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Bennett Long
Bennett Long

London 2012 Extra Quality

"Few could have envisaged how successful the London 2012 Games would turn out to be. The construction programme was completed on time and within budget, 11 million tickets were sold and our athletes excelled. Crucially, the Games passed off without major transport disruption or security incident.

London 2012

The IOC began its re-analysis efforts as an extension of the Olympic anti-doping program with samples collected during the Athens 2004 Games, followed by those from Torino 2006, Beijing 2008 and Vancouver 2010. It began the same procedure for the London 2012 samples prior to the Olympic Games Rio 2016, in the context of the investigations into systemic doping in Russian sport. In 2018, following the establishment of the ITA, all re-analysis programs were handed over to the new expert body for independent handling, along with the rest of the Olympic anti-doping activities.

LONDON, May 13, 2012 - "Sport is music in the way that it has so many different natural rhythms... when I was recording the athletes I wasn't really thinking of them in terms of athletes performing a sport, I was thinking of them as people in an orchestra." Mark Ronson

To answer that question, SportsPro takes a closer look at what has happened to the major London 2012 Olympic venues in the time since the Games, what elite events have been hosted at them since, and what impact they are having on grassroots participation today.

The centrepiece of London 2012, the Olympic Stadium is now best known as the home of Premier League soccer club West Ham United. It would prove to be a protracted, controversial saga that eventually led to the East Londoners becoming tenants in 2016.

The fourth biggest stadium in the Olympic Park, the Basketball Arena from London 2012 remains the largest temporary venue to be used for an Olympic Games. Despite being dismantled in the aftermath, the 12,000-seater was held up as somewhat of an example at a time when huge, costly venues were being abandoned by organisers soon after being part of a major event.

Also operated by the Better company, the Lee Valley White Water Centre was both the first new venue to open to the public before London 2012 and the first to reopen its doors just six weeks after the Games had finished, offering activities such as white water rafting, canoeing and kayaking.

One of six temporary venues to be used during the Games, the Riverbank Arena was scaled down after London 2012 and moved to Eton Manor, which hosted the wheelchair tennis during the Paralympics and is now a sports and leisure venue known as Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.

A programme that saw more than two-thirds of 5,000 urine and blood samples taken at London 2012 re-analysed to test for banned performance-enhancing drugs, leading to an Olympic record number of disqualifications, has sent a clear message that athletes who have cheated can never rest comfortably, it has been claimed.

According to Bill Mallon, the editor of Olympedia, a total of 139 athletes have so far been banned or disqualified from doping at London 2012, 65 of them caught in the re-analysis programme with only nine failing during the Games.

The International Testing Agency, who have been conducting the programme on behalf of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), confirmed in June that they had completed the re-analysis of the London 2012 samples.

The hosting of sporting mega-events usually comes with a large price tag. The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games cost the UK approximately 9.3 billion, greatly exceeding the forecast in the bid document of 4 billion. Politicians tend to argue that these hefty costs are partly justified by the population-level legacy that sporting mega-events create, promoting sport and physical activity participation.

Our preliminary analysis of the Beijing data suggests that there is a statistically significant increase in the self-reported level of sport and physical activity participation from prior to Beijing 2008 to present. While such evidence is encouraging to see, without further analysing the real underlying factors that caused this change, it is too soon to conclude that the Olympics had a long-term positive impact on China. Our data collection and analysis of London 2012 will undoubtably make a valuable contribution to understanding this topic.

The Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 provides assurance to the Olympic Board and the public on how the bodies delivering the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and legacy are meeting their sustainability commitments

There were nine cities bidding to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games, with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) shortlisting five of them; London, New York, Paris, Madrid, and Moscow. If successful, London would be the first city to host the modern Olympics three times, having hosted them in 1908 and 1948. Paris was by far the closest competitor, having won top votes in the application phase along with Madrid. Sebastian Coe, who was selected as the head of London 2012 on 19th May 2004, was instrumental in helping the team close the gap with Paris, and by the time of the final vote, it was too close to call between the two cities.

