among the highlights will be Tom Daley taking the first plunge into the diving pool at the newly-completed Aquatics Centre.
There will also be a special party at Trafalgar Square hosted by London 2012 chief Lord Sebastian Coe and Mayor Boris Johnson.
They will be joined by International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge, who recently lavished praise on the preparations for the Games.
"London 2012 is now ideally placed not just to deliver top level Olympic competition but also to leave a great legacy to the British people."
Jacques Rogge Quotes of the week
Rogge said he was greatly encouraged by the six permanent venues at the Olympic Park in Stratford all being completed on time and on budget. As well as the £269m Aquatics Centre, these are the showpiece Olympic Stadium, the Velodrome, the Handball Arena, the Basketball Arena and the International Broadcast Centre.
Rogge added: "One year to go is a special time for any host nation. It is the moment when the International Olympic Committee invites the National Olympic Committees and their athletes to attend the Games, when Olympic dreams start to come into focus, and when the world turns its attention in earnest to the city that will welcome it in only 365 days' time.
"London has come a long way since its election in 2005 in Singapore and the 2012 team and its partners are to be congratulated for their work. London 2012 is now ideally placed not just to deliver top level Olympic competition but also to leave a great legacy to the British people."
"It's a pretty big moment for us," said Lord Coe. "Though a mountain of work is still needed to prepare (the venues) we have an extraordinary platform to build on.
"I don't think we are sitting here fearful of anything - we have everything under control."
The party in the square will provide the first glimpse of how London will look when key buildings and parts of the city are "dressed" for the Games.
The design of the gold, silver and bronze medals to be won at London 2012 will also be unveiled.
Boris Johnson said: "With the London Games just a year away this ceremony marks the most important milestone to date on the journey to the London Games.
"We will be looking forward to next summer with great excitement. Our venues are nearly all complete and our preparations to ensure all our visitors can experience the Games wherever they are in the capital are well advanced. With a year to go we can safely say we are ready to welcome the world."
Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, Jeremy Hunt added: "As we celebrate this milestone in our countdown to the 2012 Games, it is well worth noting the success we have achieved so far in this enormous project.
"It's on time and on budget, the majority of venues are built and testing is well underway. In all, it is a showcase of the best of British construction, creativity, teamwork and achievement.
"As we look ahead to July next year, I want to welcome the world to London and the UK. We are a vibrant and diverse country, rich with history and culture. One need look no further than the Olympic Park to see that."