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London 2012 - An Opportunity to Inspire

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Today, as we mark 134 days to go until the start of the London 2012 Games, it's a chance for us to reflect on the work we've done since we won the bid.

With just 19 weeks until the games start, we are where we should be in terms of preparations and we are extremely proud of the progress we have made over the last six years. Construction of venues on the Olympic Park is pretty much complete and we are working to turn them into competition venues, we are continuing to build a high quality team to deliver the games, our volunteers are coming onboard and we're continuing to test our venues.

However, we still do have a lot of work to do and whilst we're confident, in no way are we complacent. 27 July is the mother of all immoveable deadlines and we are conscious of everything we need to deliver over the next few months.

Amongst many things, we still need to deliver 12 test events, finalise all the venues, hold the Olympic Torch Relay, build temporary venues and continue recruiting and training our games time workforce.
Every time I go round the Olympic Park, I imagine it filled with athletes, spectators and media, all wandering the park and the venues together. People from different backgrounds, communities and cultures, coming together on this world stage.

Today we also took some media round the Olympic and Paralympic Village, to show them the flats which athletes will be living in during the Games.

It's incredible to think that in just a few months' time we will have athletes from around the world living in these flats and wandering the corridors, before heading to their venue to deliver the performance of a lifetime. Thanks the diversity of London and the fact that we have over 300 communities in our city, most athletes will get to compete in front of a home crowd - I think the atmosphere in the venues will be electrifying!

We're also busy at the moment training all our volunteers, or 'Games Makers' as we call them.

They've had their orientation training and we're currently giving them role-specific training, where they get to find out more about the roles they'll be doing at games time and meet some of the teams they'll be working with.

I've been lucky enough to spend time with some of our volunteers and they are amongst the most inspirational, dedicated and enthusiastic people you'll ever meet. I know they'll do us all proud at games time. The games simply couldn't happen without them, so we are all grateful for their support.

But today is also an opportunity for us to think about what London and the rest of the UK will be like this summer.

With London being probably the most international city on earth and the Olympic and Paralympic Games being the world's greatest sporting events, we have such a huge opportunity this summer and I know that we will all embrace it and make the most of it.

As we reach the final home straight, we are getting ready to stage a fantastic games. This is the largest project delivered in the UK in peace-time, and we are going to show the world what we, as a nation, and as London, can deliver.

Everyone from athletes, coaches, media and organisers have been working towards this date for many years and we can't wait to welcome people from around the world this summer and show them what London and the rest of the UK have to offer.

Over the next four months, we will be working flat out to deliver a games everyone can be proud of. Whether as an athlete, spectator, visitor, Torchbearer or Games Maker, we want everyone to feel they can play their part in making the London 2012 Games a success. It's fantastic to see how many people in the UK and around the world are inspired by, benefiting from and delivering London 2012 and we look forward to having many more join the journey over the next few months.

The London 2012 Games are a real once-in-a-generation opportunity. I'd encourage everyone to join the team and make the most of these games. I would also like to take this chance to thank all those who are already taking part.

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