Above: Philippine Ambassador Enrique Manalo (fifth from left) with FCO Minister Jeremy Browne MP, other ASEAN Ambassadors and FCO officials.
(LONDON) – Philippine Ambassador to the UK Enrique Manalo joined other ASEAN ambassadors
in London on a visit to the newly-constructed Olympic Park on 20 March 2012.
Leading the tour were Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Minister Jeremy Browne MP and London Organising Committee Dignitary Operations Manager Charles Moore.
It was an opportunity for the ambassadors, who compose the ASEAN London Committee (ALC), to get a first-hand view of the developments in the highly-secure Olympic Park in preparation for the coming 30th Summer Olympics in London later this year.
The site, located in Stratford, east London, contains the Olympic Stadium, Basketball Arena, Velodrome, Aquatics Centre, Copper Box, Water Polo Centre, International Broadcasting Centre and Athlete’s Village. It also features the 115-meter ArcelorMittal Orbit tower designed by renowned sculptor Anish Kapoor.
“It was good of the FCO and Minister Browne to arrange this tour for ASEAN Ambassadors. The Olympics will be a momentous and historic event for London and the United Kingdom, as well as for the entire community of nations. The Embassy has been coordinating with the Philippine Olympic Committee on their preparations for the big event and we will be ready to help ensure that the Philippines is able to participate successfully in this year’s Games”, said Ambassador Manalo.
“For our 250,000-strong kababayan here in the UK, it will be special to be able to cheer our own athletes as they test their mettle against foreign competition. I am sure that our athletes will perform well, but it will be triumphant occasion should we get the country’s first ever Olympic gold medal here in London”, he added.
Construction of the Olympic Park began in April 2007 and the major venues and infrastructure were finished on 27 July 2011. Only the landscaping and final touches on the various venues remain.
The site will be opened to the public on 27 July 2012, when the Opening Ceremonies are held.
London will be the first city to host the Olympics thrice, as it has hosted the event in 1908 and in 1948.
The 30th Summery Olympic Games will be held on 27 July – 12 August 2012, to be followed by the 14th Summer Paralympic Games on 29 August – 9 September 2012.