London: With 100 days to go for the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, chairman of the Games organising committee Lord Sebastian Coe unveiled the motto “Inspire a generation” at an impressive ceremony at Kew Gardens here Wednesday.
“Every one of those individual performances will create a symphony of inspiration that will create lasting change,” said Coe, the chairman of the London 2012 organising committee, Locog.
The organising committee also announced that the high points of the opening ceremony July 27 will be the flypast by Red Arrows over Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London.
The latest set of giant Olympic rings to grace London were also unveiled at Kew, planted underneath the Heathrow flight path. Forty “Coubertin Oaks” are to be planted across the country, named after the founder of the modern Games, reports the Guardian.
The Games will be beamed over 22 sites throughout the United Kingdom on 69 giant screens to an estimated 500,000 viewers. They programme will also feature “have a go” on Olympic sports.
The culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, stated that the government was “absolutely committed” to honouring the legacy promises made by Coe in 2005 to secure the Games, including inspiring more young people to get involved in sports.
“My job is to underline to the people of Britain just why this is all worth it. The first is the enormous effort that has been made to make sure this is everyone’s Games,” he said.
“The other reason is the economic legacy. The regeneration of Stratford simply wouldn’t have happened without the Olympics and it’s something we’re all incredibly proud of. It will also boost investment and tourism in Britain.”
Hunt has been going around the globe to push the government’s pound 100m Great Britain campaign to attract investment and promote tourism.
A BBC poll found 64 per cent of taxpayers thought the Olympics had cost too much while another survey by the Evening Standard found the population of the capital roughly split on whether they were looking forward to the Games. In the country as a whole, 53 per cent said they weren’t interested, against 45 per cent who said they were.
Organisers said they were relaxed about the findings, expecting excitement to build when the torch relay begins next month. Coe claimed 9 million people would line the route of the 70-day relay and pointed to the “economic dividend” that had already been delivered.
Hunt said it was too early to judge. “The right time to ask people whether it has been worth it is after the event when they have seen how spectacular it is going to be,” he said.
Coe said the newly unveiled motto reflected the promises made in 2005 and captured the “heartbeat” and “the very DNA” of the organisation.
Previous Olympic mottos include “Share the spirit” for Sydney in 2000, “Welcome home” for Athens in 2004 and “One world, one dream” for Beijing in 2008.