London 2012 is a phrase now synonymous with sport, and sport at the very highest level. As the capital gears up to open its arms to the world next summer when the Olympic and Paralympic Games arrive in London, sporting events are popping up all over the city throughout the year in celebration. That’s not to mention the popular events coming back to London next year that have already made London their sporting home.
Many of the sporting events throughout 2012 will be staged at official Olympic venues from test events starting in January all the way through to the official Games events in the summer, providing ample opportunity for enthusiasts to witness an Olympic-level event either pre or during Games season.
High profile international events returning to London this year include the NFL clash at Wembley, the Heineken Cup Final at Twickenham, which join regular fixtures on the London sporting calendar such as the Oxford & Cambridge Boat Race, the Virgin London Marathon and the Wimbledon Championships. In addition to the abundance of returning events to the capital for 2012 are exciting new events from a plethora of distinctive test and official Olympic events from diving to gymnastics as well as other new fixtures for London such as the Grand Sumo Tournament at the Royal Albert Hall.
To add to this amazing year of sport and the celebrations for the Olympic and Paralympic Games programme, an unparalleled programme of cultural events is being planned across the whole city, for Londoners and visitors alike. In all 33 London boroughs a lively and colourful mix of art, music, dance, theatre, fashion, food, film - and more - will add to the excitement. This includes the London 2012 Festival, which is the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad and runs from 21st June to 9th September. There will also be a major series of free events in every part of the city commissioned by the Mayor of London, encompassing an outdoor arts festival, London Live in Hyde Park, Victoria Park and Trafalgar Square and a festival inviting people to explore less well known parts of the capital.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "2012 will be one of the most exciting years in London's history. Not only are we hosting the greatest show on earth with citywide celebrations making it a summer like no other, there will be outstanding sporting talent competing at the very highest level throughout the year. Our aim is to create a lasting legacy, and through my Sports Legacy Programme, we are investing millions in new facilities, training thousands of new coaches and creating a huge range of free sporting opportunities for Londoners. 2012 will inspire even the most ardent couch potato to take up a sport."
2012 is set to be a year like no other for sport in London and indeed around the world, and will leave a lasting legacy for the future of world-class sporting events in the capital. Fresh from securing the 2017 World Athletics Championships in November 2011, high profile sporting events already in the pipeline for London include the 2013 UEFA Champions League Final, the 2013 ITU World Championship Series Triathlon Grand Final and the 2015 Canoe Slalom World Championships.
Iain Edmondson, Head of Major Events at London & Partners, added: “The wealth of sporting events set for 2012 is testament to London’s commitment to sport at the very highest level. At London & Partners we remain true to our pledge to build a legacy for London following the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and securing further major events such as the World Athletics Championships in 2017 serve to reinforce this promise. As we look ahead to 2012, with so many great events planned for London on top of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity presented by the Olympic and Paralympic Games, London has truly staked its claim as the most exciting events destination in the world.”
In addition to the host of sporting events taking place in London in 2012, The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad concludes in the capital following a four-year programme of unique initiatives which provide the chance for everyone to be involved with the Olympic Games. Culminating at the London 2012 Festival, the Cultural Olympiad will see events taking place across the capital throughout the year, from one-off celebrations such as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee to unique events including the World Shakespeare Festival and the BT River of Music along the banks of The Thames. For more information, please go to www.london2012.com.
Notes to EditorsTickets for the London Prepares Series of test events for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games can be purchased from Ticketmaster: http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/londonpreparesseries?camefrom=CFC_UK_BUYAT_skimbit
Kirsten Ferguson – PR Manager – Business Tourism, FDI and Major Events
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