The final countdown: one year until London 2012

Today marks exactly a year to go until the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in east London.

With the countdown now beginning in earnest, London is gearing up for the greatest sporting show on earth with celebratory events, unique projects and the search for young games makers.

As one of the six Olympic host boroughs, Tower Hamlets is at the forefront of the preparations – expecting to welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors to the borough during the global sport event.

Celebrations today marking exactly one year to the opening of the 2012 Games include events in Trafalgar Square and on the Olympic Park in Stratford where teenage diver Tom Daley takes the first plunge into the pool at the Aquatics Centre.

Double Commonwealth Gold medallist and 2012 hopeful Tom said: “Marking the one year to go, by diving in the Aquatics Centre is an incredible honour.

“Only a few years ago, this was a distant dream. The fact that I qualified at the weekend and am taking the first dive is a complete privilege. I can’t wait for next year and the honour of representing Team GB.”

Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman said the council is working hard to maximise the benefits that the sporting event will bring to East Enders.

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He said: “It is not just about the 100 days that make up the Olympic and Paralympic Games, it is about the lasting benefits that residents will still be reaping when London 2012 is a fading memory.”

London mayor Boris Johnson called yesterday an “important milestone” and added: “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.”

Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), said: “The one year to go mark is London’s invitation to the world to come to the Games in the summer of 2012.

“It is a chance to look forward to the next 12 months, a crucial time for the athletes who want to take part, for us as the organisers as we test our venues and build excitement through moments such as the Torch Relay, and of course sports fans all over the world, who will be looking forward to a world class festival of sport next summer.

“The countdown to London 2012 is on, we share the nation’s excitement – and we won’t let you down.”

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