Our vision was to use the power of the Games to inspire change in all areas of life.
We would put athletes at the heart of our planning.
Use our work and the unique appeal of London to re-engage young people with the Olympic and Paralympic Movements and sport.
Legacy too, would be embedded in our plans from the outset.
On Wednesday, I updated the IOC Session in Durban, South Africa, with our progress and spelled out how, with just over one year to go until the Olympic Opening Ceremony, we are delivering exactly the Games we promised all those years ago.
It’s a large and complex challenge but, thanks to the Olympic Delivery Authority’s work, there has been magnificent progress on venues in Olympic Park and beyond. The vital test events which check that our planning works in reality are now well underway, as I witnessed with magnificent Equestrian sport in Greenwich Park earlier in the week.
To live up to our promise to put the athletes at the heart of London 2012, we created our Athletes’ Committee chaired by Jonathan Edwards and deputy chaired by Tanni Grey-Thomson. Initiatives like providing up to two ‘Friends and Family’ tickets for athletes in their competition session are a London first.
We have worked hard to engage young people by taking our programmes out across the UK. They include our plans for the 8,000km route of the Olympic Torch Relay, the many schools signed up to our Get Set Network and our associated ticket offers to pupils, cultural and sporting events inspired by 2012, and also training camps being signed up around the nations and regions.
We also made a global promise, so something I am really proud of is the International Inspiration programme which is now using links with London 2012 to introduce sport into communities in the developing world and support other programmes involving education or social goods like women’s rights.
Here in Durban I spoke to two South African participants in International Inspiration, Venessa and Mohammed, who told the IOC about their involvement. They spoke remarkably well about the new opportunities they have enjoyed and the legacy it is leaving in their communities.
Pictured are International Inspiration participants Vanessa and Mohammed, either side of Siphiwe Mbatha, who appeared as an inspiring runner in the London 2012 bid video
Another old friend who joined us on stage was Siphiwe Mbatha who appeared in London’s bid film back in 2005. From the child in the video he is now a young man and I was pleased to confirm to him that the promises of re-engaging young people around the world, the centrality of sport, and the long-term impact of London 2012 was becoming a reality.
All of this was underpinned in front of President Rogge by Hugh Robertson, the Sports Minister, who reconfirmed the British Government’s full support for the Games. Cross-party consensus has been a priority for me throughout and it is an important message for the IOC and the world to hear.
So it was another successful step on London 2012’s journey. Six years on from winning the bid, LOCOG is on track to deliver the memorable Games we promised to London, the UK and the world.