Part Three London 2012: Countdown to the Olympics


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Part Three

Sophie Raworth presents live coverage from East London ahead of the Olympic opening ceremony.


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Good evening, welcome to this BBC News special from inside the

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Olympic Park. It has been seven years in the making it, but after

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the preparations, the hype, and a few problems, the opening ceremony,

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the official start of the 2012 Olympics, is about to get under way.

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We will print you did build up for a night to remember. Our

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correspondents are out and about to bring to the latest on the

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countdown. David Bond is inside the Olympic Stadium.

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Yes, we cannot show you the field of play, but I can tell you there

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are lots and lots of workers scurrying away, putting the

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finishing touches to a ceremony which will be under way in less

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than four hours. Shane Hill is at Tower Bridge,

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where the Olympic flame arrived at lunchtime -- Jane Hill. It is being

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kept safely until tonight. Yes, we do not know the details,

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but we have been told it will be leaving here from Tower Bridge

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later, in spectacular style. Jon Sopel is out in the Olympic

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Park, where the crowds are gathering.

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I have never seen such an atmosphere, people whooping and

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hollering as they came through the gates. A fantastic scene, thousands

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of people coming in, the look at it -- be lucky ticket-holders.

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Let's begin with the Olympic flame, it has travelled almost 8000 miles,

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just a handful more to go. It has been carried by it almost 8000

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Torch bearers since it set off 70 days ago from Land's End. It has

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just five miles left to travel before it reaches the Olympic

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Stadium. Who the last torch-bearer will be, we still do not know, but

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it has been a magical journey as it set off by boat on a journey of

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almost 24 miles, from Hampton Court to Tower Bridge.

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Hampton Court Palace, by the Thames, one final day for the torch relay.

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The last stages of an 8000 mile journey, winding through the famous

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maze, and, at times, only just visible above the hedges. Then,

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from land, on to the porter, it was carried down to the river by

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Matthew Pinsent. Aboard Gloriana. Built for the Jubilee Pageant,

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today, they ringed the Olympic flame in a cauldron. Gloriana made

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her way downstream, among to the Rovers, more past medal-winners,

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and then to Tower Bridge, and City Hall, where it was welcomed by the

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flame -- by the Mayor of London. This is London's moment. Perhaps it

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will not come again in our lifetimes. But we will have the

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feeling that for the rest of our lives. We will always remember we

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were here on July 27th, 2012, when the Olympic flame came to City Hall.

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Earlier in the day, bells chimed up and down the country, run for three

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minutes as part of a piece of conceptual art. It was so amazing,

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it is so good to be part of something this big, we are really

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privileged. It was very tiring, they are quite heavy! There could

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be teething problems during the Games,... I cannot say they will

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not be hitches, because it is one of the biggest things you can do,

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26 major sports tournaments at the same time. And then this. Goodness

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me, are you all right?! It was a narrow miss. Health and safety!

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Disaster averted! You got a bit more TV than you were expecting!

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the last few hours County Down, the sense of anticipation is building

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it, from those taking part, like these dancers... It is going to be

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awesome. It is fantastic. It is such a buzz, everybody will love it.

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It is so exciting. I am so excited, it is an opportunity, it is a blast.

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And also, for those that have come to watch. We are ready for the

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opening ceremony. If it will be awesome. Just a few hours to go, it

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will be awesome. We are really glad to be here. The stage is set, the

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audience is arriving, and then all eyes will be on the athletes.

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I came into the park with a lot of the people who will be performing.

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They were so excited about their chance to finally appear, they have

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been rehearsing for three months, every weekend. You might be able to

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see the bridge behind me, the public have just started streaming

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in. They were allowed in from 5:00pm, and they are heading

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towards the stadium. David Bond is trackside.

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Yes, in a few hours, the ceremony will be under way. It is the big

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moment, the first opportunity for London and Britain to send a

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message to the world about the sort of Olympic Games it wants to host.

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Lots of details have leaked in the last few weeks about the content of

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Danny Boyle's ceremony, but he has still managed to retain a lot of

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the wild moments, and there will be a lot of surprises, I think, for

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people starting to enter the park, and who will come into the stadium.

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But clearly, it is a big night for London, for Britain, but I do not

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think it will just be about tonight, what follows after this, the next

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16 days of the sport, will be the key to this. You can sense the

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scepticism about London's hosting of the Olympic Games, the moaning

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about security and transport and ticketing, have fallen away as the

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torch has moved up the Thames. There is a lot of pride in what has

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been achieved so far, the organisers will be pleased, but

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there are still some tests to come. They have set their sights high, 47

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medals in Beijing, at least 48, that is what they are expecting

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this year. Yes, and in many ways, they were

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victims of their own success in Beijing, because they finished in

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fourth place in the bed will stable. I was speaking to some team

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officials yesterday, they are confident that the team here will

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be capable of emulating that success, or perhaps even going

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better, but it is also worth pointing out that this team is

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pretty inexperience, up to 60% of the team have never been to

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Paralympic Games before, so it will be a new experience -- never been

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to an Olympic Games before. People talk about home advantage, but it

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could go the other way, the sense of expectation might create even

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more pressure for them. But they are confident that they can deliver,

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and particularly deliver on more than the 19 gold medals they won in

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Beijing. That is inside the stadium, but

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outside, Jon Sopel has spent the day taking in the atmosphere.

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At lunchtime, there was a nervous atmosphere as everybody was

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anticipating what was going to be happening later. But now, the most

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fantastic atmosphere, all of the people. Let's introduce you to this

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lot of people, there must be something going on! Something

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special, a once-in-a-lifetime. have already got your gold medal!

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It is not real gold! You are cynical! We were lucky to get the

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tickets in the first draw, we applied for 80 sessions, and this

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was one of the three that we got. We are very lucky. Excited? Yes, a

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fantastic atmosphere. Did you have to queue up to get through

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security? All of the volunteers have been great, they have been

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entertaining this, laughing at our classes. Did you make them

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yourself?! No! Did you feel full list?! It has caused some interest!

