City could stage Games today, says Boris, as last venue is handed over
MAYOR Boris Johnson joked London is already so well prepared for the 2012 Games that it should “call a snap Olympics tomorrow and catch the rest of the world napping”, after a day of celebrations to mark one year until the sporting extravaganza.
The breathtaking Aquatics Centre, the last of the main venues to be completed, was officially handed over and later christened by diving star Tom Daley, who performed a ceremonial inward half-somersault pike from the pristine 10m board.
London’s medal designs (above) were revealed during an evening celebration in Trafalgar Square in which Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee, officially invited to the greatest athletes from 205 nations.
Praise for the efficiency and sophistication of London’s efforts gushed from athletes, politicians and visiting officials, but it was Johnson who delivered the most memorable speech to crowds gathered outside the National Gallery.
“The streets will be ready,” he said. “The trains will be ready; the taxis will be ready; the theatres will be ready; the buses will be ready; the hotels will be ready; the bicycles will be ready. The Olympic venues are already so ready that we might as well call a snap Olympics tomorrow and catch the rest of the world napping. And above all the people of London will be ready to welcome the world’s finest athletes to the greatest games that have ever been held in the greatest city on earth.”
Rogge echoed Johnson, albeit more succinctly, saying: “The athletes will be ready, so will London.”
Only a handful of the Aquatics Centre’s 17,500 seats were full for Daley’s dive, but he was still impressed by the venue, saying: “It’s going to be awesome next year.”
The medals were unveiled by Princess Anne and feature five symbols, one representing the Thames.