Londoners will be able to enjoy the final weekend of the Olympic Games knowing it has been a success for both athletes and organisers alike.
Team GB’s stellar performance in the pool, on the track and on horseback has led to an outstanding medal haul.
Spectators have been able to focus on cheering their Olympic heroes to glory because concerns leading up to the event over security, transport and tickets have dissipated.
The weeks before the Games were dogged with worries over security after G4S admitted it would not be able to provide as many staff as promised. But the armed forces have stepped in and received praise for their cheerful yet efficient manner.
Even misunderstandings at security are being handled with a smile. Australian bronze medal-winning boxer Chris Morgan was stopped by security at the ExCeL arena after staff did not recognise his identification photograph.
The confusion was soon cleared up when Morgan pulled a bronze medal out of his pocket and said: “How’s that for ID?”
Transport watchdog London TravelWatch was full of praise for the work put in by Transport for London and the train operators to ensure spectators could get to events on time.
Sharon Grant, the group’s chair, said: “Transport operators have continued to deliver a high-quality service whilst transporting record numbers of passengers and responding promptly to problems on the transport network when they occur.”
She continued: “Commuters have also risen to the challenge during the Games, following the travel advice available to them and changing their travel patterns accordingly.
“This has helped to ease congestion and now that commuters and businesses alike have seen the benefits of more flexible working we would like to see this practice continuing and spreading after the Games have finished.”
Organiser Locog said 6.9 million spectators had attended events as of Wednesday and the number is expected to soar past seven million as Sunday’s closing ceremony approaches.
IOC coordinating committee chairman Denis Oswald praised the spectators as well as the facilities at London 2012.
Oswald said: “These first 13 days have been very successful, we have had excellent sporting competition,” he said.
“In my sport of rowing, we had big crowds every day, very enthusiastic, excellent competition, excellent venues and what I say for my own sport is also confirmed for the other sports.”
He added: “Transport can be controlled and we had some worry about transport in London. We know transport is difficult in normal conditions and, of course, when you have half a million more people moving in the city it could be difficult but actually it has been going very well.
“I don’t know whether all Londoners went on holiday but we have not had the traffic jam we feared, not expected, but we feared.”
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