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Wednesday, 27 July 2011

* YOU BEEN SNAP * YES WE CAN & WE ARE " London 2012 medals unveiled as party marks one year to go before the Olympics"

*MKILETEWA HAPA NA FLORA LYIMO DESIGNER*


These are the medals that athletes competing at next year's Olympics will be battling for.

The gold, silver and bronze medal designs were unveiled this evening as part of a party to celebrate one year until the Games begin.

The medal was designed by artist David Watkins and take a circular form which is intended to be a metaphor for the world. He said he was 'absolutely delighted' with the finished product.

Each measures 85mm in diameter and 7mm thick and weighs in at 375-400g, making them some of the biggest Olympic medals ever.

Going for gold: These are the medal designs for victorious athletes during the London Olympics, which begin in exactly a year's time

Going for gold: These are the medal designs for victorious athletes during the London Olympics, which begin in exactly a year's time;
 
Weighty: Each medal measures 85mm in diameter and 7mm thick and weighs in at 375-400g, making them some of the biggest Olympic medals ever

Weighty: Each medal measures 85mm in diameter and 7mm thick and weighs in at 375-400g, making them some of the biggest Olympic medals ever;

Grand unveiling: Double gold winners Dame Kelly Holmes and Lord Coe show off the medals on stage in Trafalgar Square

Grand unveiling: Double gold winners Dame Kelly Holmes and Lord Coe show off the medals on stage in Trafalgar Square;

The front of each medals depict the same imagery used at every Summer Games, that of the Greek Goddess of Victory, Nike, stepping out of the Partenon to a host city.

On the London medals, the back will contain five symbolic elements, including the London 2012 sign and items which are meant to be symbolic of achievement and effort.



The medals' unveiling came as thousands gathered in Trafalgar Square for a party to celebrate a year to go.

The event saw International Olympic Committee chief Jacques Rogge, alongside London Mayor Boris Johnson, officially inviting the 200 nations who will take part to the Games.

Music was provided by bands including The Feeling and a gospel choir, who performed a rendition of London Calling by The Clash.

London calling: Flanked by both Princess Anne and David Cameron, IOC president Jacques Rogge addresses the crowds in Trafalgar Square
London calling: Flanked by both Princess Anne and David Cameron, IOC president Jacques Rogge addresses the crowds in Trafalgar Square;

London's Mayor: Boris Johnson speaks to the crowd
David Cameron makes a speech to the crowd at the party in Trafalgar Square
Speeches: London Mayor Boris Johnson and PM David Cameron delivered short statements on the game to the gathered crowd;

Colourful: A performer wearing stilts talks to a young boy as the crowd waits for the party to get underway in Trafalgar Square
Colourful: A performer wearing stilts talks to a young boy as the crowd waits for the party to get underway in Trafalgar Square;

Counting down every second: Hundreds gather in Trafalgar Square for a party to mark a year to go, where IOC chief Jacques Rogger will also formally invite athletes to the Games

Counting down every second: Hundreds gather in Trafalgar Square for a party to mark a year to go, where IOC chief Jacques Rogger will also formally invite athletes to the Games;

Details were also given of how key buildings in the city will be 'dressed' for the games.

Across the city, Olympic medal hopeful Tom Daley performed the first dive into the new pool where he will hope to win gold next year.

The 17-year-old said before performing a one and a half somersault with pike that the pool looked 'absolutely incredible'.

He added that it was every athletes dream to perform in front of their home crowd at a home Olympics.

It was day of celebration in London as figures from across the world of sport gathered at the locations across the city to mark the occasion, including at the newly finished aquatics centre.


Making a splash: Tom Daley performs the ceremonial first dive into the water at the newly opened aquatics centre at the Olympic Park

Making a splash: Tom Daley performs the ceremonial first dive into the water at the newly opened aquatics centre at the Olympic Park;


Impressive: Daley performs his one and a half somersault with pike dive at the pool, which he described as 'absolutely incredible'

Impressive: Daley performs his one and a half somersault with pike dive at the pool, which he described as 'absolutely incredible'

Among them were London 2012 chairman Lord Coe and Mr Rogge, who were given a performance by Team GB synchronised swimmers who formed a number one as part of a routine to a Queen soundtrack.

Local children also got to do several lengths at the Zaha Hadid-designed pool which has a striking wave-like roof.

Following the visit Mr Rogge declared himself 'a very happy man'after visiting the newly-completed centre.

He described the £269 million arena as .a masterpiece. and applauded London 2012 organisers for completing the last of the six main permanent Olympic Park venues 12 months ahead of the opening ceremony.

He praised the work done so far but also warned against complacency.