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Quite a lot of people taking pictures. You are wearing a T-shirt

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from Athens. Yes, where did it start? I am not very patriotic, but

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this is where it has come to. you or from Essex, just down the

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road. Stratford was not a place to visit a few years back. We have

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seen it changed over the years, it has been fascinating to watch the

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venues. As well as getting tickets for the opening ceremony, have you

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managed to get tickets for any of the sport? Yes, several events, but

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my favourite will be the diving. We are supporting a Peter Waterfield

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and Tom Daley. You cannot wait! Have you been inside? Yes, it is

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amazing. It is stunning. The way they have made those diving boards,

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it looks fantastic. You have got Opening Ceremony tickets, diving,

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what else? Athletics, hockey, handball. Let me ask an impertinent

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question. If you had got every ticket you had bid for, would you

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have had to have had a massive overdraft? Yes. That was the case,

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we knew they would be few and far between, so we did for more than we

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could afford. It has been lovely meeting due. The crowds are coming

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in, it is very colourful and jolly, no problems with security getting

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through, and all these people want is to see the ceremony get under

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way. They are going to have a great

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couple of weeks! Even before tonight, sporting events are

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already under way. There was archery at Lord's this morning to

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determine the seedings, but there were problems when spectators

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turned up, expecting to be able to watch the event without tickets.

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The home of cricket for the first Test between bow and arrow. The

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first Test of an Olympic sport in London. The action is preliminary,

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the Archers are seeded according to their schools today. There were

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hundreds hoping to watch, left outside. This event was advertised

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as on ticketed. This family came from Oregon, thinking that was an

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invitation. My invitation, free to the public. We will do a free day

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for people to come in. Get a feel for it. It sounded like a generous

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gesture. How did you feel? What words am I allowed to use on the

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BBC? I am not very happy. My family is not happy. He was not alone.

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LOCOG explained tickets were never offered, but I met the family and

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friends of a Dutch Archer, feeling helpless and confused. We would

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like to see him participate, but we are not allowed access. We were

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told it was free. Now they say we are not allowed in. The men's

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ranking round progressed with South Korea in control, setting a new

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record score. Larry Godfrey led the British effort. Their team are rant

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in eighth place after the morning's competition. It would have been

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nice to have been higher, but you roll with what you have got. Today

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was about shooting the best we could. The other guys shot their

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best, and we were wrapped in eighth place. Everything happens for a

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reason. He is going well, but Britain face a quarter-final

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against South Korea. That is tougher than getting into an

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archery event. I am joined by an Olympian, Colin

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Jackson. It is lovely to see you. What an afternoon. It is

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sensational, walking around already, there is enthusiasm, excitement,

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cheering, it is wonderful. public have and they just come in.

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-- have only just come in. enthusiasm of the nation, it is

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coming alive, because it is happening, there is no turning

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back! I am working on the ceremony. I will be commentating on the whole

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proceedings, I am excited. Tomorrow, it is the big day, the sport begins

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in earnest. What do you think of our hopes as Team GB? It is no

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doubt that we have been prepared the best we have ever been prepared.

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I think we will achieve the medal target, so I am excited. The

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euphoric feeling that it will touch the nation will inspire our stars

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to go beyond anything they have done so far. What will be athletes

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be feeling right now? I hope that they believe they can have a bit of

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fun, they have worked hard. This is now their time to show the world

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what they can do. This is you competing. I am in the first lane.

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1988, South Korea. The race was won with a new Olympic record, and I

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won a silver medal. It was my first Olympic Games. I experienced a new

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culture, it was wonderful. Many athletes will be there for the

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first time, experience in London, and I hope we deliver an Olympic

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You can't beat a home games. can't. Now what team know what it's

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going to be like. The support has been phenomenal. They've witnessed

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it by the way that torch relay has gone around the whole country.

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They've seen how many people have got out of bed early in the morning

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to see the flame. Now they know that they have been inspired.

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They've got to perform. You have a busy few weeks ahead of you, thank

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you for sparing us the time. It is seven years since London beat the

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favourite, Paris, and was awarded the Olympic Games. What a journey

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it has been since then. The Culture Secretary at the time was Labour's

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Tessa Jowell, and she joins me now from outside Buckingham Palace. I

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think we can safely say you pretty much fired the starting gun for

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these Olympics. That's true. At the beginning of August it will be 10

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years. I think every single day for the last 10 years I have thought

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about London's Olympic Games, in some respect or another. But it

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wasn't a done deal. You have to work very hard to convince people

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that London should bid for these games. I did. I had to work very

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hard on my colleagues in government because the unavoidable fact is if

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you are going to bid to host an Olympic Games, although the bid

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comes from the National Olympic Committee, it has to be

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underwritten by the government. So if the government doesn't supported,

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then they can be no Olympic bid. So it was hard work, but in the end

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everybody came round. I think everybody came round, persuaded by

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two objectives. One, just the sense of national festival as a country

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that loves sport. The second is inspiring a generation of young

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people through sport, not just here but around the world. Third, which

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is what you are seeing behind you, is the regeneration of this part of

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east London. That kind of fast forward of 60 years of regeneration

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in just six. We can see pictures of the moment seven years ago when it

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was announced that London had won the bid. It was a big surprise.

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People expected Paris to get it. The City of London. I never get

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tired of watching that. Exactly. People did expect Paris. I was

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sitting next to Steve Redgrave. All the cameras had moved over to the

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Paris block. Steve said to me, Paris have one. It is like Sports

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Personality of the Year. The cameras have gone where the winning

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team is. But Seb Coe was the smartest of all, because he knew

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that the IOC's Director of Communications was sitting next to

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him. He probably knew a little bit ahead of the rest of us that we'd

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won. It has been such a long journey. Can you actually believe

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that we are here and in three-and- a-half-hour was time the Opening

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Ceremony will be under way? It is quite hard to believe. I am lucky

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enough to have been continued as a member of the Olympic board and

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been very involved in this final run-up, even after the last

:18:16.:18:22.

election as shadow Olympic Minister. But also, I'm living in the Olympic

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Village as part of the mayoral team that is overseeing the service to

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athletes. There's an absolutely first-rate team of people who are

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very experienced in running a facility for 17,000 athletes. So

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far, by and large people seem to be loving it. But I think the message

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for people today is just savour every moment of today. Lay down

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those memories. Live with them, because they will last for the rest

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of your life. You are absolutely right to say that tomorrow the

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sport begins and the sport takes over. Then, as we get to the end of

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this, we look to the future and look at what we've learnt from it

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and what we are going to do next to build on what we all hope is going

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to be an extraordinary achievement for our country. Sebastian Coe has

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talked all the way along about how this is about inspiring young

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people and to achieve great things. He has also talked about the legacy.

