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London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Showcase British Industry and Power of Sport as Catalyst for Social, Economic and Community Change, Games Leader and 1984 LA Gold Medallist Seb Coe Tells American Business Leaders

February 16, 2012

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — The Chairman of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Lord Sebastian Coe, speaking today at an event hosted by the British and American Business Council at the OMNI Hotel in Los Angeles, highlighted how London’s Games preparations have transformed the poorest parts of the capital and changed lives.

On his return to the city where he won a gold and a silver medal in the 1500m and 800m track events at the Olympic Games in 1984, Seb Coe talked to invited guests including Dame Barbara Hay, British Consul General; Patrick Soon-Shiang, Nantworks; Andy Bird, Disney International; and Kelvin Duckett, Morgan Stanley about the vital role played by British industry and sponsors in delivering the vision for the London 2012 Games to be a catalyst of long-lasting community change:

“London 2012 is focused on delivering a spectacular experience for the athletes, but the Games must be about more than sport,” Coe said.

“We wanted to use the Games to address social, economic, and sporting priorities in our communities. The Olympic and Paralympic Games are providing an opportunity to break down barriers to inclusion and social participation through sport and provide vitally needed new infrastructure and services for communities.”

“East London has been revitalised by the new Olympic Park – a stunning project completed on time and on budget over the last 5 years that has showcased the very best of the British construction industry and project management. We have used the Games to build a new city in an old city, transforming some of the poorest communities in Britain. It is the biggest new urban park in Europe for 100 years.”

Physical regeneration is only part of the vision for change that London 2012 has implemented in its preparations for the Olympic and Paralymic Games, which start on 27 July.

“We are committed to delivering long-term benefits to a hard-pressed community in East London, through the new Olympic Park and community support programmes and infrastructure projects which have provided life-changing opportunities for job creation, skills and apprenticeship programmes. The investment has also been a much needed economic stimulus,” Coe said.

“24% of Park workers come from the 6 London communities bordering the Olympic Park and 10% were previously unemployed.”

Seb Coe told Los Angeles business leaders that preparations for London 2012 are on schedule and on budget despite the extremely challenging global economic conditions:

“A total of 44 world-class businesses have signed up as partners helping to deliver the Games and ensuring that we reached our 700m GBP ($1.1bn) sponsorship target for London 2012.

“No-one could have anticipated the scale nor the prolonged nature of the global economic crisis when we won the Bid in July 2005, so to have reached our sponsorship target is a considerable achievement and a huge credit to our team. This revenue in turn has enabled us to move progressively and smoothly through all the critical stages of preparations for the Games on schedule, while bearing down on all possible costs.”

Coe also outlined how London 2012 was touching the lives of more than 12 million young people around the world through its International Inspiration sport education and development programme.

“Through our International Inspiration programme, London 2012 is empowering young people to participate in sport, access educational opportunities and to build sporting capacity for the future. 12 million young people around the world have already benefited from the programme.”

Games preparations are also helping promote Britain overseas, as Seb Coe explained:

“The Games are already a fantastic advert for Britain, promoting the country as a place to live, to work, to visit and to do business. With the eyes of the world on London in 2012 it is a unique opportunity to strengthen our international reputation.

“Our sponsors, suppliers and merchandise all provide great examples of outstanding British companies and brands, showing cutting edge British design, creativity and quality manufacturing. ”

The Games had also helped to provide vital economic activity across the UK in the adverse financial climate.

“Some 50,000 small and medium-sized enterprises have shared in the supply chain of the 5.5 billion GBP ($8.7bn) worth of contracts awarded to build the venues and make infrastructure improvements. Over 98% of these have been awarded to British businesses, which is an extraordinary success story in difficult times,” Coe said.

“Transport investment connected to the Games comes to a total of 6.5bn GBP ($10.3bn), bringing long-lasting benefits to the transport infrastructure in London in particular.

“The Games have provided employment opportunities – not only 6,000 staff at Games time within the Organising Committee but also 100,000 contractor roles.

“In organising the Games we are also committed to offering skills and training, taking on thousands of volunteers from disadvantaged backgrounds among an overall total of 70,000 people who will gain new experience through their work at London 2012.

“In addition, industry-specific training programmes in sectors such as security, catering and broadcast are helping to unearth new talent, people who might otherwise not have had the opportunity to work in these industries.

“It is no surprise that British companies are already marketing the expertise they have gained to win contracts connected to forthcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi and in Rio de Janeiro.”

During his visit to Los Angeles Seb Coe will also give a keynote speech at the IOC’s Women and Sport Conference, where he will meet IOC President Jacques Rogge and other IOC Members, plus executives from the US Olympic Committee.

He will speak with top swimmers training at the University of Southern California in preparation for London 2012 and visit Washington Prep, a high school with a pioneering approach to sport.

SOURCE London 2012 Olympic Games

Source: PR Newswire