Olympics: 100 days to go

London 2012 organisers say preparations are going to plan and they're ready to welcome the world in exactly 100 days' time.

Latest ITV News reports

Lord Coe defends cost of hosting Olympic Games

London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe has defended the public expenditure on the Olympics after 64 per cent of respondents to a BBC poll said taxpayers had paid too much towards the Games.

Lord Coe also said the Olympics have created jobs and investment at a crucial time in the economy.

He said he was not surprised by the poll results but pointed out that the Games had meant that between £6 billion and £7 billion had gone into the British construction industry, 42,000 people having worked directly or indirectly on the Olympic Park.

I'm not particularly surprised [at the poll] it's understandable given the world we live in - domestically and internationally people are focused on value for money.

But in the lead-up to the Games and in the long haul of the legacy of the Games I'm confident we will be able to demonstrate far and away that this was a project that - I'm still gratified that well over half the population believe it - this is value for money and there are tangible benefits in their communities.

– LONDON 2012 CHAIRMAN SEBASTIAN COE

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Syria's Olympic chief could be refused entry

Syria's Olympic chief could be prevented from entering the UK to attend the London 2012 Games.

General Mowaffak Joumaa, president of the Syrian Olympic committee could be refused entry, despite not being on the list of Syrian officials banned from travelling in Europe.

Joumaa is a close aide of President Assad.

The European Union imposed a travel ban on various members of the Syrian regime following the violent crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

Olympics minister Hugh Robertson said:

The Syrian regime is now on the EU list but there is then a second level down, where anyone who applies for a visa for the Games who comes from a country where there might be questions raised goes in front of a committee where those cases are individually looked at.

Any that are contentious come to ministers to sign off and we have the power to refuse anybody a visa.

– Olympics minister Hugh Robertson

Olympic oak trees planted

Lord Coe plants an oak tree to celebrate the UK's role in the birth of the modern Olympic movement.
Lord Coe plants an oak tree to celebrate the UK's role in the birth of the modern Olympic movement. Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

To celebrate the UK's role in the birth of the modern Olympic movement, 40 'Coubertin Oaks' oak trees are being planted across the UK.

The trees have been grown from acorns taken from an oak planted in 1890 during the visit of Pierre de Coubertin; the man considered the 'father' of the Olympic Games.

Seb Coe planted the first tree this morning in Kew Gardens.

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Interested in the Olympics?

YouGov has surveyed Londoners and the British public to see how they feel about the Olympic games.

  • 48% of Londoners say that they are interested in the Games, while 49% say they aren't
  • 45% of British people generally say that they are interested; 53% say they aren't
  • 49% of British people think that London was right to bid for the games; but 40% say that the capital should not have

Kew Gardens Olympic rings unveiled

The Olympic rings
The rings will be in full flower for the summer games, starting in 100 days. Credit: Getty Images / London 2012

Flower displays of the Olympics rings have been unveiled in Kew Gardens to celebrate the 100 day countdown to the London 2012 games.

The Olympic rings are fifty metres long and contain 20,000 plants.

The flowers were planted five days ago by a team of volunteers and will be in full flower for the summer. The display will be visible from the Heathrow flight path.

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