IOC's London visit will be bathed in goodwill

The IOC has praised London 2012 for the regeneration in east London Photo: Reuters

If your default position is one of lukewarm interest in the London Olympics, if you consider it an outrageous waste of billions of British pounds at a time when the country can least afford it or if your instinct is to run for cover when Lords Coe or Moynihan address a television camera, then today I suggest you lock yourself in a cupboard and do not come out.

Because the International Olympic Committee is making its final visit to the capital ahead of the Games and until Friday, when the delegation leaves, London will reverberate to the sound of collective back slapping.

The IOC will visit London for the last time before the Games start this summer Credit: REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

That is because the London experience is so far removed from say, the Athens’ Games eight years ago, when with three months to go the roof was still not on the main stadium.

Nor has it been plagued with any of the last minute nightmares Delhi encountered approaching the Commonwealth Games.

In fact, if you park the lingering accusations of corruption, Delhi actually put on a pretty good show, except in one, vital area – ticket sales. Most venues were practically empty.

Cyclists ride past empty seats during the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi Credit: REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

I remember Seb Coe telling me there and then, he would ensure that would not happen in London and he has been as good as his word.

Yes there have rightly been criticisms over the process, that it has been less than transparent and remains so, but the fact stands the majority of seats are already accounted for.

The cost of the opening and closing ceremonies have come under scrutiny too. An extra £40 million, on an already generous budget, does not sit well as the rest of us are constantly being told to live within our means and in many cases are failing to do so.

And then of course, which ever way you dress it up, the miscalculation of the cost of security for the Games was bordering on incompetent.

A Royal Marines helicopter hovers over the River Thames during a training exercise for London 2012 security Credit: REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

But then when it comes to safety issues, few will argue that it is not money well spent, however steep the bill.

No, if you are looking to land a knockout blow then you will need more than the above which, collectively, inflict no more damage than an irritating scratch. Painful for a few hours and then barely noticeable.

Today there might be tricky questions about Syria and which of its delegates will be welcome (or not) at the opening ceremony and I suspect the IOC will go through the motions of seeking reassurances on transport provisions, potentially an achilles heel for London.

Transport could be London's achilles heel Credit: REUTERS/Kieran Doherty

It might also be a touch embarrassing given legacy played such a major part in the British bid that, with barely 100 days to go, we are still no closer to knowing who will call the Stadium home once the games are done.

But these concerns apart, the visit will be free from controversy and bathed in goodwill.

In fact we will be told today by Jacques Rogge, the IOC chairman, that London 2012 is a "legacy blueprint" for future Games, citing among other things the "remarkable regeneration of east London".

The Olympic Velodrome in east London

But legacy means so much more than regeneration - it is about a lasting impact way beyond award winning designs constructed by British workers.

More than anything it is about stirring the soul of sport and influencing a generation of school children.

It is impossible to predict right now whether that will happen or not, and by the time we will be able to assess it, those who are taking centre stage over the next three days, will be deep into their next projects.

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