2. Various of IOC coordination commission inspectors at site
23 April 2009
3. Wide shot of news conference
4. SOUNDBITE: (English) Denis Oswald, Head of IOC Coordination Commission:
"We can confirm that London 2012 is on the right track. We had the opportunity to visit the park and for many of us it was the first time since May last year, so eleven months and we were really deeply impressed by the progress made in the construction of the different venues. The stadium is impressive."
5. Wide pan of news conference
6. SOUNDBITE: (English) Denis Oswald, Head of IOC Coordination Commission:
"Well, I think this recession does not only hit this country, but it is a world problem. As I said before, I don't think the preparation of the Games is really affected because LOGOC (London Olympic Games Organising Committee) has been quite cautious and quite successful in their sponsoring programme."
21 April 2009
7. Various of Olympics Stadium site with building work underway
The International Olympic Committee praised the "astounding" progress in preparations for the 2012 Olympics on Thursday and said the London Games have not been slowed by the global recession.
Denis Oswald, head of the IOC's coordination commission for London, said the games remain firmly on time and on budget despite the financial crisis.
"We can confirm that London 2012 is on the right track," Oswald said at the close of a three-day visit, the first since the panel's last trip a year ago.
He said the commission was "deeply impressed" by the progress made on the Olympic Stadium and other key construction projects in east London.
Last year, Oswald gave London organisers "9.75 out of 10" for their work. This time, he declined to give a specific rating but said it was "close to 10."
London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe reassured the IOC that preparations have not been derailed by the economic downturn.
Organisers are confident they will stay within the 9.325 (b) billion pound (13.8 (b) billion US dollar; 10.6 billion euro) budget for venues, infrastructure and regeneration.
Oswald noted that the London organising committee, known as LOCOG, has already raised about 500 (m) million pounds (740 million US dollar; 567 million euro) of its domestic sponsorship target of 700 (m) million pounds (1 (b) billion US dollar; 794 million euro).
"LOGOC has been quite cautious and quite successful in their sponsoring programme," Oswald said.
"The recession does not only hit this country. It is a world problem," Oswald said. "I don't think that the preparation of the games is really affected."
However, because of a shortfall in private funds due to the downturn, the British government has dipped into the Olympic contingency fund to cover some of the costs of the athletes' village and other projects. But Oswald said he was confident there would be enough left in the contingency for any other needs.
Oswald defended the 9.325 (b) billion pound infrastructure budget, saying the money was an investment in regenerating the Stratford area of east London.
The panel visited the Olympic Park on Monday, including the construction site of the 80,000-capacity Olympic Stadium. The arena will be converted to a 25,000-seat venue after the games.
Construction is also under way on the athletes' village, aquatics centre, velodrome and media centre.
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