National Portrait Gallery to hold London 2012 photography exhibition

Specially commissioned photographs of some of Britain's London 2012 Olympic Games medal hopefuls are to feature as part of a new exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

With visitors from the UK and around the world flocking to central London hotels this summer to be in the capital during the Olympics, the Games are set to be one of the biggest events in London's history and the National Portrait Gallery is celebrating the occasion through a three-part exhibition entitled Road to 2012.

The project has already seen two exhibitions held, one in 2010 and one in 2011, showcasing portraits charting London's preparation for the Olympics.

In July, the gallery will open the third and final exhibition of the series, called Road to 2012: Aiming High, which will focus on some of the athletes hoping to achieve Olympic glory in London this summer, as well as the coaches and support staff who will help them on their journey.

Sandy Nairne, director of the National Portrait Gallery, described Road to 2012 as "an essential element of the Olympic and Paralympic Games".

"It celebrates exceptional British sportspeople, and some of the crucial figures working behind the scenes – whether they be coaches and managers or soil engineers, architects or the producers of the key ceremonies," she said.

"It features outstanding photographic portraits that convey the determination, skill and mental prowess of those working at the highest level of international sport."

The gallery has released new portraits of gymnast Beth Tweddle, talented young sprinter Jodie Williams and Jan Matthews, who is responsible for the world's largest peacetime catering operation, which aims to serve 14 million meals over seventy-seven days.

Renowned photographers Anderson & Low, Nadav Kander and Jillian Edelstein were commissioned to take the portraits.

The exhibition runs from July 19th to September 23rd.

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