For most of the world the build-up to the Olympic Games has been four years at most. For the host city it has been considerably longer.
It is the best part of two decades since the plan for a third British Olympics was hatched and it is a touch over seven years since London was dramatically awarded the Games, ahead of Paris and Madrid, on 6th July 2005. London’s journey since then from successful bidder to Olympic host city has been, all things considered, a smooth one, especially when compared with the well-documented experiences of certain recent hosts of the biggest sporting event in the world.
That is not to say that preparations have been perfect – how could they be given the scale of the event and its all encompassing nature, stretching across political, social and economic lines? Complaints about a seemingly ever-expanding budget, which contrasted sharply with a severe economic backdrop, and the sometimes woeful ticketing strategy and operation have become virtual national pastimes over the past few years.
Put in a global perspective, however, and these are but minor missteps during what has been a quite brilliantly choreographed period of preparation. LOCOG chairman Sebastian Coe and his chief executive Paul Deighton will doubtless receive rich praise once the Paralympic Games conclude in early September, assuming no catastrophes transpire during the heat of competition, and deservedly so.
With London 2012 finally upon us, our media partners SportsPro have decided to dedicate their August edition entirely to the many different business aspects of the Olympic Games, focusing first and foremost on London, the city in which SportsPro is based, but also on wider global Olympic issues – a sort of barometer of where the movement sits on the eve of its standout event.
Visit SportsPro's website for full coverage of the business side of the Olympic Games - www.sportspromedia.com.