London marks 1,000-day countdown with portraits

BY foxsports • October 30, 2009

The first six portraits were unveiled Friday in the capital's National Portrait Gallery and will be exhibited alongside figures from throughout British history, from Shakespeare to The Beatles.

The portraits were introduced to mark Saturday's 1,000-day countdown until the 2012 opening ceremony. London was awarded the games in 2005.

Sebastian Coe, the head of London's organizing committee, said the project is a celebration of those around Britain who are striving to make the games a success.

"The portraits we are unveiling today showcase the stories of some of the people who have already played a key role in inspiring, delivering and benefiting from London 2012," the two-time Olympic gold medalist said.

Photographer Brian Griffin produced the first six portraits that featured Olympic gold medalists, committee organizers and planners, and young ambassadors for the games from areas of London that will be regenerated as part of the Olympic project.

Among those featured are former Olympic triple jump champion Jonathan Edwards, former heptathlon gold medalist Denise Lewis and British International Olympic Committee member Craig Reedie.

Each phase of the commissioned project will be displayed free to the public in the summers all the way up to and including 2012.

This weekend's countdown will be marked by various activities across London. The BT tower in central London will be lit up by a fireworks display and a giant screen will flash the 1,000-day notice.

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