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Page last updated at 07:20 GMT, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 08:20 UK

Two years until London 2012 - events as they happened


Hoy does first lap of 2012 velodrome

1558: That's it from me, but there is live Olympic sporting action coming up as the first evening session of the 2010 European Athletics begins in Barcelona. Mark Ashenden will be here from 1800 BST, with live video available on BBC Two and online for UK users. Then, in August, I'll be back with the European Swimming Championships, which are being held in Budapest. It's busy now, and it'll only get busier over the next two years. Stay up to date with all our coverage at and you can find us on Facebook and Twitter too.

1553: Right then. Two years to go is rapidly becoming one-year-and-a-lot to go. The clock is ticking, so what's coming up next?

January 2011 - Velodrome due to be finished.
Spring 2011 - Ballot for tickets begins.
May 2011 - Torch bearer nomination process begins.
Summer 2011 - Olympic Stadium and Aquatics Centre due for completion.
October 2011 - Cultural Olympiad festival programme launches.

1544: The sports minister, Hugh Robertson, moves to reassure Richard Bacon on 5 live that funding for elite Olympic sport will be protected as far as is possible in the coalition's autumn spending review.

"I am absolutely determined to make sure we give our athletes the best possible chance, and if one thing is left standing in the comprehensive spending review it will be elite athlete funding for 2012," says Robertson.

1542: The Olympics isn't going to be the happiest occasion for every British athlete. Cyclist David Millar, who served a two-year ban after admitting doping offences in 2004, has expressed his regret at missing the 2012 London Games because of Britain's policy of issuing a lifetime Olympic ban for those found guilty of doping offences. However, he hopes he can still be involved in the event, perhaps as part of the anti-doping campaign.

1533: Pictures of former Orlando Magic and Utah Jazz NBA star John Amaechi, who never had the chance to compete at an Olympics because there was no competitive GB team during his playing career, shooting hoops at the new Basketball Arena are coming through to us. Not the most lithe slam dunk I've ever seen. But then look who's talking.

1529: While activities to mark two years to go continue, the athletes who hope to compete in this stadium come 2012 are hard at work. Heptathlete Jessica Ennis is preparing to go up against Europe's finest in Barcelona, and her coach Toni Minichiello tweets: "In Seville airport waiting for flight to Barca. Jess carries her own bags this time - I've been sacked as bag carrier due to previous damage."

1522: Sir Chris Hoy tells 5 live he's proud that his suggestions for the Olympic Velodrome have been followed by the architects. "I was very fortunate to be involved in it all and the velodrome has been designed with both athletes and spectators in mind," he says. "I think it's going to be the best velodrome in the world."

1518: On 5 live, British sprinter, local girl and prolific Twitter user Jeanette Kwakye tells Richard Bacon: "The only local objection that I have is the fact there are so many temp traffic lights around and I had to buy a parking permit for my road.

"But apart from that it's absolutely fantastic, I'm not going to complain. I've had a year out with injury so I'm missing Europeans, but I'd rather miss that than miss what's coming along in two years' time."

1511: To be kept up to date with the latest on the Games from the BBC, head over to BBC London 2012 on Facebook and @BBCLondon2012 on Twitter.

1506: BBC Radio 5 live are now on air from the Olympic Park with Richard Bacon, while the Six O'Clock News and BBC London's 1830 BST bulletin are gearing up to come live from the venue.

1503: Ade Adepitan, a member of the Great Britain wheelchair basketball team that won bronze at the 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens, tells BBC One: "This really brings it home because I grew up in this area and I know what it was like before this was built.
"The team are doing well. They had a minor blip at the World Championships when they came fifth but I think they have a good chance to win gold. I'm really expecting great things in 2012."

1457: Tommy Godwin, who won two bronze medals for Britain in the 1948 Olympic cycling events the last time London hosted the Games, is inside the Olympic Park and - having had a guided tour of the venue - is now live on BBC One.

