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36OLYMPIC REVIEWBelowDenisOswald, picturedalongside SebCoe in the earlystages of theconstruction ofthe OlympicstadiumRightThe beachvolleyball venueat Horse GuardsParade is sure tobe one of themost iconicGames venuesLondon 2012OVERVIEWgive a bold identity to the Games -a quality alsoreflected in the London 2012 logo. Dynamic, bold andflexible, it is already known the world over. As at previous Games, unique pictograms will be used around the Olympic sites to help people find their way. The designs were developed inconsultation with each International Sport Federation,and are vibrant and accurate depictions of eachsporting discipline. The London 2012 brand will be used across awide range of official merchandise, providing anotherimportant revenue stream. In April last year, London 2012 launched its officialonline shop, stocked initially with 250 product lines,including clothing, collectables and pin badges. Theshop will eventually be selling thousands of London2012 products and will be backed by on-site outletsduring the Games. As preparations enter the final lap, excitement isbuilding in London. The grip of the Olympic Games,boosted by meticulous preparations, is beginning totake hold."We are where we should be, and we areextremely proud of the progress we have made overthe last six years," says Coe. "At this key milestone, we want to tell and show everyone that we are getting ready to welcome the world to London in one year."?How would you assess London's preparations to date?When London was elected as the host city for theGames back in 2005, they got to work straight away andlaid very solid foundations for the coming seven years ofpreparations. Since then, they have been unrelenting intheir pursuit of excellence and I have been veryimpressed by the quality of their work. They are onschedule to host outstanding Olympic Games next year.What is so special about London as an Olympic host city?As an Olympic host city, I believe that London is specialin many ways, but there are two areas in particular thatstand out. Firstly, there is its sporting history. Londonhas already hosted the Games twice and is the capitalof the nation that codified many of today's Olympicsports. If Athens 2004 was the Games' home-coming,London 2012 sees sport coming home. Secondly, itsmulticulturalism - no matter where an athlete comesfrom, in 2012 they will have a compatriot living inLondon who will be rooting for them during the Games.This will make for a fantastic atmosphere in thestadiums and around the city, as knowledgeable fansfrom across the planet celebrate together. What are the biggest challenges the organisers face?I would say that London 2012 is in a very good positionas it enters the final sprint. Obviously, they are nowreally getting into the minute details of their operationsand bringing all of those little points together at theright time. An on-going challenge for the Games istransport, as you cannot test for the stress that yourtransport system will be put under by the arrival of the thousands of people that attend the Games, butLondon is doing some excellent work in this area and I'm sure they'll do a good job.What events are you particularly looking forward to following at the Games?Well, clearly as President of the International RowingFederation, I'm looking forward to seeing the world'sbest rowers compete at Eton Dorney! However, if I look beyond my own sport, I would say that theOpening Ceremony is always a big highlight for me. It is the culmination of seven years of hard work finally coming to fruition and it's always a greatspectacle - I'm sure that London will be no different.In a sporting sense, I'm really looking forward toseeing some of the events in the Olympic Park,bringing this fantastic example of urban regenerationto life, and to seeing the events that will take place in front of some of London's historic landmarks.How do you assess the facilities that will beavailable to the athletes?The facilities for the athletes are outstanding. The Olympic Village is of the highest quality and willprovide many of the athletes with accommodation onthe doorstep of the venues where they will becompeting. The venues are also of the higheststandard and will provide the athletes with a fantasticcanvas on which to create the memories that will godown in Olympic history. What reaction are you getting from Londoners asthey look forward to the Games?Very positive. During our last visit with the CoordinationCommission, I joined Seb Coe on a visit to TowerHamlets, one of the host boroughs for the Games, andthe reaction from the people was tremendous. You canreally feel the passion for the Games and theexpectation that has been building up over the past fewyears. These Games will change the face of eastLondon forever and leave some great legacies to thecity and country. I think people are very proud of whatthey have been able to achieve and will welcome theworld with open arms next year.DENIS OSWALD Q&A'LONDON 2012 SEESSPORT COMINGHOME'SAYS DENIS OSWALD, CHAIRMAN OF THE IOC'S COORDINATION COMMISSION FOR LONDON 2012"WE ARE EXTREMELY PROUD OFTHE PROGRESS WE HAVE MADEOVER THE LAST SIX YEARS. WEARE GETTING READY TO WELCOME THE WORLD TOLONDON IN ONE YEAR'S TIME." -SEB COE, LOCOG CHAIRMAN