IOC 'happy' with 2012 preparations

28 March 2012 / 13:45

London will deliver "the greatest show on Earth" at this summer's Olympics and Paralympics, Prime Minister David Cameron promised as he welcomed inspectors from the International Olympics Committee (IOC) on their final inspection visit before the Games begin.

He also won a positive response from the committee's president Jacques Rogge, who said after viewing the level of London's preparedness: "We are happy at the IOC."

Speaking alongside Rogge at 10 Downing Street, Cameron said that the London Games would provide a lasting legacy to improve Britain's sport, health, culture and economy.

Promising "great sport, great culture, great business and great legacy for Britain", Cameron hailed the efforts to encourage young people to get involved in sporting events including the School Games, saying: "The Olympics will revitalise local sport in Britain for generations to come."

He highlighted successes in finding uses for arenas following the conclusion of the two-week Games, telling Rogge: "I think it is time to tear up any notion of the Olympics leaving behind white elephants."

Rogge was also meeting 2000 Olympic heptathlon champion Denise Lewis, former Olympic sprinters Darren Campbell and Jason Gardener, plus double Paralympic swimming gold medallist Ellie Simmonds, who are the newly named ambassadors for the Sainsbury's School Games.

Up to 1,600 schoolchildren are competing in this multi-sport competition, which includes disability contests, with the finals taking place at the Olympic Park in May.

Cameron said the schools competition was an important part of a legacy effort which had also seen the Olympic Delivery Authority ensure that contracts to supply the London games went to companies from all parts of the UK.

"British companies - not just in England, but Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland - have done extremely well out of these contracts and quite rightly too, and I pay credit to the ODA for the work they have done," said the PM. "But that is only one part of the legacy. There are other items of legacy that are harder to touch but equally important.

"The legacy of encouraging volunteering - 70,000 volunteers trying to create an atmosphere where people want to come forward and volunteer. That's an important legacy. The legacy of sports in schools, where we have got half the country's schools taking part in a schools Olympics."