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You also spoken a lot about that, it's very important to you. But how

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long is it before you can judge the sort of legacy that a Games like

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these leave? You can already see legacy behind you. Every single one

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of those venues as legacy built in. We put aside the money, for

:19:43.:19:49.

instance for the Aquatic Centre, it to be converted for community use.

:19:49.:19:52.

Children and school parties don't necessarily want to swim in a 50

:19:52.:20:02.

metre pool, so we can turn the 50 metre pool into two 25m pools. The

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diving area has a flaw which makes it adaptable for other sports.

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There are eight major venues. Seven of them already have their long-

:20:10.:20:16.

term tenants. Also, 46,000 people have worked in the Olympic Park,

:20:16.:20:20.

and a quarter of those come from East London. 10 % of them were

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previously unemployed. So there is a legacy you can touch and feel,

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but there is also a legacy in the opportunities that have been

:20:28.:20:35.

created for people by being able to work in building the park. Thank

:20:35.:20:40.

you for talking to us. Enjoy your fortnight in the Athletes' Village.

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Let's have a look around the park now. The public have just started

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coming in. They are streaming across the bridge behind the,

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heading towards the stadium. It really is quite a sight. Enormous

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in size. If you can imagine, if you know Hyde Park in London, it is

:21:00.:21:05.

about the size of Hyde Park. An awful lot of walking to do, don't

:21:05.:21:09.

forget your most comfortable shoes. Most of the visitors to the Olympic

:21:09.:21:13.

Park will travel via Stratford train station. It is incredibly

:21:13.:21:17.

busy in central London at the moment and on the trains heading

:21:17.:21:21.

here. We have been talking to some of the people who are coming in. I

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met a couple of people who have been waiting since 10am today. They

:21:25.:21:30.

are from Texas and wanted to be amongst the first to get into the

:21:30.:21:33.

park. A bit is not as the Opening

:21:33.:21:38.

Ceremony itself that will set the whole tone for these Games, it's

:21:38.:21:41.

the logistics as well. Organisers are desperate to get that thousands

:21:41.:21:45.

of people into that Stadium tonight without a hitch, and also get them

:21:45.:21:50.

back out again. Thousands have taken the advice to arrive early.

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Among them are the Americans... Over here we've got the Brits.

:21:57.:22:02.

You've all got tickets for tonight. Yes. How excited are you? Immensely

:22:02.:22:09.

excited, can't wait. It's going to be amazing. I manage to get this

:22:09.:22:15.

golden ticket of my ankle. I think we saw you on BBC News earlier

:22:15.:22:20.

today at St Pancras. House move has the journey been? It's been really

:22:20.:22:25.

hectic. I've been photographed and interviewed non-stop since St

:22:25.:22:30.

Pancras. As you can hear, I'm looking at -- and losing my voice.

:22:30.:22:34.

You are doing a great job. What do you think of the British prospects?

:22:35.:22:39.

I can't wait. The vibe here is electric. I think it's going to be

:22:39.:22:45.

an amazing show. Come on, Team GB! Let's have a quick word with the

:22:45.:22:49.

Americans. What do you think of London's preparations for these

:22:49.:22:54.

Games? It's wonderful, we are very excited to be here. You are going

:22:54.:22:59.

to see some of the game's... Yes, we have gymnastics, swimming,

:22:59.:23:05.

basketball. We are ready! London is ready. You put on games in America,

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what do you think of this, are we doing it better than you?

:23:09.:23:16.

Absolutely. You guys are doing great. We are very impressed.

:23:16.:23:19.

Nations from all over the world are here. In a few hours' time they

:23:19.:23:29.
:23:29.:23:30.

will be going in to enjoy that Wonderful! You are watching a BBC

:23:30.:23:34.

News special on the final countdown to the start of the London 2012

:23:34.:23:40.

Olympics. Right now we can talk to Liz Nicholl, but chief-executive of

:23:40.:23:44.

UK Sport. What a task you have when your hands. Are you able to sit

:23:44.:23:49.

back and say, well, it's all going to happen now? Well, for these

:23:49.:23:53.

Games we've done everything we can in terms of investing in the sports

:23:53.:23:58.

and their athletes, providing the very best support over this Orr

:23:58.:24:03.

year preparation. We are already starting to think about Brazil, to

:24:03.:24:07.

be honest. We can relax and watch the performances and look forward

:24:07.:24:11.

to the outstanding successes and hopefully a lot of medals. You are

:24:11.:24:15.

predicting at least 48 medals, that's better than Beijing. You are

:24:15.:24:18.

setting the bar highball stop when we came out from Beijing, a

:24:18.:24:25.

fantastic performance, 47 medals, we, prior to Beijing, thought that

:24:25.:24:28.

would be the best we could achieve for the nation of our size. But we

:24:28.:24:32.

came back and thought, we've got another four years of preparation,

:24:32.:24:36.

we have National Lottery funding and government funding, we need to

:24:36.:24:40.

be aspirational and looked to do even better than Beijing, and take

:24:40.:24:45.

advantage of the home support. we see these athletes, we see them

:24:45.:24:50.

going for their big moment, in the stadiums, but people don't realise

:24:50.:24:55.

how much money and time and effort goes into each and every one. It's

:24:55.:25:00.

an expensive business. It is, but it's not only about the money. It

:25:00.:25:03.

is the talent and commitment of these athletes, starting from a

:25:03.:25:07.

very young age. The money does help provide the head coaches and the

:25:07.:25:14.

very best in the world. Sports scientists, we can invest in the

:25:14.:25:17.

very best research and innovation, to big bikes go faster and boats go

:25:17.:25:23.

faster. Anything that is needed, we have got the ability to invest in

:25:23.:25:29.

bass -- in that. 400 million in the last four years alone. Yes, 100

:25:29.:25:35.

million a year. To compete against the best in the world is expensive.

