London needs the finishing touches to get ready for the Olympics as most of the major construction has been completed. But for such a big city and its population of around eight million people, preparing for the world’s biggest sporting event still involves many challenges that need to be overcome.
In this video: 1. John Armitt, Chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority; 2. Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport; 3. Andy Hunt, CEO of the British Olympics Association; 4. Tessa Jowell, Shadow Olympics Minister; 5. Boris Johnson, Mayor of London.
On Wednesday, July 27, several events marked one year to go to the beginning of the games. Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport told euronews that “organising the world’s biggest sporting event” is just as huge a task as the construction project.
“Think about all the additional people we have to employ, we have to organise the transport in London, and the security considerations, the preparations for our own Team GB that we obviously want to win lots of gold medals, there’s a massive amount that has to be done,” Hunt said.
He added that those preparations “really are only getting under way.”
Security will be one of the major issues that the country will need to have under control. Tessa Jowell, Shadow Olympics Minister, and one of the architects of London 2012 games, said she had every confidence on the police and that the main element was to find a balance.
“We’re aiming for a proper balance between proportionate security so that people don’t feel they’re coming to a kind of armed event but a level of security and vigilance that will keep people safe,” Jowell said.
The impressive Aquatics Centre, designed by world-famous architect Zaha Hadid, was the last of six major venues to be completed.
John Armitt, chairman of Olympic Delivery Authority that is in charge of constructing the stadia, said “everything is going according to plan.”
“We’ve completed all the major stadia,” he said. “We’re about 80 percent through the Olympic Village, so that’s on track and really next year will be finishing the landscaping, finishing off the village.”
London will host the games, but it doesn’t mean that Team GB will have an easy task. Andy Hunt, CEO of British Olympics Association, is the man who will also run the team next year. Hunt confirms that his troops will need to fight hard:
“This will be a tougher competition than ever before,” he said. “More nations will medal in London than ever medalled before. The winning margins will be thinner and thinner. We’ve gone from the hunter of other nations to being the hunted.”
And of course when it comes to talking competitions, the winner will have to be London Mayor Boris Johnson. He told us:
“What do you expect me to say? I’m the mayor of London. It’s going to be the greatest games in the world, in the greatest city in the world.”
By Ali Sheikholeslami