British gymnast Louis Smith has visited UPS’s 2012 Logistics Centre at Tilbury to witness the arrival of the 250,000th Olympic item.
Smith has become UPS’s fourth London 2012 Olympic ambassador, joining Ben Ainslie, Denise Lewis and Steve Rider.
The London 2012 Games will be the largest single peacetime logistical undertaking in the world and the quarter million items that have arrived so far include:
• Delivery and assembly of the BMX starting gate, delivered into the BMX arena on the Olympic Park
• Basketball hoops, also delivered into the Olympic Park
• Hockey training pitches
• Beach volleyball umpire’s chair for Horseguard’s Parade
• 2012 RIB sailing boats for the sailing test events
UPS has now managed the logistics for two test events at the BMX track and basketball arena, both situated at the Olympic Park, which concluded an intense schedule of eight ‘London Prepares’ events over 15 days.
This followed similar operational testing at other key London 2012 venues this summer, including Equestrian and Modern Pentathlon events at Greenwich Park, the Sailing Regatta at Weymouth and Portland and Mountain Biking at Hadleigh Farm in Essex.
Alan Williams, director, London 2012 Sponsorship & Operations at UPS, said: “Testing logistics at live events such as these has been invaluable, because it’s the first time during our preparations for the London 2012 Games that we’ve been able to operate in an environment alongside athletes and organisers. They need the freedom to focus exclusively on the competition, without worrying about where their equipment is.
“It has been an intense period for the team, but also a rewarding one as we’ve seen first-hand the value of our rigorous planning. We now are looking forward to tackling the next cluster of London 2012 test events and the logistical challenges they pose.”
The events, organised as the first cluster of LOCOG’s ‘London Prepares’ series, enabled UPS to test and observe the most crucial logistical processes that will operate at every stage of competition during the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games – from initial venue delivery and installation, to transition between different sports and events through to final venue breakdown.
Olympic bronze medallist Louis Smith said: “It has been a fantastic experience to visit UPS’s London 2012 Logistics Centre and see the hard work that has taken place over the last couple of months, testing the logistics set-up that will make each sport possible come competition time.”