"We had competitors from around the world and a lovely spirit to it all in 1948," he says. "But I've been very proud over the last two Olympics that our cyclists have won so many medals."

Michael Johnson: "It's great to be in the stadium and to envision what is going to be taking place in two years. These kids are all very excited about the Olympics.

"It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I had that opportunity in 1996, when Atlanta hosted the Games. People in London will have that memory for the rest of their lives."

1450: Jake Humphrey to small child: "Are you ready to beat Michael Johnson?"
Small child: "No."

And the small child instantly proves his credentials as a TV pundit by being absolutely wrong, Johnson coming home in the middle of the pack. Some would say he could have found an extra 5%. That's the first "race" ever to be held inside the Olympic Stadium and, if that has set the standard for 2012, I am off to train. I fancy a podium at least.

Gary Lineker inside the Olympic Stadium: "The pitch is arguably better than Wembley's already."

1444: Sir Matthew Pinsent is on hand on BBC One to launch World Olympic Dreams, a BBC project following a collection of Olympic hopefuls from across the globe over the next two years. You can find out more on Matthew's blog or watch the Iraqi rowing team aiming for 2012 on the World Olympic Dreams website.

"What we want to do is introduce athletes from around the world so people get to know them," he says. "When some of the foreign athletes, when they get here, the British and world audiences will know a little bit more about them.

"Some of them come from systems that are like ours, where sport is well-funded, with great coaching and facilities. Some are from much poorer backgrounds where sport isn't taken nearly as seriously. And yet their Olympic dream, coming to London to compete, is so motivating for them."

1438: British swimmer Joe Roebuck at the Loughborough University pool where he trains: "We saw a glimpse of the 2012 atmosphere at the World Short Course swimming championships in Manchester in 2008. Having the crowd support lifts you and makes you swim really well. I have five or six hours a day in training, with weight sessions and circuit training as well, so it's tough going."

Lord Sebastian Coe on BBC One: "We've done a good job here, the constructors are slightly ahead of schedule but we've still got to turn this into an Olympic stadium.

"Tickets are on sale next year in a public ballot, and there will be more on public ballot than for any public event in history. We want to inspire a new generation.

"You have as much chance of getting a ticket for a 100m final as you do for any other event, it's a lottery. If Usain Bolt is here he's going to probably run 12 times and you can watch him in the heats too.

"You can see the progress we're making, we're going to be on time and on budget. If you think you can make a contribution then volunteers are the face of the Games, the difference between a good and a great Games is the quality of the volunteers."

1424: Jake Humphrey is up in the air above the Olympic Park on BBC One - which you can also watch on the BBC News website.

From the BBC's Paul Harris inside the Olympic Park: "Wenlock has been wheeled out for us. I feel honoured that he has given me - and a colleague from ITV - a very personal demonstration of his athletic prowess by waddling down the track they have set up."

1418: Live coverage with Jake Humphrey and Sophie Raworth begins on BBC One, with aerial shots of the Olympic Park fading to Michael Johnson warily inspecting the strip of athletics track which has been laid for his imminent "christening" of the stadium.

From K Walton on 606: "People should definitely try to watch sports like fencing that they would never normally watch."

Fencing, you say? Go behind the scenes with the British team on our fencing pages.

1410: Earlier, I told you UK Sport considers British Olympic sport to be "on track" for 2012. However, the reality for many Olympians involves scraping a living with part-time jobs, often abroad where they can play to a higher level. The British women's volleyball team are trying to find clubs in continental Europe for that reason after their training programme fell through, and today they complete a four-day fundraising cycle ride from Sheffield to London. Watch interviews with the team explaining why they need to find extra funds, and see photos from the route of the ride.

1405: In about 10 minutes' time, switch on BBC One for a 45-minute News Special from the Olympic site - which should feature Michael Johnson, the American former sprinter with four Olympic gold medals to his name, taking the first sprint inside the new stadium. However, I'm told it's just started to rain and Johnson is "eyeing the rain with trepidation". The boy's clearly become Anglicised after spending time here. Next he'll be asking to bring the covers on and making cucumber sandwiches.

