Joined: 14 Jul 2005
Club: BSAC 109
Sport : SubAqua Diving
Londoners will enjoy the "most extraordinary and exciting year" for a generation in 2012 with the city cast into the global spotlight as host of the Olympics, Mayor Boris Johnson said today.
It will be a "summer like no other" as worldwide attention will be focused on the city for the Olympics and the celebrations to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, said the Mayor who faces an election battle 12 weeks before the Games.
As the calendar turns to Olympic year in just over a week, London athletes today spoke of their excitement at joining 10,500 competitors from 200-plus countries who will gather for the world's greatest sports event.
A global television audience of four billion will tune in and unprecedented scenes are expected in the city as millions get into the spirit with Royal parks, theatres and riverside stages thronged for Olympic-themed cultural festivals.
During a four-day weekend to celebrate the Queen's 60th year on the throne, the monarch will host a "Commonwealth" concert at Buckingham Palace before lighting a Jubilee beacon in The Mall. A replica royal barge will lead about 1,000 boats down the Thames in the Jubilee pageant.
Mr Johnson, said: "2012 will be the most extraordinary and exciting year that we are likely to see in our lifetime in this city. We will stage the most incredible Olympic and Paralympic Games, which will put us in the global spotlight and spur the long-term rejuvenation of huge swathes of the city.
Along with the Diamond Jubilee and the London 2012 Festival, everyone will enjoy a summer like no other."
Momentum gathered behind London 2012 today as it was revealed that 96 per cent of London's schools have signed up to an Olympic ticket giveaway that will enable one in eight pupils to go to the Games free.
"I am absolutely delighted, this is a fantastic Christmas present for London's school kids" said the Mayor. Athletes will spend an abstemious Christmas as training gears up - and today they urged people to get behind Team GB.
Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Zoe Smith, from Greenwich, said: "Londoners should just get on board and enjoy it because it is happening either way.
"You can moan about it and not enjoy it but what joy is that going to bring you? London 2012 is a great thing, it's showcasing Team GB and we're all going to try our best to win medals for our country - so just get behind us."
European long-jump bronze medallist Chris Tomlinson, from Hampstead, said: "The Games are going to look good, people are going to have fun."
Europe's biggest building project - costing £6 billion and employing 10,000 workers - will be officially declared finished on January 9 with plenty of breathing space.
Expect massed ranks of hard-hatted politicians to jostle for position at the hand-over ceremony coinciding with 200 days to go till the Games.
Thousands of Locog staff will swarm over the site as they make it ready for 250,000 visitors a day.
This kitting-out will range from park benches to public conveniences and souvenir stalls.
Showcases for official Olympic sponsors will also pop up in the park. There will be a chance to snap up Olympic tickets with the opening
of an online exchange where people can legally sell seats they purchased last year.
For the million who missed out in the ballot, a further one million tickets will go on sale in the spring.
The 02 Arena will be put through its paces during the test event for the gymnastics.
The world's top cyclists, including Team GB's Victoria Pendleton and Sir Chris Hoy, gather at the Olympic velodrome for the world track cycling championships.
Many riders will be vying to secure late Olympic qualification during the contest, which has a fuller programme than the Games track cycling itself. This is the official test event for the £100 million "Pringle" velodrome which, it is claimed, has the world's fastest track.
One expected 2012 star, Tom Daley, will be in action at the diving world cup, held at the official test event for the Olympic aquatics centre.
The biggest peacetime mobilisation of a workforce gears up as the first of 70,000 volunteers, or Games Makers, begin their training.
Designer Stella McCartney unveils the kit for the 550 members of Team GB in her role as Olympics consultant to official sportswear provider adidas.
The Olympics are set to be a family affair for the McCartneys, with former Beatle Sir Paul widely rumoured to be playing at the opening ceremony.
Britain's top swimmers will be on tenterhooks: the squad is due to be announced following the British championships in the aquatics centre.
Thousands of Londoners get the chance to discover their inner Olympian in two community sports events staged as part of the venue testing programme.
Budding Mo Farahs will line up for a five-mile run finishing in the Olympic stadium, then mere mortals will run in a series of sprints around the track in front of a 20,000-strong crowd.
A synchronised swimming test event will be held at the pool - and April 18 marks 100 days to go until the start of the Games.
Boris battles Ken in the May 3 mayoral election. To the winner, a four-year term at City Hall - and the glory of hosting the Olympics.
On May 18 the Olympic torch will arrive at Land's End from Greece before passing through communities across Britain.
Celebrations for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee reach a climax. The monarch hosts a Buckingham Palace concert featuring acts from across the Commonwealth, then lights a Jubilee beacon in The Mall - setting off a chain of beacons across the country.
At a "Big Jubilee lunch" Britons will be encouraged to share a meal with neighbours and friends.
The Thames Diamond Jubilee pageant will see up to 1,000 boats from all over the Commonwealth sailing down the river, led by the Queen on a recreated royal barge.
Britain's top athletes will descend on Loughborough University - the team's official training camp, as well as being the alma mater of 2012 chief Seb Coe. After an induction, which team bosses promise will be light-hearted, athletes will collect their kit and get down to some serious limbering up.
About half the 26 sports will then head elsewhere.
Team GB ambassadors the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge - former players of water polo and hockey respectively - will tour training camps.
It is crunch time for our track and field athletes, including top sprinter Jeanette Kwakye, with the Olympic athletics trials.
The cultural Olympiad kicks off with BBC Radio 1's biggest ever free live music event, as Hackney Marshes hosts 80 acts on six stages, including Leona Lewis, Plan B and Tinie Tempah.
The River Of Music festival along the Thames embraces sounds from all 200-plus competing nations.
The torch arrives in London and tours every borough for a week before lighting the Olympic cauldron. Watching in the stadium will be 120 heads of state, including the Queen.
IOC president Jacques Rogge declares the 30th Olympics open at midnight.
Matthew Beard and Mark Blunden
Scuba Divers support the Games in 2012, do you? Anonymous