London 2012: Mayor Says British Capital Making 'Final Preparations' for Olympics
LONDON - One month ahead of the start of the London 2012 Summer Olympics, the British capital and its mayor Boris Johnson on Wednesday signaled their readiness for the masses of athletes, media and tourists expected to descend on the city.
Johnson said the city is in the process of making final preparations for the big sports and TV event. Organizers have said they expect 10,500 athletes, 21,000 media folks and 8.8 million ticket holders to come to London, which previously hosted the Games in 1908 and 1948, for the Olympics. They recently said the preparations for the Summer Olympics and following Paralympics are "on time and under budget."
On Wednesday, Johnson and former Olympic runner Sebastian Coe, who serves as chairman of Olympics organizing committee LOCOG, attended the unveiling of big Olympic Rings on one of London's landmarks, Tower Bridge.
"Olympic Rings on Tower Bridge to mark one month to go until the Games," the mayor's Twitter account said and included a photo of the newly adorned popular sightseeing destination.
According to the mayor's office, the rings, whose production and installation cost £312,817 ($487,000), weigh more than three tons and are 25 meters by 11.5 meters in size. An energy efficient lighting system supported by General Electric and energy firm EDF will provide a light show on the bridge Wednesday night and ensure evening lighting beyond that.
Over the past year, other landmarks, including St. Pancras station and Heathrow Airport have been adorned with Olympic Rings.
It is all part of a program that includes free events and shows and is designed to showcase London to the world.
“Glorious Tower Bridge is recognized the world over and, adorned with the famous Olympic Rings, is the perfect choice to showcase what London has to offer this summer," Johnson said. "With just a month to go, we are making our final preparations and want to ensure each and every person in the capital gets a flavor of the celebrations and feels part of the Games."
Said Coe: “With one month to go to the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony these spectacular Rings on one of London’s most famous landmarks will excite and inspire residents and visitors in the capital.”