1400: British boxer Natasha Jonas has just appeared on the BBC News Channel, talking about her ambitions with two years to go. Jonas is one of more than 60 athletes on our video wall of British Olympic hopefuls, all explaining how they're set for 2012. Women's boxing is making its Olympic debut at London 2012, and I spent time with Jonas and other GB prospects at their recent national championships in Portsmouth.

1351: Lewis Oliva, one of the younger members of the British track cycling setup, makes my day by checking one quick fact live on air on the BBC News Channel: "Today, is it, that marks the two years?"

1345: In the space of 99 seconds, watch the London 2012 Olympic Stadium take shape from humble beginnings to its present state.

1339: Two of Britain's top swimmers of recent times are checking out the London 2012 swimming pool - former world champions Karen Pickering and Mark Foster. Pickering has popped a photo of the pair on Twitter.

Sir Chris Hoy: "It's something that not many athletes ever get in their whole career, to be able to compete at an Olympic games in front of their home crowd, and that for me is the biggest motivating factor for the next two years. That's what goes through my mind every training session. I'm always thinking about the Olympics and it really is a once in a lifetime opportunity."

The BBC's Paul Harris inside the Olympic Park: "A man has arrived with two large Santa-style sacks. I fear they may be the mascots that will later be brought to life and paraded before us."

1329: Beijing 400m gold medallist Christine Ohuruogu tells BBC News: "This is really weird, the stadium has changed so much. The last time I came the seats weren't in and we stood somewhere close to the start line of the 400m... I'm shaking now. I grew up in this part of the world, I don't know what it's going to be like going from my home to here.

"I think we can do much better than Beijing in track and field here. The British love their sport and they'll drive and motivate athletes to go out and do their best."

1320: One of the questions raised most frequently about London 2012 is the effect - or lack thereof - it will have on other regions of Britain. Paul Deighton, the chief executive of the organising committee, will be speaking to a number of BBC regional radio stations later this afternoon, so if you live in one of the following areas then you may want to tune in and pitch your own questions.

Mr Deighton is currently due to be on air with BBC Oxford at 1630 BST, BBC Three Counties at 1645, BBC Wiltshire at 1652, BBC Bristol at 1707 and BBC Gloucestershire at 1714. (Bear in mind these times may change.)

1313: This Olympic Stadium, then. Possible future home of Spurs or West Ham, we are told. Boris Johnson reckons as follows: "There is an issue about the stadium. I think it's a fantastic venue and, if it was down to me, I would say let's keep it at an 80,000 capacity and let's make sure we can find a long-term legacy partnership to deal with it, maybe football or a mixture of football, entertainment and of course athletics."

1305: "This is all well and good," I hear you say, "but how come I have no way of spending my hard-earned cash on solid gold Wenlock and Mandeville pin badges?"

Well, fear not. I am reliably informed the first London 2012 shop is opening at St Pancras station in London (on the line out to Stratford International, beside the Olympic Park).

Julia in Sheffield via text on 81111: "Please, please, please do not forget the Paralympic Games in all this hype! Thousands of disabled people are working towards their gold too - I wonder if equal coverage will be given to their two-year milestone? I doubt it!"

The Paralympics will run from 29 August 2012 until 9 September that year, with live coverage on Channel 4 in the UK (the BBC no longer owns the rights to broadcast Paralympic events). Cyclist Sarah Storey, who was born with a deformed left hand, is getting around that by bidding to appear on as many channels as possible. She has announced she wants to compete at both the Paralympics and Olympics in 2012.

From fatharry77 on 606: "I want to see the 2012 power-walking events, just to see a bunch of people that have trained for years walk in a funny way a bit faster than the other people walking fast in a funny way."

