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Desmond Tutu embraces London Olympics

PUBLISHED: 15:00 05 February 2010 | UPDATED: 15:34 05 October 2010

London 2012 today welcomed a special visitor to east London, as Archbishop Desmond Tutu was given a tour of the Olympic Park site and expressed his belief that the London 2012 Games will inspire people across the world. 

At the Park, the Archbishop met with children from schools in the five Host Boroughs, Olympic Park workers and members of the local community, including the Young Mayor of Newham and two young people from Walthamstow who have helped transform their local area through the London 2012 Changing Places programme. 

The Archbishop, who was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his role as a unifying leader figure in the campaign to resolve the problem of apartheid in South Africa, is here in London to take part in the inaugural London 2012 Diversity and Inclusion speaker series. 

As part of his visit to London, the Archbishop will be present when Sebastian Coe, Chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), Paul Deighton, CEO, as well as heads of departments, sign the London 2012 Diversity and Inclusion pledge.  

This pledge demonstrates LOCOG's commitment to creating the most diverse and inclusive Games ever. 

Later this evening, he will also deliver a speech on the importance of inclusion to the London 2012 legacy. 
Sebastian Coe, Chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games said:

London 2012 today welcomed a special visitor to east London, as Archbishop Desmond Tutu was given a tour of the Olympic Park site and expressed his belief that the London 2012 Games will inspire people across the world. At the Park, the Archbishop met with children from schools in the five Host Boroughs, Olympic Park workers and members of the local community, including the Young Mayor of Newham and two young people from Walthamstow who have helped transform their local area through the London 2012 Changing Places programme. The Archbishop, who was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his role as a unifying leader figure in the campaign to resolve the problem of apartheid in South Africa, is here in London to take part in the inaugural London 2012 Diversity and Inclusion speaker series. As part of his visit to London, the Archbishop will be present when Sebastian Coe, Chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), Paul Deighton, CEO, as well as heads of departments, sign the London 2012 Diversity and Inclusion pledge. This pledge demonstrates LOCOG's commitment to creating the most diverse and inclusive Games ever. Later this evening, he will also deliver a speech on the importance of inclusion to the London 2012 legacy. Sebastian Coe, Chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games said: "Such is the diversity of London, that this city is probably one of the only few in the world where every competing nation in 2012 will feel that they have a home crowd. "Sport has a real role to play in healing and bringing a nation together. We are thrilled that Archbishop Desmond Tutu could come and see the progress London 2012 is making, not only on the Olympic Park, but also in terms of our diversity and inclusion work.

LOCOG

Archbishop Desmond Tutu today embraced the Olympics during a visit to the 2012 Park in East London. The South African priest said the Games will be a fantastic celebration of many different communities and cultures and bring everyone together.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu today embraced the Olympics during a visit to the 2012 Park in East London.

The South African priest said the Games will be a "fantastic celebration" of many different communities and cultures and "bring everyone together".

The seventy-eight-old brought a ray of sun shine to the park on a grey and cloudy day as he greeted workers, Games organisers and school children from the five host boroughs, including Tower Hamlets.

He said: "It is very exciting today to see how the Games are a catalyst for change in this part of London and how they will deliver a lasting social, economic and sporting legacy.

"As a South African, I know how much sport can help bring different people and nations together. I feel strongly that the London 2012 Games will be a fantastic celebration of the many different communities and cultures which exist in London and the rest of the UK and will bring everyone together."

The Archbishop, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his role as a unifying leader figure in the campaign against apartheid in South Africa, is in London to deliver a speech on the importance of inclusion and diversity and London 2012's legacy.


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