The final vote was held at the 117th IOC session, hosted in Singapore from 2-9 July 2005, with the vote and results being announced on 6th July. Before the private ballot was held, each of the five remaining cities were allowed a 45-minute speech to argue their case. The London presentation was opened by Princess Anne who read out a message from the Queen and included a recorded speech from the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, in both English and French, before Sebastian Coe addressed the audience. He gave an inspirational speech about how the Olympic Games, wherever they are held, should always remain as an inspiration to future generations. Thirty schoolchildren, aged 12-18 had been flown to Singapore with the London 2012 delegates, Lord Coe explained their presence by saying.

The UK is the birthplace of the Paralympic Movement, having first hosted the Stoke Mandeville Games in 1948, which formed the basis for the modern Paralympics. The event was organised by Dr Ludwig Guttman, who believed that sport was vital for the rehabilitation of injured and disabled people, especially as there had been an increased number in disabled men after the Second World War. As a result, the build up to the 2012 Games repeatedly emphasised the fact the Games were returning to their spiritual birthplace.

The history of the Paralympics being linked to the UK was one of many factors which led the organisers to believe that the 2012 Games would be the biggest ever, in terms of spectators and mass appeal. Spurred on by the success of Team GB in the Olympics, many Britons anticipated the Paralympics with the same hopes for success. This would prove true, as, even before the Olympics had ended, a record 2.3 million tickets had been sold for the Paralympics, with pricing being described as offering good value to encourage more spectators. The anticipation of the Games had further benefits, as Sports Minister Hugh Robertson announced that funding for ParalympicsGB for the Rio 2016 Paralympics had been secured even before the London 2012 Games had started.

A study in 2014 found that more than two thirds of people believed attitudes towards disabled people had improved since the 2012 Games. The survey of nearly 10,000 people, was held to mark the two year anniversary of the Games and measure their impact, as well as to coincide with the first anniversary of the Disability Confident Campaign, launched by Prime Minister David Cameron, with the intention of breaking down barriers for disabled people seeking employment. Channel 4 also ran its own survey of 2,000 people, which found that 91% of people who watched the Games agreed that Paralympians are just as talented as Olympians and almost 79% also agreed that the Paralympics were just as good as the Olympics.

Only a month after London won the 2012 bid, members of the Paris 2012 Organising Committee argued that the London 2012 delegation had violated IOC rules. One violation, they argued, was when Prime Minister Tony Blair spoke in 2003 at a summit in Nigeria, where he mentioned the upcoming London 2012 bid. The argument from the Paris 2012 delegates implied that through his speech, Blair had lobbied Commonwealth Countries to support the London bid. This was further supported by Blairs speech, in which he mentioned the London bid, comparing it to the 2002 Commonwealth Games, held in Manchester. The IOC themselves had previously written to British Officials for an explanation, as the use of any international promotion before the final candidature phase is strictly forbidden.

For the first time, the Paralympics and Olympics shared the same design. Designed by Wolff Ollins, it was a representation of the number 2012, with a jagged design meant to appeal to younger audiences. The Paralympics had its own distinct colour scheme, said to have been inspired by media, communications and fashion, it also incorporated the Paralympic symbol.

The Opening Ceremony was held on the 29th August 2012 at the Olympic Stadium in London, in front of 62,000 spectators, as well as being streamed free online on the Paralympic Games official YouTube channel and was watched by approximately 11 million people in the UK.

Drawing on the insights of 58 Games insiders including Lord Coe, Dame Tessa Jowell, Lord Deighton and Sir John Armitt, this report tells the story of London 2012. It examines the key factors that made the Games successful, and urges government to learn twelve lessons from the success of London 2012 that could help improve future government major projects.

If inspiring a generation meant increasing sports participation among young people, then the evidence for this is, at best, inconclusive. At worse, it suggests spectacular failure. A review of the evidence of a demonstration effect of hosting the London 2012 Olympic Games concluded 041b061a72


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