I trust you were watching the beginning of the European Athletics, featuring this very event, a little earlier then? Catch up with the opening day's action from Barcelona on the athletics pages of the BBC Sport website. Tom Fordyce is there for us, too.

From ZK Goh on Twitter: "How about a mention for the first Youth Olympic Games here in Singapore next month? GB led by Tom Daley, great to have such a big name at our own Games."

As ZK - who appears capable of packing War and Peace into one tweet - rightly points out, teenage diver Daley is the figurehead of the British team for the inaugural Youth Olympics.

There are full details of the British team on our website and we'll have daily highlights (daily Daley, if you will) online and on the Red Button throughout. The event runs from 14-26 August.

1239: The Daily Telegraph's Rod Gilmour takes us up-close-and-personal with the cycling mop of Boris Johnson on Twitter. What a sight. I can't look at that tie without just wanting to... reach out... and FIX it though...

From British Judo on Twitter: "We are looking forward to the judo! We have got a fantastic venue to stage it in. (And we hope to meet the mascots too...)"

1225: Coming up for lunchtime. (I may have already had mine. Early start.) I heartily recommend you eat your lunch while having a nosey around the new BBC 2012 website which we launched overnight. Highlights include a gorgeous backdrop, details on volunteering and tickets, a timeline of major events on the road to 2012, and a comprehensive overview of the best coverage of the Olympics from across BBC News, BBC Sport, our archives, BBC London, radio and TV and more. Our own Olympics pages remain top destination for results, reports and the inside line on the Olympic sports themselves.

From Casey via text on 81111: "I'm actually in the site office for the aquatics right now having been put on-site last week. Now I'm working here and I've seen it all taking shape, I am getting very excited about the whole event."

1220: Sir Chris Hoy has had a second go, this time with a helmet on - far more responsible - and has now handed control of the handlebars to one B Johnson Esq, sans helmet, who takes to the temporary track with all the grace and aplomb you have come to expect.

1215: Quick bit of Olympic news for you, since we're on a bit of a theme here. British hockey's Barry Middleton has broken his toe in a training match and will miss the Champions Trophy, which starts in Munich at the end of this month. That's hockey's biggest tournament behind the Olympics and World Cup, and there will be an England team competing there, now minus skipper Middleton. Top four is the ambition for them, I'd reckon, as it was for the women earlier this month, when they picked up bronze in Nottingham.

1206: Hoy, oozing the casual look in a grey t-shirt, has a quick once-round-the-track and is now having a natter to some delegates, one hand resting on his saddle, while gazing up at his surroundings. Probably trying to work out where the Union Jack is going to be raised from.

1203: Hoy and agent Charlie Reid stroll into the velodrome, for what will be the Olympic Park's first taste of anything resembling Olympic action, exactly two years to the day before the Games are officially opened in London. By then, we can reasonably expect the track to look a little more like the finished article than the one painted on the floor that cycling's hero of Beijing is using.

1157: Sir Chris Hoy's bike has made an appearance at the velodrome and the man himself, expected to lead Britain's track cycling charge in 2012, cannot be far away.

1141: BBC correspondent James Pearce, inside the Olympic Stadium, has tweeted a video showing the current scene - and the running track which has been temporarily set up for Michael Johnson to have a brisk jog later.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson: "The really smart thing for us to do as a nation would be to hold a snap Olympics, which would catch our rivals napping."

It would certainly catch the broadcasters napping. I'd have to run down to Lee Valley and start some canoeing commentary.

1129: We're getting pictures from inside the velodrome, where a temporary track at the base has been established ready for Sir Chris Hoy to make an appearance in around half an hour's time. (You may have seen 1400 BST earlier. That was a lie.)

1125: Peter Keen, UK Sport's director of performance, says he will know in the autumn if the organisation - which funds 27 Olympic sports in the UK - will face more spending cuts as part of the coalition government's austerity measures.

