London celebrated the one-year countdown to the 2012 Olympics on Wednesday with a ceremony at the iconic Trafalgar Square.
Hundreds of people turned out to join in the festivities which included British medal hope Tom Daley, who christened the Olympic diving pool at the recently completed Aquatic centre.
Also on the programme was the unveiling of the medals as well as speeches from British Prime Minister David Cameron, IOC president Jacques Rogge and London’s Mayor Boris Johnson.
To no great surprise the most animated speech came from the Mayor of London.
“The streets will be ready, won’t they? The trains will be ready, the taxis will be ready, the theatres will be ready, the buses will be ready complete with a hop-on and hop-off feature. The hotels will be ready. The Olympic venues are ready, so ready that we might as well call a snap Olympics tomorrow and catch the rest of the world napping. And above all the people of London will be ready.’‘
The Aquatic centre became the final venue to be completed in the Olympic Park in east London and IOC head Rogge was impressed.
“I was surprised by seeing the Aquatic centre. I entered it from the upper deck and I had a visual shock. I have seen so many venues in my life but never something like this. This is absolutely fabulous.”
With concerns over the completion of venues out of the way Rogge turned his attention to security, notably the threat of terrorist attacks.
“Security has been and still is the number one priority of the IOC since the 1972 Munich massacre, we will never forget that. And I was an athlete at that time, I know the pain we felt at that time.”
Unlike the build-up to Athens Games in 2004 the completion of the majority of the venues should give London organisers a comfortable 12 month run-in to the 30th edition of the Games.