:25:35.:25:39.

The feedback from our national lottery players is they think it is

:25:39.:25:43.

a good thing to do, to invest in success, because it is great to be

:25:43.:25:49.

part of it. The low point was 1996, Matt Lanter, but we came back with

:25:49.:25:56.

just one gold medal, 15 medals in total. -- Atlanta. That was when

:25:56.:26:00.

the National Lottery money started being pumped into sport. Yes, sport

:26:00.:26:04.

had been calling for it for some time, but that was the turn around.

:26:04.:26:09.

I remember prior to Sydney, we will only invest in about 15 million a

:26:09.:26:12.

year at UK level. So things have moved on tremendously. The lottery

:26:12.:26:16.

sales have increased. We've been able to invest in the best. For

:26:16.:26:20.

these Games, we are investing in every Olympic and every Paralympic

:26:20.:26:24.

sport. Not only those who have medal potential, but those who have

:26:24.:26:29.

a chance to shine and inspire youngsters. We have a lot of stars

:26:29.:26:34.

already, the likes of Rebecca Adlington, Tom Daley, who everybody

:26:34.:26:38.

knows. Do you think we will have new stars from these Games?

:26:38.:26:44.

Absolutely. Rebecca, an amazing staff from the last Games. Nobody

:26:44.:26:47.

would have predicted two gold medals from a young athlete like

:26:47.:26:52.

that. We will see some great, inspirational performances and

:26:52.:26:56.

surprises. That is what sport is all about, that's what makes it so

:26:56.:27:00.

exciting. What happens if you don't hit that magical number of 48, if

:27:00.:27:03.

you don't beat Beijing? Is it going to be a massive disappointment,

:27:03.:27:08.

will that be how we remember the Games? I don't think the general

:27:08.:27:11.

public will be disappointed, if there are enough memorable moments

:27:11.:27:15.

and a lot of podium success. We will be disappointed by UK sport

:27:15.:27:18.

because we've worked hard with the sports. We know the potential is

:27:18.:27:22.

there to achieve at least 48 medals, so we will be disappointed. But we

:27:22.:27:27.

will move on very quickly and start planning for the future. We are

:27:27.:27:32.

already aspiring to do what no host nation has ever done before, to

:27:32.:27:36.

actually maintain performances through to the next Games beyond

:27:36.:27:39.

the home advantage. That is the aspiration as we move through

:27:39.:27:45.

London. I hope you reach your goal. And many more beyond! Let's go now

:27:45.:27:48.

and talk more about the Olympic flame. It has been on an

:27:48.:27:53.

extraordinary journey. 70 days since it left Land's End. Millions

:27:53.:27:59.

and millions of people have turned out to see it. It arrived at Tower

:27:59.:28:09.
:28:09.:28:10.

I can't quite believe it was 70 days. Remember those images of Ben

:28:10.:28:15.

Ainslie at Land's End in Cornwall, the first torchbearer. As you say,

:28:15.:28:19.

the torch relay ended in really beautiful style, here at Tower

:28:19.:28:25.

Bridge at lunchtime. The flame was a road on the role Bargh Gloriana,

:28:25.:28:30.

starting at Hampton Court Palace early this morning and ending here,

:28:30.:28:35.

at Tower Bridge. 16 oarsmen and women on board that beautiful

:28:35.:28:42.

vessel. A former Olympic champions. And it was this young go macro, 22-

:28:43.:28:46.

year-old Amber Charles, a basketball enthusiast from Newham

:28:46.:28:50.

in east London, who had the honour of being chosen as the final

:28:50.:28:56.

torchbearer. There were thousands and thousands of people cheering

:28:56.:29:00.

her as she stood by the Olympic rings that are on the water,

:29:00.:29:04.

nestled at the foot of City Hall. She was therefore a very long time,

:29:04.:29:09.

as people have lined both sides of the Thames to cheer her on. What a

:29:09.:29:14.

fantastic end to that 70 day be laid. The flames seen by more than

:29:14.:29:18.

14 million people in that period. In terms of what happens from here

:29:19.:29:23.

run-in, well, there is a secret here as well because how the flame

:29:23.:29:27.

will be transported from here at Tower Bridge to the Opening

:29:27.:29:30.

Ceremony tonight is indeed a closely-guarded secret. We have

:29:30.:29:36.

been told simply that it will leave here in a few hours' time in what

:29:36.:29:41.

was described to me as spectacular style. That is as much as we know.

:29:41.:29:48.

It will make its way to Stratford for tonight's Opening Ceremony.

:29:48.:29:53.

And what a moment that will be. Even though many members of Team GB

:29:53.:29:56.

will be taking part in the parade of nations during the Opening

:29:56.:30:00.

Ceremony later this evening, not all will. Among those who will be

:30:00.:30:03.

watching it all on television, I imagine, will be the three-times

:30:03.:30:08.

Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie, he is in Weymouth for us now. Good

:30:08.:30:18.
:30:18.:30:20.

Hello. It is fitting that we should be talking to you, because you were

:30:20.:30:23.

the man that everybody will remember kicked off the Olympic

:30:23.:30:29.

torch relay 70 days ago, can you believe it is virtually over?

