1. ITV Report

London 2012 Olympics: 100 day countdown begins

Guardsmen from the Grenadier, Coldstream, Scots and Welsh Guards mark 100 days to go at Horse Guards Parade Photo: Getty Images

After years of planning and preparation, there are just 100 days to go until the London 2012 Games begin.

Organisers say they are ready to welcome the world and a series of events has been planned to highlight today's landmark as the countdown to the Games begins in earnest.

We are absolutely where we want to be with 100 days to go - we are ready to welcome the world to London. Millions of people around the UK are getting ready to celebrate the biggest event in sport. Eight million of the 11 million tickets have been sold to people in Britain and we are sure that Brits will get hold of a chunk of the other three million too.

– Paul Deighton, London 2012 Chief Executive

Many of the test events have already been held at the venues, but a big one comes on the first weekend of May with a cluster of events in the Olympic Park where 80,000 people are expected to attend, including 50,000 spectators in the Olympic Stadium to watch the London Disability Athletics Challenge.

Speaking to ITV News Ian Crockford the Project Sponsor at Olympic Delivery Authority dismissed suggestions that the Olympic Park still looked more like a building site.

Today's 100 day countdown is being marked across the world.

From Riga to Rangoon and Kingston to Kuala Lumpar, British diplomats are joining Olympic and Paralympic athletes today to mark 100 days to go until the London 2012 Olympic Games. Among today's main events:

  • In Miami one hundred people on one hundred bikes will take part in an Olympic themed community ride on South Beach.
  • In Istanbul six Turkish Olympians will take part in a 100 metre race in Istanbuls Taksim Square
  • In Caracas athletes from the Venezuelan Olympic and Paralympic team will race children from schools in underprivileged neighbourhoods
  • In Wellington there will be a 100 metre race from the New Zealand Parliament to the High Commission

I'm delighted that British Embassies around the world have come together to mark 100 days to go to the Opening Ceremony of the greatest show on earth, the London 2012 Olympic Games. I am extremely proud that by working with British businesses and using British engineering, design, creativity and ingenuity we have completed the Olympic venues on time and within budget. The Olympic Park is a testament to British excellence, using architectural vision, cutting edge materials, and manufacturing expertise.

– JEREMY BROWNE MP, FOREIGN OFFICE MINISTER FOR THE OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC GAMES

UK Sport says it is also pumping a further £750,000 into Team GB's final Olympic preparations to try to boost hopes of a medal.

The money is around £1,000 per athlete allows for further training camps, additional coaches and extra equipment as the Games draw closer.

A London 2012 Olympic Games gold medal, designed by British artist David Watkin Credit: Reuters

Labour says the success of the Olympics will not just be judged by the main event this Summer.

The success of our Olympics will be judged by the visible legacy: in the new homes, world class sporting venues and new transport infrastructure in the East of London... A national legacy of memory and achievement - thats a job for each and every one of us. There continues to be concern, however, about the second legacy promise to the IOC - to inspire a generation of young people though sport. It remains to be seen whether the Tory-led Governments cuts to school sport will have a detrimental and long-term impact on young peoples participation in physical exercise.

– TESSA JOWELL MP, SHADOW OLYMPICS MINISTER

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