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London: 1 year countdown to 2012 Games

07-25-2011 13:10 BJT

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The 2012 Summer Olympics are now just over 12 months away. London organizers are busy trying to make sure the city benefits from the Games after the flame is extinguished

The five rings of Olympic excellence, hanging over the platform at London’s St. Pancras Station.

The location is symbolic. This is the gateway to Europe, with passengers arriving here on the rail link to France. A bold declaration that London is the proud host of the 2012 Games.

Chairman of the London 2012 Olympic Organising Committee Sebastian Coe (pictured)
says the challenge has been to make London capable of holding 26 world championships
in different sports simultaneously over a two-week period

And brisk business at the Olympic merchandising store. Travelers and tourists keen to get their hands on a souvenir twelve months before the big event even begins. But elsewhere signs of the impending Games are hard to find.

Here at the center of Piccadilly Circus, there is nothing on the famous advertising boards. Tourists braving the cold July winds and rain, are given no hint of the Games to come. They might catch a cold, but little chance of getting a dose of Olympic fever.

A general view of the Olympic stadium in East London.

And residents have been less than enthusiastic about the serious traffic constraints for three months next summer. The Daily Telegraph recently surveyed readers and found that 92% objected to the inconvenience of the Olympics. So is there now a backlash?

Restocking and supply will have to take place between midnight and 6 am over the summer months next year.

Some restaurants fear they will have to close if they can’t get supplies, at a time when business should be booming, and other businesses fear staff and customers will be cut off.

And others in London have more direct concerns. Sev D’souza has been leading a campaign for several years to have the equestrian event moved from Greenwich Park, a World Heritage site.

The protesters say although the facility is temporary, it will do long lasting damage to this historical site.

The test arena currently being dismantled is only fifth of the size of the one for next year.

The Games are now and irreversible fact for London. And as the Olympic park takes shape, excitement is building too. The British might be a cynical lot, but that will probably only last until the torch is lit.

Editor:Zou Xian |Source: CNTV.CN

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