Sebastian Coe has spoken of his pride that sport has brought the Olympic dream to London ahead of today’s landmark of one year to the start of the 2012 Games.
The London 2012 chairman said preparations were “where we want them to be” but warned that much work still needed to be done.
Coe said: “It’s a big moment for us. The Olympic Park venues are part built and though a mountain of work is still needed to prepare them we have an extraordinary platform to build on. I feel pride that it’s ‘sport wot done it’. I cannot look at the Olympic Park without taking great pride that all us in sport did this.”
Coe said there was “tangible evidence” that the public were already anticipating the arrival of the Games. He added: “There were 23 million ticket applications by two million people, that’s a world record-breaking demand for any sporting event on the planet. There have been 250,000 people applying for the 70,000 volunteer places.”
Coe believes the British team are well-placed to exceed their medal haul from Beijing, but said there were special circumstances surrounding a home Games - particularly in relation to those athletes who suffer from the burden of expectation. “The real work is going to be done on those that are medal potentials, who you want to make sure are not overawed by that set of circumstances” said Coe.
“Someone will emerge out of the winter months as the golden girl and there will be more expectation mounted on these guys. What they have done this year at world and European level will be taken into consideration and the risk is that you end up with a chunk of the team with medals hanging around their necks before they have even entered the winter months’ training.