Olympics: Year-long dress rehearsal begins

London is staging the world’s-largest “dress rehearsal” for the 2012 Olympics creating sporting events and testing facilities, The Independent has reported.

A year-long schedule will begin this month and 42 events have already been planned across at 26 of the Olympic venues. Organisers hope that the trials will throw up the kinds of issues they may face when the real ceremony begins next July.

It’ll also be a good indicator of the nation’s appetite for the games. Hundreds of event venues are expected to be hired out for private parties over the two-week sporting extravaganza, particularly for the opening and closing ceremonies.

The public are invited to watch the advanced preparations, with 150,000 tickets going on sale, costing between £5 and £35. The London games authority LOCOG have branded the test-run ‘London Prepares’.

Paul Deighton, LOCOG chief executive, says that the events are an opportunity to see some real sport, and shouldn’t be negatively perceived as a “mini-Olympics.”

According to The Telegraph, he said: “Although our venues won’t be dressed in their Games finery, a number of events will give the public a chance to see some world class sporting action ahead of next year.”

“These are effectively dress rehearsal opportunities for us but the public are going to see the rehearsal and not the dress,” he stressed.

The events will also be an opportunity to test new technology and equipment as well as coordinate and train the supporting Olympic staff, Deighton added.