"As I sit here today we still don't know exactly what the current round of spending cuts might mean," he tells BBC Radio 5 live. "But we're confident the bulk of investment will be in place up to London in beyond, and we feel we're on for a top four Olympic finish and second in the Paralympics, the same as Beijing.

"However, there's bound to be an impact if there's a significant reduction in investment. We know what it costs to do this properly and if we don't have the budget, we will make tough calls. We will always target our investment to get the greatest results with the most number of athletes."

Interpret that how you will, but my understanding is that this means sports like cycling, rowing and sailing, with their recognised medal potential, would be preserved at the expense of funding for less successful sports should funding levels drop further.

From GB boxer Khalid Yafai on Twitter: "Just got in from doing a radio interview for BBC. 2 years today till the London 2012 Olympics."

1108: You don't have to spend the next two years playing Denise Lewis Heptathlon to get your fix of Olympic sport - there are bags of events around the UK, and the world, coming up. I've written a blog outlining where the focus will be in the next month or so, and UK Sport has a page listing forthcoming events in the UK, plus ticket details.

Lord Sebastian Coe on volunteering at London 2012: "The volunteer programmes start today. We want people to get on the website but don't make a decision quickly because it is tough. This will be three weeks of shift work. You may be in the stadium but you may not be seeing the 100m. You may be working downstairs in doping control, or making sure the athletes get on the track on time. There is a whole mountain of jobs that the volunteers do. Without them we don't have a Games."

From coolhandpaul on 606: "My highlight will be the 100m. I saw Usain Bolt run the 150m in Manchester a few years ago in the rain and that was incredible. Other things to look forward to - cycling - hope Wiggo and Cav are there and also seeing who will be the unknown 'star' of the games - like Eric The Eel was a few years ago."

1050: A reminder that, from 1200 BST, Sir Chris Hoy and Michael Johnson will be testing out the velodrome and Olympic Stadium respectively. There will be a live News Special on BBC One, inside the Olympic Park, from 1415 to 1500 too.

From who2believe? on BBC News' Have Your Say: "This is the London Olympics and I live in Manchester so it doesn't really bother me. I doubt I could afford to go even if they gave away the tickets with the price of travel to and accommodation in London being out of my reach. I just don't feel any connection to the Games."

Do you feel the same way? (Worth pointing out there'll be Olympic football in Manchester.) Have Your say: Are you looking forward to the London Olympics?

From Tiger Rose on 606: "All the coverage this morning has got me excited now. I want to try to get tickets for athletics, swimming, rowing, cycling & gymnastics. I am also keen to take the opportunity to go & see something different like handball."

I can definitely recommend handball. I'm actually hoping to join a handball team (Ruislip, in west London) next month, to see how I get on. The GB men recently won a competitive game for the first time down at Crystal Palace, and the atmosphere at the end was electric. The stories behind some of the smaller Olympic sports in the UK, trying to up their game for 2012, are fascinating. Have your say on 606 about other sports you're keen to see in 2012.

1025: British sailor Ben Ainslie, three times an Olympic gold medallist, is with the BBC's Alison Harper in Weymouth, which is the 2012 sailing venue.

"We will have a certain amount of home advantage but all the other teams are at different clubs around this bay, training for two years' time," says Ainslie. Next month is the Skandia Sail for Gold regatta in Weymouth, a huge event for the sport which is essentially a test run ahead of the Games.

1020: Some great photos on 5 live's blog from their Breakfast programme at the Olympic Stadium this morning. Worth a few minutes of your time.

1017: Coming up shortly on BBC Radio 5 live, UK Sport's director of performance, Peter Keen, will discuss British medal prospects with Victoria Derbyshire. There's more from him and a detailed breakdown of how UK Sport currently rates each sport on our Olympics blog.

1014: Over the past couple of months we have been speaking to more than 60 top British athletes who hope to be representing GB at London 2012, asking them how they feel two years out from the Games. Go to our video wall to see their responses. There are some characters in there. (That's code for: you should watch every single one.)

