The countdown to the beginning of London 2012 Olympic Games started. 500 days, 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds to the greatest sporting event – displayed the giant Omega Countdown Clock, a moment after it had been revealed in Trafalgar Square.
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) and Swiss watchmaker, Official Timekeeper for the London 2012 Games, launched this Countdown Clock on March 15, to remind us of the upcoming sports show.
Four Olympic Gold medallists from Team GB – rowers Pete Reed and Andy Hodge and sailors Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson revealed the clock, on the special event that was attended by Mayor of London Boris Johnson, LOCOG Chair Seb Coe, President of OMEGA Stephen Urquhart and brand’s ambassador and world champion heptathlete Jessica Ennis.
The Clock is designed to reflect specifics of the Games. Its lighting, designed by a British company, is inspired by London and its connection with the Meridian line in Greenwich, the home of time. Trafalgar Square is naturally the best possible location for the Clock, as the symbol of capital and the one of most visited sites.
Omega’s Countdown Clock is crafted from a Preston-based company’s steel. It is 6.5 metres high, 5m long and weighs around 4 tones. Its launch is an important milestone for any Olympic Games and is something of a tradition within the Olympic Movement, said LOCOG Chair, Seb Coe.
Coe hopes that this milestone moment excites and inspires athletes 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’, he said.
OMEGA’s Stephen Urquhart said that his company is looking forward to returning to London again to time the Olympic Games for the first time in 64 years. ‘In 1948, the last time the Olympic Games were held in this city, OMEGA was responsible for timing each discipline in every sport. That edition of the Games is remembered for the technological milestones in timekeeping: the photoelectric cell, our fully-automated timing system and the first photofinish camera ever used at an Olympic Games. Then, as now, we were proud to be at the service of the International Olympic Committee and the world’s great athletes.’