Mayor gives the Olympic Park a final inspection

12 July 2012

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson today declared the Olympic Park "Ready to receive the world". The Mayor took a final tour of the Park as finishing touches are made to the world-class sporting venues and landscaped parklands, ahead of the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony in just two weeks’ time.

The Mayor gave the Olympic Park his seal of approval during a tour with LOCOG’s Director of Venues and Infrastructure James Bulley. He also visited the top-class facilities at the Athletes Village as team officials began moving in, ahead of the athletes’ arrival themselves on Monday 16th July.

Each of the eight major sports venues at the Park has been completed on time and to budget. The spectacular Stadium is being prepared to be in the global spotlight for the Opening Ceremony, the iconic Aquatics centre was finished with one year to go to the Games, and extensive testing has now been carried out on all the venues to ensure the smooth running of the world’s biggest festival of sport.

The beautiful new parklands, complete with viewing areas where spectators will be able to watch live action on big screens, and the reclaimed waterways running through the Park will be enjoyed by visitors during the Games as well as by Londoners for generations to come. Along with the fantastic new venues and sports facilities that will stage major events in the coming years and the spectacular attraction of the ArcelorMittal Orbit, this long neglected part of London is ready to take its moment in the global spotlight.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “We are close to the finishing line in our preparations for what promises to be one of the most exciting events in London’s long history. After years of construction, millions of hours of labour and the hard work and superb project management of LOCOG and ODA teams, there is no doubt that the Olympic Park is ready to receive the world. Not only is the Park a towering achievement of design and planning, it is the pinnacle of the lasting legacy the 2012 Games will create for the capital, generating new communities, driving tourism and boosting the economy.”

LOCOG Chair, Seb Coe, said: “With 15 days to go until the Opening Ceremony we’re putting the final touches in place and are looking forward to welcoming the world to London 2012. Teams have begun arriving at the Olympic Village this week and athletes will arrive on Monday. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who’s been involved.”

Notes to editors

1. London 2012 has been the catalyst for transforming 2.5 square kilometres of land in east London. What was once industrial land has been rapidly transformed over the last few years into green space that both visitors to the Games and local residents can enjoy.

As well as being home to eight venues the Olympic Park will host a range of exciting attractions and events during the Games.

2. The Olympic Village has residential apartments for around 17,000 athletes and officials during the Games, along with shops, restaurants, medical, media and leisure facilities, and large areas of open space.

There are 11 residential plots, each made up of five to seven blocks built around communal squares and courtyards, with water features accentuating the closeness of the River Lea.

3. The Olympic Village will be a lasting legacy of essential new housing for east London. It will be transformed into 2,818 new homes, including 1,379 affordable homes and houses for sale and rent, and will create a new residential quarter to be known as East Village. The communities that develop in the area after the Games will be supported by new parklands, open space, new transport links and community facilities. These will include Chobham Academy – a world-class new education campus with 1,800 places for students aged 3–19 – and a new health centre, which will provide medical facilities to existing local communities and the residents of the Village after 2012. The accommodation will range from one bedroom apartments up to four- and five-bedroom townhouses. Temporary partitions needed during the Games will be removed to form the final living spaces and bedrooms. Kitchens will be installed, along with new carpets or timber floors.

4. The Mayor of London is supporting a huge programme of free events and cultural activities to add to the excitement of 2012. Working with outstanding international artists and world-class cultural organisations this unprecedented Mayor of London Presents programme is taking place in every corner of the capital to add to and complement the London 2012 Festival. It includes Secrets: Hidden London, with artists and performers transforming hidden and lesser known locations; Showtime, the largest outdoor arts festival ever seen in the capital, with dozens of electrifying artists from the UK and abroad coming to every borough, in high streets, parks and town centres; BT London Live, bringing live action from the Games, as well as sporting activities and entertainment to Hyde Park, Victoria Park and Trafalgar Square; and Surprises bringing pop-up performances and once in a lifetime experiences to locations familiar and unusual, above your heads and atop landmark buildings. To be the first to know about what's happening in this Summer Like No Other, sign up or follow us at www.molpresents.com / www.facebook.com/mayoroflondonpresents / www.twitter.com/molpresents

5. A ground-breaking ceremony was held on November 4, on the Olympic Park, to mark the start of construction work on the ArcelorMittal Orbit. The sculpture was designed by award winning artist Anish Kapoor in collaboration with one of the world’s leading structural designers, Cecil Balmond. The ArcelorMittal Orbit, which is Britain’s tallest sculpture, consists of a continuous looping lattice of tubular steel and standing at a gigantic 114m.The work is considered to be at the cutting edge of architecture and engineering.