Sep 10 2012
Boris Johnson has pledged a lasting Games legacy for London claiming those who doubted Britain's ability to deliver have been "resolutely smited by the relentlessly optimistic 'can-do' mood".
The London mayor said athletes' achievements were matched by the attitude of the Games' volunteers and staff. He also praised the city's transport network for coping with increased passenger numbers over the summer.
Organisers said 2.7 million tickets were sold for Paralympic events, making it the best-attended Games in history.
Praising those involved in the summer of sport, Mr Johnson said: "London's Games have proven to be a mind-boggling success which has broadcast to the world that we are dynamic city crammed with confidence, talent and opportunity. Those who griped and groaned over our ability to stage this sporting juggernaut have been resolutely smited by the relentlessly optimistic, 'can-do' mood that has swept over our nation.
"The Olympic and Paralympic Games have taken years in the planning and there is a dedicated cast of thousands to offer our gratitude and without whom this glorious summer would not have been possible.
"This includes those who kept London working and a huge army of community-spirited volunteers. We must also pay tribute to our fantastic police and emergency services, the Armed Forces and security personnel, Transport for London staff and all transport workers."
Despite initial concerns from some Londoners that the city's transport network would buckle under the strain of hosting the two events, Mr Johnson said investment in the infrastructure had helped cope with demand.
There were 62 million journeys made on the Tube during the Olympics and initial figures showed passenger numbers during the Paralympics was up by more than 18% compared with the previous year. Traffic was down 15% during the Games, with motorists heeding advice about avoiding central London and other strategic routes, Mr Johnson said.
The mayor cited £7 million investment in grassroots sports programmes, as well as business engagements expected to create 10,000 jobs in the capital during the next three years, as evidence of a lasting legacy for the city.
Through the London Legacy Development Corporation, Mr Johnson has pledged £2 million to establish an annual festival of disability sport at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, creating new sporting, leisure and employment opportunities.