Celebration: Lord Coe is joined by fans and athletes at St Pancras station to begin the countdown to the London Olympics - which are now exactly a year away
Celebration: Lord Coe is joined by fans and athletes at St Pancras station to begin the countdown to the London Olympics - which are now exactly a year away;

Taking the first step: Hugh Robertson, Lord Coe and Colin Jackson show off the plaster casts of their feet

Taking the first step: Hugh Robertson, Lord Coe and Colin Jackson show off the plaster casts of their feet;

Marking the occasion: The idea behind the event involving Lord Coe and Colin Jackson was that the casts mark the first footsteps to the Games for foreign athletes

Marking the occasion: The idea behind the event involving Lord Coe and Colin Jackson was that the casts mark the first footsteps to the Games for foreign athletes;

He said: 'London has done a great job. I am confident that London will deliver a great Games.

'The operational readiness is an important factor and that is because of the drive of the people who are delivering the Games. The team around Sebastian Coe (London 2012 chairman) and Paul Deighton (London 2012 chief executive) is really a good team.'

After testing out the water, swimmer David Davies, a silver medallist from the 2008 Beijing Olympics and a hot tip for 2012, said: 'It is that extra buzz because the thing that gets me is how far the stands go back. It is an amazing setting dropping on to a big stage.

'The roof is really impressive as well. There is something really unique about it. I definitely got the buzz when I first walked in and I can imagine all the Brits calling out for us here next year.

'It should be great. I cannot see it as anything more special really because we have never had anything this special in this country. We are very lucky and it all sinks home.

Building the success: The Prime Minister met with some of the people responsible for constructing the Olympic Park at Downing Street this morning

Building the success: The Prime Minister met with some of the people responsible for constructing the Olympic Park at Downing Street this morning;

What it will look like: David Cameron views computer images of how the volleyball arena will appear during the Games
What it will look like: David Cameron views computer images of how the volleyball arena will appear during the Games;

Having a ball: David Cameron tosses a volleyball into the air as he chats with an official during his visit to Horse Guards Parade, where the beach volleyball events will take place

Having a ball: David Cameron tosses a volleyball into the air as he chats with an official during his visit to Horse Guards Parade, where the beach volleyball events will take place;

Elsewhere, David Cameron visited workers at Horse Guards parade, where the beach volleyball arena is located.

He also met with construction staff who had helped build the site at 10 Downing Street.

Earlier today, Lord Coe and Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson also took part in an event at St Pancras to welcome foreign sports stars to the country.

Both men, alongside former sprint hurdler Olympic Colin Jackson rolled up their trousers and removed their shoes for a plaster cast of their feet at the Eurostar terminal.

The idea is that these are among the first steps toward the 2012 Games.

Lord Coe described the official start of the year to go countdown as a 'massive moment in an Olympic city' before inviting everyone back next year.

'This is an extraordinary day,' he said.

The casts, which also include footprints from visiting Olympic athletes who arrived today, will be used in an exhibition.

Not long now: A group of synchronised swimmers form a number one to indicate a year to go to Games during a display for Lord Coe and Jacques Rogge

Not long now: A group of synchronised swimmers form a number one to indicate a year to go to Games during a display for Lord Coe and Jacques Rogge;


Official opening: The Aquatics Centre is the last permanent site to be completed and will hold 17,500 spectators during the Games

Official opening: The Aquatics Centre is the last permanent site to be completed and will hold 17,500 spectators during the Games;


Impressive display: A synchronised swimmer performs an acrobatic maneuver in the water

Impressive display: A synchronised swimmer performs an acrobatic maneuver in the water;

They included Dorian Van Rijsselberge, an international windsurfer from the Netherlands who is a hot tip for London 2012, and retired French handball player Jackson Richardson, who were getting a first look at the Olympic Park.

Speaking earlier today from the newly unveiled Aquatics Centre, former Olympic silver medallist Steve Cram told the BBC: 'It is stunning. It's absolutely stunning.

'A lot of people talked about the venues in Beijing, talking about how good they were - the Bird's Nest, the Cube.

'This is better than the Cube. It's not because I'm British, it genuinely is.'

Four-times Olympic champion Sir Matthew Pinsent said: 'For a year to go, you think, all they've got to do is sell some tickets, they could be swimming tonight.

'The finish quality here is extraordinary.'

Shaping up nicely: The Olympic stadium and aquatic centre can be seen from above just before the year to go anniversary

Shaping up nicely: The Olympic stadium and aquatic centre can be seen from above just before the year to go anniversary;

Asked how the home crowd will affect the British athletes, Cram said: 'It brings added pressure. Often when you go away to somewhere like Beijing, you probably haven't got family to worry about, getting tickets, getting them into venues.

'You haven't got all the media requests that you have with the home Games. So I think our athletes have to be prepared for that.

'But that, actually, I think, helps you perform even better, because it really gets you into the zone and what this is about.'

Sir Matthew said of the athletes one year before the Olympics: 'They'll all be thinking about honing their skills in a competitive environment and thinking about how they're going to qualify for the Games.'

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