100 days to go: Is London ready for the 2012 Olympics?

By Caroline Cheese, for CNN
April 19, 2012

London (CNN) — Seven years after upsetting favorite Paris to win the right to host the 2012 Olympics, London is in the final straight of a long and often bumpy run-up to stage the sporting showpiece.

As the city marks 100 days to go until the opening ceremony on Wednesday, venues are on schedule and within budget, tickets are selling out as quickly as they become available and sponsorship revenue has exceeded expectation.

“It’s a big day for us, 100 days to go,” said Sebastian Coe, the head of the London organizing committee. “This is the moment when we really do start getting ready for celebrating and welcoming the world.”

The UK capital will become the first city to host the Olympics three times in the modern era when the flame is lit on July 27.

There is an unprecedented appetite among elite level competitors around the world to get to London
Sebastian Coe

In 1948, when London last staged the Games in the wake of World War Two, no new venues were built and athletes were put up in army camps or colleges and even asked to bring their own towels.

Although nowhere near the scale of those “Austerity Games,” London 2012 has faced its own challenges amid the global financial crisis which began after it won the bid in 2005.

Still, an organizing committee led by two-time former Olympic champion Coe remains hopeful of delivering the games within the £9.3 billion ($14.8 billion) budget — albeit a budget that more than doubled from an initial estimate of £4 billion ($6.5 billion).

The permanent venues, including the £468 million ($746 million) Olympic Stadium, the Aquatics Center and the Velodrome, are complete, and test events are already under way.

“I think the one thing I’m confident in saying is that those things that are within our control are under control,” Coe said. “And we’re in shape to deal with those things that inevitably come at you that you don’t always see.”

Adapted from: http://edition.cnn.com/2012/04/18/sport/olympics-100-days-london-2012/index.html?hpt=hp_bn2

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