:30:29.:30:35.

flies. It has been an amazing period, the build-up to the Games

:30:35.:30:40.

here, and down in Weymouth and Portland. It is really exciting, a

:30:40.:30:45.

lot of people on the beach, even though they will be watching the

:30:45.:30:50.

opening ceremony from here. cannot be at the ceremony, you are

:30:50.:30:55.

competing Seion, so it does not work with your schedule. Or you

:30:55.:31:01.

disappointed? Absolutely. It would have been a huge honour to walk out

:31:01.:31:08.

into the Olympic Stadium. But yes, sadly, with our schedule, it is not

:31:08.:31:13.

really that smart to end up with a late night, with racing so soon

:31:13.:31:18.

afterwards. I had to be sensible. Does that mean you do not get to

:31:18.:31:26.

see all of it? I think we will probably get the team around and we

:31:26.:31:32.

will stay up and watch it happen, but we will miss out on everything

:31:32.:31:36.

else that goes along with being in the stadium. It will be an

:31:36.:31:41.

incredible atmosphere for everyone, we will be supporting the team, it

:31:41.:31:45.

will be fantastic for the people in the stadium and the team going out

:31:45.:31:49.

in front of everyone. You are going for your fourth gold medal, what is

:31:50.:31:56.

it like being a British athlete at a home Olympic Games? It is so

:31:56.:32:01.

different from any other Olympic experience that I have had. You

:32:01.:32:05.

feel the atmosphere, how excited everyone is, all of the support

:32:05.:32:15.

that you get, it is fantastic, it is Age UK inspiration and are the.

:32:15.:32:22.

-- order. There is a responsibility to succeed. There is an expectation

:32:22.:32:27.

for us to succeed, you feel that, but at the same time, you have to

:32:27.:32:32.

focus on your game. How difficult is it for you, because you have got

:32:32.:32:38.

your gold medal, everybody knows you are going for another one,

:32:38.:32:42.

there is a sense that people think you will be able to do your sport,

:32:42.:32:48.

get the medal, and it will not be difficult. It is good! I wish it

:32:48.:32:54.

was that Azi! Unfortunately, it is not, there is a huge and I did

:32:54.:32:59.

effort that goes into the preparation. -- huge amount of

:32:59.:33:04.

effort. At the end of the day, the athletes have the responsibility to

:33:04.:33:08.

get it right when it counts. Tell us about running with the Olympic

:33:08.:33:16.

torch. This is year with the flame, 70 days ago. What was it like?

:33:16.:33:24.

was incredible. For me, growing up in Cornwall, it was special to be

:33:24.:33:29.

there when the flame landed, and in Land's End to start of the relay.

:33:29.:33:34.

To see the excitement on the people's faces, especially the

:33:34.:33:38.

youngsters, there has been a lot said about Legacy, to see the

:33:38.:33:45.

delight on their faces, it will inspire a generation. Very best of

:33:45.:33:55.
:33:55.:33:56.

luck to you. We hope that you achieve what you want.

:33:56.:34:00.

Let's have another look around the park, because the pictures are

:34:00.:34:07.

quite sensational. The crowd that is pouring into the park, it is

:34:07.:34:16.

only 25 minutes to 6pm, the ceremony does not start until 9pm.

:34:16.:34:23.

It is quite spectacular to see. The Olympic stadium, you can see the

:34:23.:34:28.

Aquatics Centre, 65,000 people are going to be coming in here tonight,

:34:28.:34:32.

not that 80,000 capacity, because they have had to take some of the

:34:32.:34:37.

seats out to accommodate the spectacle. This is Danny Boyle's

:34:37.:34:43.

spectacle that he is putting on. Over here, that is that Athletes'

:34:43.:34:47.

Village, a lot of the national flags hanging out from the windows.

:34:47.:34:51.

It is going to be home from home for the competitors for the next

:34:52.:34:56.

two-and-a-half weeks, it has got apartments for 14,000 athletes,

:34:56.:35:02.

shops, restaurants and leisure facilities.

:35:02.:35:08.

Away from the funfair and the first, the competitors' home, built just

:35:08.:35:12.

moments away from the Olympic Park, and most of the time, completely

:35:12.:35:18.

private. This really is special access, this is a place you are not

:35:18.:35:22.

going to see much of a over the next couple of weeks. It is that

:35:22.:35:26.

Athletes' Village. This is where they come to sleep and relax. You

:35:26.:35:33.

can see the blocks, South Korea, Switzerland, Denmark. This is where

:35:33.:35:39.

they come to relax and rest after competition. Most of the time. Over

:35:39.:35:45.

there, where they go to have some fun. This village has been built

:35:45.:35:49.

and designed with specific request from the athletes themselves. They

:35:49.:35:52.

said it was important to them to get away from the pressure of

:35:52.:35:58.

competing. Here inside the bar, you can play Paul, table football,

:35:58.:36:02.

computer games, catch up with your friends, and get a much-needed

:36:02.:36:09.

drink. A bottle of your finest, please. Thank you. Soft drinks only,

:36:09.:36:14.

of course. Some of these athletes have serious appetite. This place

:36:14.:36:19.

is open 24 hours a day for that very reason. It is basically a big

:36:19.:36:24.

tent serving every type of food you can imagine. Lots of it. When you

:36:24.:36:30.

say to people it is 17,000 square metres of temporary space for a

:36:30.:36:35.

dining hall, it is huge, but it has got character and personality.

:36:35.:36:39.

the moment for the mayor of the Athletes' Village to reflect on how

:36:39.:36:43.

it has been received. The cables have and the athletes Commission,

:36:43.:36:47.

Jonathan Edwards and Tanni Grey Thompson, a group of athletes

:36:48.:36:55.

advising us. They suggested simple things, make sure you have got long

:36:55.:36:59.

beds for tall people. A tailor-made home, as the competitors prepare

:36:59.:37:06.

for one of the most important moments in their lives.

:37:06.:37:11.

Let's get away from the Athletes' Village and back into the Olympic

:37:11.:37:14.

Park. Jon Sopel is there with some of the thousands of people pouring

:37:14.:37:22.

Welcome to the Olympic Park, we have been following Team GB, but

:37:22.:37:32.
:37:32.:37:34.

the fantastic thing is the bringing together of nations. He is from the

:37:34.:37:40.

Netherlands, he does not speak English! Are you excited to be

:37:40.:37:47.

here? Very excited. I cannot wait to get inside the stadium. You are

:37:47.:37:57.

