London 2012 makes most of learning opportunities in Vancouver
Friday 5, March 2010
As the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games draw to a close, London 2012 organisers have been taking advantage of the final opportunity to experience and learn from an Olympic Games, before London becomes the next Olympic Host City.
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) sent a team of 50 staff to Vancouver for the Games, with a specific brief to look at Games-time operations, on how the city functions at Games time and how the enormous logistical challenges are delivered.
Led by LOCOG Chairman Sebastian Coe and CEO Paul Deighton, the LOCOG team has identified four key areas in which Vancouver excelled.
The first is sport. Vancouver shared London’s desire to ensure that sport and the athletes are at the heart of the Games and this inspired the athletes to deliver some world-class performances
Vancouver also delivered some fantastic service. The volunteers played a huge role in the success of the Games, demonstrating outstanding customer service and providing valuable insight on how volunteer’s will be recruited and trained for London 2012.
Thirdly, the stadia in Vancouver and courses in Whistler were full of knowledgeable sports fans and passionate followers of the home team but also enthusiastic supporters of all teams. The full stadia demonstrated how right the organising committee got its ticketing strategy. Tickets for London 2012 will go on sale in 2011 with more details on LOCOG’s ticketing approach issued in due course.
Finally, the Games were brought to life in Vancouver with the streets and sites full of supporters, creating a party atmosphere in the city. The big screens in Vancouver provided superb hubs for community activity, enabling everyone to see the sport itself and crucially to celebrate victory ceremonies.
Plans are already being formulated to ensure that London will look and feel like an Olympic or Paralympic city with cultural events and celebrations. The big screens London 2012’s Live Sites programme is already underway with 18 big screens currently up and running around the UK with more to follow.
The LOCOG team will return to London shortly and undertake detailed internal debriefs sharing information on all aspects of the Games organisation, from the sport to the cultural events. A team will remain in Vancouver for the Paralympic Games to undertake a similar exercise.
LOCOG Chair Sebastian Coe commented: 'The Olympic Games in Vancouver will leave enduring memories where the athletes, organisers and people of the city came together to stage a truly memorable event. Over the last two weeks, the streets of Vancouver have been like theatres where people gathered to celebrate this fantastic spectacle of sport and culture.
'The four ‘S’s we’ve identified – sport, service, stadia and sites – give us real food for thought and an added level of detail to our planning as we become the next taxi off the Olympic Games rank. Over the next two and a half years, we will use this information to ensure that we stage a Games for everyone in London. In a couple of week’s time, the Paralympic Winter Games will start and we will have a team in Vancouver once again, soaking up every last drip of knowledge.”
LOCOG CEO Paul Deighton commented: 'Learning from other Games is vital for Organising Committees. In 2008 we took a team out to Beijing to specifically look at the field of play and sport competitions, which enabled our sport competition managers to see first-hand how the events are run.
'This year in Vancouver the teams were looking at how the city functions and how logistically, a team works together to deliver this event. We congratulate Vancouver on staging a hugely enjoyable Games – we look forward to taking what we’ve learned from both the Olympic Winter Games and the Paralympic Games to follow to ensure the Games in London are a fantastic success and a worthy successor to these Games.'
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