The London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) and OMEGA, official timekeeper for the London 2012 Games, tonight unveiled the Countdown Clock in Trafalgar Square – kicking off the 500-day countdown to the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Four Team GB Olympic gold medallists – rowers Pete Reed and Andy Hodge and sailors Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson – revealed the Clock, which counts down to the evening of the 27 July 2012 in days, hours, minutes and seconds.
Present at the event were LOCOG Chair Seb Coe, Mayor of London Boris Johnson, OMEGA ambassador and world champion heptathlete Jessica Ennis, and President of OMEGA Stephen Urquhart.
The launch of the Countdown Clock is a key moment in the build-up to the Olympic and Paralympic Games. It is a reminder for people across the UK, as well as international visitors to the capital, that London will soon be hosting the greatest show on earth.
The steel Clock measures 6.5 metres high, five metres long and weighs around four tonnes. Its design reflects the look of the Games, with beams inspired by London and its connection with the Prime Meridian in Greenwich, the home of time.
LOCOG Chair Seb Coe said: ‘The launch of the OMEGA Countdown Clock is an important milestone for any Olympic Games and is something of a tradition within the Olympic Movement. It will be a daily and hourly reminder to everyone who visits Trafalgar Square that the countdown to the start of London 2012 has well and truly begun and that the greatest show on earth is soon coming to our country.
‘Athletes’ careers are based on timing and I hope that this milestone moment excites and inspires them to compete at the highest level in 2012. Athletes hoping to compete in the Olympic Games are in the final stretch of their preparation and the next 500 days will be crucial to them as their dream of competing in a Games comes closer to reality.'