Olympic spirit in Worcestershire
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Very soon now, the work of more than four years finally comes to fruition at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Although most of the games are taking place in London, this really is an event that the whole country is joining in with; already Worcestershire has participated in a number of ways.
The Olympic torch has passed through Worcestershire twice Ė most recently last weekend through Evesham and Broadway. The streets of Worcester were packed with local residents eager to get a glimpse of the torch a few weeks earlier.

Iíve also met many companies across the county that have secured London 2012 related contracts. Many schools in the area are registered on Get Set, which aims to involve young people in the excitement and inspiration of the Games.

The vast array of activity surrounding the Olympics means that the games will be impossible to miss - or to be engaged in. Itís great that Worcestershire has played a part. And it doesnít stop at the torch, at local companies and at schools.

The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad is the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Movements. Since 2008, the Cultural Olympiad has featured programmes and projects inspired by London 2012, which have been held across the county. Events that have taken place with Worcestershire include dance performances, workshops and music concerts.

By the end of the summer 2012, the total participation and audience figure for cultural Olympiad activity in the Mid Worcestershire constituency alone is predicted to reach nearly twenty thousand people. This is a tremendous figure and illustrates how thoroughly Worcestershire has entered into the spirit of the the games.

As a defence minister I have been focussing on the security arrangements to make sure the games pass peacefully in keeping with the spirit of the Olympics. Members of the Armed Forces, defence scientists and civil servants are making a huge contribution to that end.

But what has happened in Worcestershire so far shows that the Olympic spirit is alive and well Ė and looks set to deliver a memorable Olympic Games Ė just as long as we get at least some summer soon!

So far the build up to the games has been spectacular and Iím confident that the main event this summer will be just as memorable.


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