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Backstory: The London Olympics Legacy

The upcoming Summer Olympics in London isn’t the first time that the UK has been the host nation for the games. There’s an interesting and unique history to the Olympics experience in Great Britain. The first time that London, England was chosen as the host city for the Summer Olympics was way back in 1908.

The second time, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) awarded the planned 1944 Olympic Summer Games to London in June of 1939. However, a very significant unscheduled event occurred that changed those preliminary plans — that being World War II — and the 1944 games were cancelled.

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London 2012 – Leaving a Lasting Legacy for Science and Math

On Monday morning, I was at Claremont High School, in Harrow, London, watching as one of the architects responsible for building the Olympic stadium kept a class of 13 year olds enthralled about the design and engineering challenges involved.

Jo Smith from the firm Buro Happold was taking a lesson from Cisco’s  Out of the Blocks StemNet programme bringing real world examples of how lessons about chemical structure; mathematics and physics were all very much challenges the stadium designers and builders has to overcome when designing the stadium and other venues for this summer’s Olympics.

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Bringing the Olympics to life

When one is fortunate enough to work on as exciting and mammoth a project as the London 2012 Games, it is easy to forget that while it might take over your life, for others it’s a distant and somewhat unattainable dream.

Certainly LOCOG are working hard to try and expand the reach of the Games beyond London and make sure other parts of the country benefit from the once-in-a-lifetime experience and opportunity the Games coming to the UK brings. The torch relay alone will ensure that 95% of the UK population will be within a one-hour journey of the Olympic Flame, and that will certainly help.

But just this week the impact we, as Olympic and Paralympic Partners can have on people’s experiences and perception of the Games, was brought very much to life via feedback we had from our partner Pearson -- who are working with Cisco on the Out of the Blocks StemNet programme. This programme was launched in January, using London 2012 as a catalyst to encourage children aged 11-14 to get excited about learning maths and science. So far over 4,000 UK secondary schools have received a set of free Key Stage 4 activity books.

Our colleague visiting a remote school in Lincolnshire was delighted to see the teachers using the Out of the Blocks books and how the children were excited not only about science and maths, but also for the Games themselves. As one teacher said:  “We’re in an out-of-the-way area.  The children have never seen a major event, and there aren’t any children in my class going to the Olympics – this Series brings it to life for them.”

Another said: “Endlessly kids say, ‘when am I ever going to use this Maths in my life?’  Well, this book shows you where and how…  The diving lesson sticks in my mind.  The kids are intrigued by the formulas – it makes them think how they’re useful in real life.”

Nice – now we have a chance of a lasting legacy!

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London 2012: Ian Foddering Twitter Chat Interview

Cisco UKI Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Ian Foddering interview before and after a Cisco Twitter Chat.

Focused on technology innovation in the workplace and how these breeds a new kind of business/entrepreneur and London 2012.

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World’s Biggest Collaboration

I’ve seen how sport can inspire and bring people together, transcending boundaries and borders. It’s just the same for the organisations delivering to the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Organising London 2012 – the greatest show on Earth -- requires collaboration on a grand scale.

As the official network infrastructure provider, I lead the marketing team who are helping to make the Games happen. We understand the size, complexity and hard work that’s needed – the equivalent of running 46 world championships at the same time, with no second chances.

If spinning plates was an Olympic sport, I’d be tipping the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) for gold. With everyone jostling for position, I’ve been so impressed by the way LOCOG protects sponsorship values and ensures we stay true to the ethos of the Games. Under pressure with only 200 days to go, working with LOCOG, other partners and sponsors continues to be both rewarding and challenging.

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