Team GB! Thank you! You have come from India. Yes! Excited to be

:37:57.:38:01.

going to the ceremony? Absolutely. Looking forward to seeing the

:38:02.:38:11.
:38:12.:38:13.

sport? Yes! Archery! Go, India! we are going to look for the best

:38:13.:38:23.
:38:23.:38:24.

costumes of all, you look fantastic. Where are you from? Ethiopia. Of

:38:24.:38:31.

these your traditional costumes? Yes, we are a group of musicians.

:38:31.:38:35.

hope you have a wonderful evening. You will be supporting Ethiopia

:38:35.:38:44.

throughout? Of course, yes. We would like to say hello, Ethiopia!

:38:44.:38:50.

Some of the colour and people and excitement here in the Olympic Park,

:38:50.:38:57.

with just a short time to go. Fantastic, it sounds like they are

:38:57.:39:02.

having a wonderful time. They have been pouring in, what time were

:39:02.:39:10.

they allowed in? 5:00pm. This is their first taste of the park.

:39:10.:39:19.

Yes, are you impressed by the park? Very! Everybody is happy. Fantastic.

:39:20.:39:27.

Amazing. Well you have a good time? Yes! I love your sticker. I do a

:39:27.:39:35.

good forward to rig? It is going to be great. Have a lovely evening.

:39:35.:39:39.

Really nice to talk to you. Everybody is going to have a good

:39:39.:39:44.

evening. The enthusiasm here is infectious.

:39:45.:39:49.

This is not the first time that London has staged the Olympics, the

:39:49.:39:54.

last time was also at a time of economic hardship, following the

:39:54.:40:04.
:40:04.:40:08.

Second World War. We look back at London's backdrop to 1948, a

:40:08.:40:14.

capital blitzed and still bearing the scars. Hardly a time or place

:40:14.:40:19.

for fun and games. And yet, it held out a make-do and mend invitation

:40:19.:40:24.

to reignite the Olympic spirit. Britain's hopes were high. The

:40:24.:40:29.

Olympic trials suggested home-grown heroes would be going for gold. One

:40:29.:40:34.

young star was this man, the British record mild weather, in the

:40:34.:40:39.

form of his life. But not what you would call a pampered athlete.

:40:39.:40:46.

had a masseur. He would use the same thing that he used on horses.

:40:46.:40:52.

He would put it all over you, it smelled awful. You could smell it

:40:52.:40:56.

for a week. It was very primitive. It was good enough to get into the

:40:57.:41:03.

Olympic final. On August sixth, he lined up. It was a windy day, it

:41:03.:41:11.

was wet, raining. I was in fourth position in one part of the race.

:41:11.:41:17.

But I did not have enough speed. finished in sixth place. London

:41:17.:41:21.

1948 was not to be about British success. The big winners came from

:41:21.:41:29.

abroad. This is the role of honour. It is just a wash with great names.

:41:29.:41:36.

Looking at the women's athletics, the star of the show. 100 metres,

:41:36.:41:42.

200 metres, 80 metres hurdles, and a relay gold medal. She was feted

:41:42.:41:47.

as a star. All she could say, I do not know what the fuss is about.

:41:47.:41:51.

The feel-good factor was enjoyed in many other countries as well.

:41:52.:42:00.

London's legacy was to give people hope for a brighter future.

:42:00.:42:03.

Let's go to the present, because he has been the driving force behind

:42:03.:42:07.

the Games, he has been there since the beginning, and he was crucial

:42:07.:42:13.

in bringing the Games to London. Lord Coe, an Olympic champion

:42:13.:42:19.

himself, can you believe we are here? 3 1/4 hours away from the

:42:19.:42:27.

opening ceremony. I cannot believe it! I am excited, it is a fantastic

:42:27.:42:31.

day, and I am so in awe of all of the people that got us to this

:42:31.:42:35.

point. Thousands and thousands of people have helped us on this

:42:35.:42:40.

journey. It is amazing to see the public coming in. The meadows and

:42:40.:42:47.

the river, the village, people enjoying what we are here for,

:42:47.:42:51.

which you can sometimes overlooked, the sport. People just want to get

:42:51.:42:56.

into the sport, and looking forward to a show that is packed full of

:42:56.:43:02.

fun tonight. There is going to be a lot of focus on that. It is

:43:02.:43:05.

important, what Danny Boyle has done, what pressure on his

:43:05.:43:10.

shoulders, this is the defining image of Britain. I am supposed to

:43:10.:43:15.

say a few years -- few words that will be picked up around the world,

:43:15.:43:20.

but I do not feel as nervous as he must, but he is not, he is

:43:20.:43:25.

remarkable, he is cool and calm. He has worked on this, he is

:43:25.:43:32.

passionate, and it will surprise and it will have big moments. It is

:43:32.:43:37.

quite poignant in places. The real challenge is, it is not just about

:43:37.:43:43.

this, it is also about 203 other nations, over 100 heads of state in

:43:43.:43:47.

the stadium tonight. There were a few extra tickets that had not been

:43:47.:43:54.

sold,... In the end, it was just a handful. I can tell you, they will

:43:54.:43:59.

not be an empty seat in the house. 65,000 people will be in there, it

:43:59.:44:04.

will be broadcast to a two 1 billion people. One way or another,

:44:04.:44:11.

they reckon 4 billion. Watching the whole Olympics, I think that is.

:44:11.:44:15.

Yes, and at the end of that time, 4 billion people will have seen the

:44:16.:44:22.

show. It is a big show! Are you nervous? You are looking slightly

:44:22.:44:30.

nervous. Probably. We are all at that point, we just do not want to

:44:30.:44:35.

let people down. It has been a great journey, we feel

:44:35.:44:39.

responsibility, we want to make people feel proud. I want them to

:44:39.:44:44.

leave tonight smiling at something they saw, and then getting into the

:44:44.:44:49.

sport. The football has started, I was at Old Trafford last night,

:44:49.:44:53.

70,000 people, the second largest crowd ever at an Olympic football

:44:53.:45:03.
:45:03.:45:05.

Do you think we will come back with lots of medals? Are I hope so, but

:45:05.:45:08.