Lord Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London 2012 organising committee: "I am really pleased with how things are going. Here we have a stadium that is structurally pretty complete. The seats are going in and it will be finished by next year, which gives us a chance to start fitting it out and turning it into a stadium. This is fantastic progress. Two years to go and this is really the time for people to start planning their Games."

What are your plans, then? Join the mad scramble for tickets? Get involved as a volunteer? Watch from big screens elsewhere, or hold your own Olympics party? Or (you never know) leave the country? (The Softball World Championships are on in northern Canada around the same time. I'm telling you, if there wasn't an Olympics on, I'd be there.)

From gunsofnavarone on 606 : "I'm looking forward to whatever I get the chance to see! The venues look good now they're taking shape, and hopefully our athletes can be inspired by home support. I guess Australia would dearly love to stick one on GB by finishing above them in the medal table."

0958: Three-times Olympic javelin medallist Steve Backley says: "London 2012 will not only impact current generations, but possibly the future two generations. It will inspire youngsters to take up sport and hopefully inspire them to become elite athletes."

0951: I've just penned a quick 606 debate article asking you what you expect your highlight of London 2012 to be, plus it'd be good to get your thoughts on whether Britain can build on Beijing and maybe move up the Olympic medal table, or whether the only way is down with Australia, Russia and others resurgent. When you get a moment, let me know your views there.

0945: David's text about basketball, below, raises an interesting point - just how good are Britain's Olympic hopefuls with two years to go? Will GB outdo their Beijing performance, or struggle to match it? Here's an in-depth look at UK Sport's analysis of every sport (UK Sport being the organisation that funds them, with the exception of football and tennis). The overall message is that GB are "on track" but there is plenty more to dig into beneath that headline, and we have reproduced UK Sport's tracker boards for you, so you can see how each sport's progress is evolving.

David in Surrey texts: "The basketball will be great, although it's a disgrace that (world governing body) Fiba still haven't confirmed the GB teams' participation. Shame the anti-basketball British media haven't picked up more on this as we are paying for this party."

Basketball is the only Olympic sport, as I understand it, where the involvement of an established GB team is in doubt. But there is a reason for that, which is that Fiba - and the British Olympic Association, for that matter - want those teams to be competitive in 2012, rather than getting trounced. I'm not suggesting that is what would happen, or that I agree with it, but negotiations are ongoing. Here's some background for those who'd like to know more.

OJ in Devon texts: "Deal with the important stuff - when are tickets on sale?"

Tickets aren't on sale until next year, but you can register your interest on the London 2012 website ahead of time to ensure you stay informed.

If you do register there, can I personally recommend you all tick every box when the form asks you which sports you're keen on? That way, you won't miss any special discount offers around events leading up to the Games (like GB basketball games in Birmingham and elsewhere next month, for example). A great way to see Olympic sport for less.

0930: We also have some live sport for you among all the London 2012 festivities. It's the first day of the European Athletics Championships in Barcelona, and if you're in the UK you can watch live coverage right now on our website. BBC Sport's Mark Ashenden has written a handy day-by-day guide to the athletics for us.

0925: Paralympic swimmer Dervis Konuralp, speaking to the BBC News Channel inside the Olympic Stadium, says: "The pressure's on. I've never competed in international competition on home turf, and I'm a Hackney boy, so to have the pinnacle of my sport come to my neighbourhood... I can't wait to represent the country as a whole, and the community down the road."

0921: Speaking of Nicky Campbell, he's just been talking to Leyton Orient chairman and sports promoter Barry Hearn on BBC Radio 5 live. Hearn is not convinced about post-Games plans for the main stadium.

"We may be wasting a lot of money," says Hearn. "The Olympic Stadium is a showpiece and goodness me East London needed some money spent on it, but at the moment the plans are to reduce it to 25,000 seats after the Games.

"We're going to be left with an athletics track for a couple of meetings a year. I can't understand the thought that's gone into the stadium, we had the perfect opportunity to move West Ham or Tottenham in."

