London gets ready for Olympic opening

The pressure for London to present a spectacular Olympic Games is already mounting, according to a key official.

Paul Deighton, the chief executive of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games, stressed to the Daily Telegraph that the first few days of the event will be very important in setting the tone and atmosphere of London 2012.

“First impressions are really important, and the psychology of the Games starting off well is critical,” Deighton said.

“My own experience is that after the opening ceremony people tend to relax and get on with the sport.”

On July 27th, the Olympic torch will arrive in London at the Olympic Stadium as part of the opening ceremony. It is expected that the event will be attended by around 10,000 athletes, 12,000 performers, 40,000 spectators, including those benefiting from London hotel deals, and 120 heads of state. The ceremony will also be broadcast live to one billion television viewers.

There is little doubt that the logistics involved in getting that many people to the main Olympic venue are complicated. However, Transport for London commissioner Peter Hendy believes that detailed planning for the last year means they will be able to predict and cope with the influx of extra travellers on the London transport network.

Hendy explained that unlike the previous two Olympic Games, London’s venues are not situated in a central location and spectators will be travelling to venues spread out across the capital.

“This is not Sydney or Beijing, where the venues were all in a park. The majority are in the heart of the city, which is already crowded. But we are determined to get it right,” added the commissioner.

Meanwhile, the draw for the London 2012 football tournament has been made. Team GB’s men’s football time will face Senegal in the first round, while the women’s squad will play New Zealand.

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