100 days to 2012 London Olympics (PHOTOS)


Today Show co-host Natalie Morales tries to jump a hurdle with Olympic athlete Jason Richardson during a 100 Days to the London Olympics celebration today in New York City.


Jeff Zelevansky

Organizers of the 2012 London Olympics marked 100 days to the opening ceremonies with a flowery display, the promise of acrobatic jetfighters overhead and the motto to “Inspire a Generation.”

When the Games begin on July 27, England expects to welcome 10,000 athletes from 200 countries and countless visitors, said Seb Coe, chairman of the London organizing committee (LOCOG).

“There is a groundswell of support and excitement, not just in the UK, but internationally as the final countdown to the London 2012 Olympic Games begins,” Coe said. “Whether it’s the competing athletes or people getting ready to join their communities in supporting torchbearers on the streets of the UK, the whole world is getting ready for London.”

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LOCOG celebrated the countdown inside Kew Gardens in London, where 20,000 flowers combine to form Olympic rings visible from airplanes landing and taking off at Heathrow, BBC reported.

To open the games in July, England’s famous Red Arrows aerial acrobats will pass over much of the United Kingdom, BBC said.

“Around the world, the excitement is growing and expectations are high but I am confident that Britain and London will deliver a great sporting event and a warm welcome, too,” International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge said, according to BBC.

Of course, along with the pomp and circumstance, protesters are also limbering up for their chance to perform for a global audience, Bloomberg reported.

With a budget of nearly $15 billion – $885 million of which goes to security – the Games aren’t without their detractors.

LOCOG’s decision to name sponsor BP its “sustainability partner” is drawing ire, as is air pollution in Utah, where the Olympic medals are produced.

A 2010 explosion on an offshore BP oil well in the Gulf Coast killed 11 and leaked oil into the Atlantic Ocean for nearly three months.

“BP as the sustainability sponsor is utterly ridiculous,” Gulf Coast Fund adviser Derrick C. Evans told Bloomberg. ““It’s a horrible mistake that you would have think had been written up by a satirist to lampoon either BP or London and the UK because it makes no sense.”

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