April 7, 2011: With less than 500 days to go to the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics, the executive board of the International Olympic Committee has given its latest approval to the "progress being made in the preparations" for next year's Games in London.
During a two-day meeting April 5-6 in London, the IOC met with officials from the London Olympic Games Organizing Committee, as well as officials from the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia; and the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
"The venues look fantastic thanks in large part to the vision and planning of London 2012 and the construction team, who have clearly taken great pride in their work,” Denis Oswald, IOC coordination commission chairman, said in a statement. “We’re very pleased with the progress, and we can see that the athletes are really at the heart of these Games."
According to Oswald, "Now it’s time to focus on the details and the testing phase, which is no easy process. But if they continue to follow the path they are currently on, we have absolutely no doubt they will deliver a top-quality Games and a great legacy.”
The 2012 Summer Olympics are scheduled for July 27-Aug. 12, 2012.
According to London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe, "I have always believed that if you focus on the athletes, who are at the heart of our Games, then we will get it right for all the other groups. We are in great shape and with less than 500 days to go we are delighted with the IOC’s very positive feedback.”
At the two-day session, which was held during the annual week-long SportAccord Convention that brings together members from Olympic organizations worldwide, the IOC also addressed other key issues, including what executives called the "new, increasing threat of irregular and illegal betting in sport."
"We are in great shape and with less than 500 days to go we are delighted with the IOC’s very positive feedback.”
The IOC said it would monitor betting patterns on all sport events during the Olympic Games in London, enhancing and expanding upon measures put in place to monitor the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing and the 2010 WInter Games in Vancouver. "[We will] coordinate the measures to be taken in this area with the International Federations, some of which also have rules in place," according to the IOC.
Also during the two days of meetings, the IOC voted to expand the Winter Olympics sports program by six events beginning with the 2014 Games in Sochi. New events include ski halfpipe (men and women), women’s ski jumping, biathlon mixed relay, figure skating team event and luge team relay. The 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver had 86 events in 15 different sports.
The IOC coordination commission’s next and final visit to London prior to the start of the Games is scheduled for Oct. 5-7.