I don't want to be heretical about this. I've always been less

:45:08.:45:13.

bothered about where we are in the medals table. And that SAT -- and

:45:13.:45:15.

allied to the British Olympic Association has challenged

:45:16.:45:22.

everybody to finish fourth, we did in Beijing. I want moments that

:45:22.:45:26.

young people look at, either in the stadium, at live sights or on

:45:26.:45:30.

television, and go, hey, that's what I wanted to, that's the sport

:45:30.:45:35.

for me. I want them then to go and join clubs and be involved. Thank

:45:35.:45:38.

you very much indeed. You will be inside the stadium tonight, but

:45:39.:45:43.

there will be millions of as outside the stadium. Thousands of

:45:43.:45:46.

them will be in Hyde Park. A lot of people will be able to watch the

:45:46.:45:50.

Opening Ceremony there, with the added bonus of a live concert

:45:50.:45:54.

featuring, among so others, Duran Duran. Lizo Miss Bimbo was with

:45:55.:46:00.

them there now. One of the group's performance

:46:00.:46:04.

tonight, representing England, there are four bands and artists

:46:04.:46:08.

representing different places across the UK. Duran Duran, you've

:46:08.:46:13.

had some incredible highlights to your career. How does today compare

:46:13.:46:16.

to performing at Live 8? It it's the biggest show we've ever played

:46:17.:46:21.

in London town. It's amazing out there. We are excited to be part of

:46:21.:46:25.

the whole London 2012 thing. It is a real honour of representing

:46:25.:46:29.

England, of all the bands that could be chosen. What was it like

:46:29.:46:32.

when you were asked? It was phenomenal. It was a great honour,

:46:32.:46:37.

we feel very English. But we feel British, too. Yes, we are in the

:46:37.:46:41.

right place. The this is a great day for London, a great day for the

:46:41.:46:44.

country. All the people waiting, what do you think the atmosphere

:46:44.:46:50.

will be like when you get on stage? Dynamite, electricity everywhere!

:46:50.:46:55.

We are very excited. There are three other great bands on with us.

:46:55.:47:00.

We've been looking forward to it for a while. It's the last stage in

:47:00.:47:02.

our European Tour, and is the opening of the Olympics - what more

:47:02.:47:09.

could you ask for! I was speaking to Snow Patrol, they describe you

:47:09.:47:14.

as absolute legend. I spoke to lot of fans out there, including

:47:14.:47:18.

teenage girls, they said they were looking forward to just seeing

:47:18.:47:21.

Duran Duran. They weren't even born when you had your first hit in the

:47:21.:47:27.

1980s. What is the secret to your longevity? Wherever we go we have a

:47:27.:47:29.

cross generational thing going on now boast I think we can thank the

:47:29.:47:33.

internet for that. I think the kids can tap into any generation of

:47:33.:47:37.

music these days. It's great for us because it's really opened up our

:47:37.:47:41.

audience to different ages. Thank you very much for talking to as,

:47:41.:47:47.

enjoy the concert this evening. They are on stage just before 8pm.

:47:47.:47:53.

Four different bands and artists, all of the people waiting for the

:47:53.:48:00.

perfect start of London 2012. One of the most striking features

:48:00.:48:05.

of this Olympic Park is the Orbit. It is 35 storeys high, it is made

:48:05.:48:10.

of steel and can also be seen from miles and miles around. There's a

:48:10.:48:12.

greater viewing platform up there for the public as well. It was

:48:12.:48:16.

designed by the Turner prize- winning artist sculptor Anish

:48:16.:48:23.

Kapoor up. He is with me now. It is spectacular. It is so striking, you

:48:23.:48:27.

cannot miss it. What was your thinking behind it? Firstly, one

:48:27.:48:31.

must say that in the modern Games it is terribly important that

:48:31.:48:35.

culture plays a real role. As education does and that sport does,

:48:35.:48:42.

of course. In these Games, the Cultural Olympiad had a wonderful

:48:42.:48:45.

forum all through, and will continue to, and right across the

:48:46.:48:53.

country. Orbiter -- Orbit is surprising to me, as much as

:48:53.:48:59.

everybody else. I think it's a really courageous Commission. It

:48:59.:49:04.

has been a difficult journey but one that we've managed to win in

:49:04.:49:09.

the end. They it is going up. A difficult journey. Why do you say

:49:09.:49:14.

you were surprised, because it was so unusual? A first of all, it's

:49:14.:49:20.

the only bird call object in the park. It has ambitions that are

:49:20.:49:26.

both about public access and it is a difficult work. It requires a

:49:26.:49:33.

certain amount of time and participation. The powers-that-be,

:49:33.:49:39.

politicians and others, bought into it and took part in it, it says

:49:39.:49:42.

something about modern aspiration in Britain today. I hope that's

:49:42.:49:47.

what these Games are about. I heard a friend than walking past it the

:49:47.:49:51.

other day, he was telling a group of people he was with, this is the

:49:51.:49:55.

Orbit, the British call it the Eiffel Tower. What reaction have

:49:55.:50:00.

you had to it? To make a tower these days you have to refer to the

:50:00.:50:04.

Eiffel Tower. It was the first of its kind. Interestingly, technology,

:50:04.:50:09.

in terms of how things are put together, the stadium and the Orbit

:50:09.:50:12.

were put together a much in the way that I would put things together.

:50:12.:50:17.

But what Cecil and I have done is deconstruct the tower. It is as if

:50:17.:50:22.

it is continually making itself. The public can go up there, there

:50:22.:50:27.

is a lift, thankfully, to the top. Yes, and then a long stare all the

:50:27.:50:32.

way down, if you want to take it. And what a view from the top as

:50:32.:50:35.

well. It's a view of London that one doesn't have, because other

:50:35.:50:40.

views of London of from the West looking east. This is also very key

:50:40.:50:44.

to the legacy of this Park. That is the most important thing. As an

:50:44.:50:50.

artist, I'm deeply interested in the idea of real participation.

:50:50.:50:54.