Agree with that? Let me know.

0919: Former Commonwealth Games gymnast turned TV presenter Gabby Logan tweets: "So excited listening to @NickyAACampbell this morning at the Olympic Stadium, 2 years to the start of OUR Olympics. Come on Britain."

0915: So tell me. Which Olympic or Paralympic event in 2012 are you looking forward to the most? You can text 81111 (or +44 7786200666 if you're outside the UK), use 606 or send me a tweet (I'm @BBCSport_Ollie).

0907: It's not just about London and Britain. Rowing legend Sir Matthew Pinsent is on BBC Breakfast, talking about the launch of the World Olympic Dreams project, in which the BBC is following a range of athletes from across the globe. If you missed the superb video which accompanies the launch, head over to the new World Olympic Dreams website to see it.

0903: British hockey star Chloe Rogers has turned up inside the Olympic Park. "Having seen this, I just want the Games to start," she says. Don't tell her there are still two whole years to go. (I don't think she'll notice. Nobody's mentioned it yet.)

0900: London 2012 launches its volunteering programme today. The best place to find out about getting involved is on the official website of the Games, but you may also be wondering what volunteering is actually like. I had no idea until last weekend, where I volunteered at the Hyde Park Triathlon. Have a read of my blog for the verdict - it involves lots of water and a pink feather boa.

0850: Javelin gold medallist at Los Angeles 1984 Tessa Sanderson told BBC Breakfast a little earlier: "I think it's going to be a fantastic Olympic Games. Look how far they've come already. I've been working with youngsters in Newham and they are so excited and this is so inspiring for them."

I've been filming at a fencing academy in Newham, part of Sanderson's project, and it's nothing like the stuffy image fencing sometimes has. Look out for that on our site in the coming weeks.

0842: Mayor of London Boris Johnson, casually flicking through a copy of the Daily Mirror, is dragged away from it by BBC Radio 5 live's Nicky Campbell, who wants to know if the 2012 Games will be an Olympics for the whole country, not just London.

"The Olympics will be a focus for a huge amount of energy," says Johnson. "It's one of the reasons people want to come to London to see what's going on, and this has been one of the most neglected parts of the city for generations. It is being transformed before our eyes.

"There's no doubt that people across Britain will ask why London has been particularly favoured - my answer is London is the motor of the UK economy, and jobs and growth in London, in whatever it happens to be, drives growth around the rest of the UK. That's an economic fact."

Sally Gunnell (1992 Olympic 400m hurdles champion): "I got goosepimples when I walked into the stadium and a real buzz. We have first-class facilities and as a nation we're desperate for them for all our sport. We, as a nation, are passionate about sport and we have to make this work."

Meanwhile, current 400m hurdler Tasha Danvers - a bronze medallist at Beijing 2008 - and gymnast Louis Smith are live on BBC Breakfast outside the arena.

0831: There are some big moments coming up in the Olympic Park later in the day, including the very first action inside three of the venues. Michael Johnson will be taking to a specially laid Olympic Stadium track, and Sir Chris Hoy gets on a bike inside the velodrome for the first time. That's coming up after 1400 BST, before which British former NBA star John Amaechi will be shooting hoops inside the Basketball Arena.

0824: From now until the end of Tuesday there are about nine million events going on to mark the two-year countdown. Conveniently, I've got the rest of the working day to tell you about them. Right now, BBC Breakfast are broadcasting live from the Olympic Park on BBC One.

0819: Faster, higher, stronger - and closer. There are two years to go until the official opening of the London Olympic Games in 2012. Excited yet?

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see also
Countdown excites Olympic stars
27 Jul 10 |  London 2012
Support for 2012 Olympics 'grows'
27 Jul 10 |  London
Two years to go to London 2012
26 Jul 10 |  London 2012
In photos: London 2012 countdown
27 Jul 10 |  London 2012

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