Seb Coe: The London 2012 Games in Greenwich
December 17, 2012 by Seb Coe
This summer, London and the UK came alive with the excitement of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The Royal Borough of Greenwich was absolutely crucial to the success of the London Games, hosting Shooting, Paralympic Shooting and Paralympic Archery at the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, Gymnastics and the Basketball finals at the North Greenwich Arena, and of course the Equestrian Events at Greenwich Park.
There was a big screen in General Gordon Square in Woolwich and the Olympic Torch got a great reception as it passed through, which happened again when the Paralympic Torch came to the borough before the Paralympic Opening Ceremony.
Each sporting venue in Greenwich made history. The shooting in Woolwich produced the first medal of the Games and a gold medal for Team GB’s shooting star Peter Wilson. There was gold for Danielle Brown and Paralympics GB in Paralympic Archery. The men’s Gymnastics team clinched a historic bronze medal in the team event and Beth Tweddle claimed bronze in the Women’s Uneven Bars.
While there were no GB medals at Basketball there was terrific excitement created for this hugely popular sport. And of course there was the stunning British team win in the golden ‘jump-off’ against Holland in the Equestrian events.
There has been lots of comment about the use of Greenwich Park for equestrian events but I truly believe that the Park, with all its key features and undulating ground, was one of the most stunning venues of the Games, with record success for Team GB and Paralympics GB.
We brought world-class equestrian sport right into the heart of the Host City. Hosting the Games will become a chapter in Greenwich Park’s unique history. The Royal Borough’s profile has been raised, with pictures going round the globe, and this will only help tourism and trade in future.
Behind the scenes we worked closely with Greenwich to make sure that the job opportunities created at the Organising Committee and all our contractors were promoted to residents – a real jobs and skills legacy for the area.
We worked hard with all our stakeholders, the Royal Borough of Greenwich, and all our venue owners across the whole of this project. I would particularly like to thank The Royal Parks for their support, and we will ensure that Greenwich Park will be in better condition than before at the end of the growing season.
I have received many letters from the public saying how they never thought they would be finding themselves watching highlights programmes into the small hours or getting up at ridiculous times to go and watch sports they had barely heard of before the Games, or speaking to strangers in trains and tubes!
I will forever have a huge debt of gratitude to the residents and business in Greenwich whose patience, understanding and generosity of spirit made these Games what they were.
This was a summer that we will never forget.