That thing that says, come on, come and join me, let's go and look at

:50:54.:50:59.

something together that changes the way we understand the world to some

:50:59.:51:04.

extent. I hope Orbit is about that. This sense of really taking part.

:51:04.:51:09.

Thank you very much for joining us. As the clock ticks ever nearer to

:51:09.:51:14.

the moment the Opening Ceremony begins, the precise content of it

:51:14.:51:18.

is still being kept under wraps. But one thing is clear, London 2012

:51:18.:51:22.

has definitely got some stiff competition from the Olympic

:51:22.:51:30.

opening ceremonies of the past. proclaim open the Olympic Games of

:51:30.:51:36.

London... London, 1948. It was a little bit homespun. The whole

:51:36.:51:41.

arena suddenly filled with a great cloud of pigeons. Instead of

:51:41.:51:44.

today's multi-million-pound sponsorship deals, the athletes

:51:44.:51:49.

received... A free pair of Y-fronts to every man in the British team.

:51:49.:51:56.

And the ceremony - some margin, a band and, as a finale... The massed

:51:56.:52:00.

choirs of the BBC, Harrow town, Westminster Council and the

:52:00.:52:05.

National Provincial Bank sang the Hallelujah Chorus. And that was it.

:52:05.:52:10.

Since then, we've had 60 years of moments like this. The Los Angeles

:52:10.:52:19.

Rocket Man. Barcelona's flaming arrow. Muhammad Ali in Atlanta.

:52:19.:52:26.

Each country trying to find moments that the world will remember.

:52:26.:52:29.

is a lake, it rained in three minutes. This man was the man

:52:29.:52:33.

behind the Athens Opening Ceremony. He flooded the whole Olympic

:52:33.:52:41.

stadium and then floated the flaming rings. For the Greek

:52:41.:52:44.

Olympic President, the opening spectacle was what mattered. They

:52:44.:52:48.

were very focused. The President knew that it was all about the

:52:48.:52:55.

Opening Ceremony. She's not going to get credit for a brace -- race.

:52:55.:52:59.

And there was political will, that was the productive thing. There was

:52:59.:53:06.

a keen focus. Four years later, he was a consultant on this. The

:53:06.:53:11.

ceremony that topped them all. Beijing. It was very spectacular

:53:11.:53:15.

but it wasn't a heart-warming experience for me. It was

:53:15.:53:20.

impressive, but in a kind of frightening way. I didn't feel

:53:20.:53:24.

emotional leap about it. I didn't feel it as a celebration of the

:53:25.:53:29.

humanity and optimism and hope and youth. I thought it was a great

:53:29.:53:36.

show of strength, a wonderful chess piece exercise. Four years on and

:53:36.:53:40.

we've been given this sneak peek at what Danny Boyle has commuted to

:53:40.:53:45.

represent Britain. A bit humbler, a lot cheaper and, he hopes, it will

:53:45.:53:49.

be all right on the night. Whatever comes our way comes our way,

:53:49.:53:55.

because it is live and it's the one time only. I'll never do one

:53:55.:53:59.

again... It is extraordinary to be involved in it. And things can go

:53:59.:54:04.

wrong, as South Korea realised when it stops found an interesting place

:54:04.:54:09.

to roost. One can't help feeling that the doves may be in for a

:54:09.:54:15.

surprise. But the real test is - does it set a mood that reflects

:54:15.:54:20.

both the Olympics and something of what we want to tell the world

:54:20.:54:30.
:54:30.:54:32.

You can watch the ceremony live on the BBC tonight. Coverage starts at

:54:32.:54:36.

7pm on BBC One. The man who will be guiding us through it all is Huw

:54:36.:54:40.

Edwards. You've been watching the rehearsals, are we in for a treat?

:54:40.:54:44.

We are in for a treat, I will say that straight away. I'd say

:54:44.:54:48.

something else, too, having listened to your chat with Lord Coe.

:54:48.:54:52.

Of course he is nervous, and he's right to be nervous. We are all a

:54:52.:54:57.

bit nervous because we all wanted to go well. It is a showcase for

:54:57.:55:02.

London and for the UK across the world. But it is quirky, it's a

:55:02.:55:08.

little eccentric at times, very British I suppose you could say it.

:55:08.:55:13.

It's a very unexpected elements. I should say, too, for those of you

:55:13.:55:16.

who imagined that those on the commentary team have all the

:55:16.:55:19.

secrets, there are some critical pieces of information that have not

:55:19.:55:23.

been shared with us, so it will be as much of a surprise for us on the

:55:23.:55:26.

commentary team as it will be for you watching at home when things

:55:26.:55:31.

unfold in this Stadium this evening. That is why we are all really on

:55:31.:55:36.

tenterhooks. You know what the scene is like here. It is very

:55:36.:55:42.

tranquil. It is very green. It is very calm. But it is no secret that

:55:42.:55:47.

this is going to change, and the changes will be dramatic, they'll

:55:47.:55:51.

be colourful, there will be some fantastic music and there will be

:55:51.:55:58.

some very big names involved. A process of change to reflect the

:55:58.:56:02.

way British society has changed over the last two to three

:56:02.:56:06.

centuries. I'm not going to say much more than that. It brings it

:56:06.:56:09.

right up to the modern age and all of the developments and revolutions

:56:09.:56:14.

of the modern age. With some brilliant soundtrack and, as I say,

:56:14.:56:18.

some big mysteries, too. There will ring that big bell at the start of

:56:18.:56:23.

the ceremony? How will the torch come to the stadium? Who will carry

:56:23.:56:28.

it in? Who will be the torch bearers here? They are very big

:56:28.:56:32.

questions and will set the seal on what I think is going to be a real

:56:32.:56:39.

treat all of us. A tantalising glimpse their inside the Olympic

:56:39.:56:43.

Stadium. That is it. It has been seven years in the planning and

:56:43.:56:48.

preparation, but now the waiting is almost over. In three at this time,

:56:48.:56:52.

the Opening Ceremony will begin, the athletes will enter the stadium,

:56:52.:56:58.

the Olympic flame will be it. London 2012 will be under way. From

:56:58.:57:03.