London: With the 2012 Olympics just 200 days away, the British government marked the countdown by holding its first cabinet meeting in the year at the Olympic Park in east London.
"I want the message to go out loud and clear, from tourism to business, sport to investment, we are determined to maximise the benefits of 2012 for the whole country," said Prime Minister David Cameron in a statement Monday.
Six of eight Olympic venues have been secured, as operators were appointed for the Aquatics Centre, Multi-use Arena and ArcelorMittal Orbit. The new contracts are expected to create more than 250 jobs. Organisers are confident the other two, the stadium and the media centre, will be secured before the Games, reports Xinhua.
"Today`s appointments are just another example of how London`s legacy plans are further ahead than any previous host Olympic City," said Margaret Ford, chair of the Olympic Park Legacy Company.
"By working closely with sporting bodies and our local communities now, we can ensure that these venues will have a full and compelling programme of activities when they reopen after the Games," she said.
According to the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), all the 34 stadiums have been completed by Monday.
Meanwhile, the security cost at the Olympic venues across Britain has almost doubled the original budget to 553 million pounds. The projected expenditure on opening and closing ceremonies was raised from the previous 40 million pounds to 81 million.
"London`s opening and closing ceremonies are a once-in-a-generation opportunity to showcase the very best of our country to four billion people around the world," said sports official Hugh Robertson last month.
"To get the ceremonies absolutely right and boost the Games business and tourism legacy, we are putting additional investment into our ceremonies," he said.
For those who are competing in the sports gala, medals are undoubtedly their most important legacy.
In Beijing four years ago, Great Britain bagged 47 medals, including 19 gold, to finish fourth on the medals table.
In all aspects, Cameron believed that the Games would create "a massive legacy".
"The whole country can benefit from the legacy of the Games because of the inspiration they will bring to people young and old," he was quoted by local media.