COE: LONDON 2012 WILL BE BEST-LOVED GAMES EVER

LORD COE, chairman of London 2012’s organising committee Locog, insists next summer’s Games is on track to be the best-loved Olympics of all time.

With today marking exactly one year until the opening ceremony, Coe has delivered an overwhelmingly upbeat assessment of his team’s progress.

He cites the 23m applications for tickets made by two million people as evidence of record levels of enthusiasm, which he says is supported by Locog surveys.

“If you look at our research, which has been consistent and steady over six years, I’m incredibly pleased with where we are,” he said.

“What I know is that we have got higher levels of support than any city has ever recorded with one year out.”

Today will see a burst of activity to mark the milestone, with medal designs being unveiled at Trafalgar Square, where Mayor Boris Johnson will host an evening of celebration.

With construction on most venues complete and test events about to begin, Coe is satisfied with the smooth progress made so far.

“If you’d said to me six years ago that on the eve of one year to go you would be this far down the road of the project in construction, venue management, the funds we’ve raised, stakeholder relationships and cross-party political support that has held firm come what may, yes I would have taken that,” he added.

With the focus shifting increasingly from preparations to the athletes themselves, Coe has warned that care will have to be taken to help Britain’s medal hopefuls cope with the immense burden of expectation.

“The real assessment that has to be made in a team is: who is going to flourish in that environment and probably exceed expectation, and who are your potential medallists who risk being engulfed by this?”