Ian Fletcher - "Seven years ago there was literally nothing. Now there's definitely something..."
A farewell dispatch from Twenty Twelve's Head of Deliverance, as he prepares to hand over to the Live team...
Well, here we are at the finishing line. Which, as so often in life, is of course where the starting line is. So that’s all good. And what a journey it’s been to this point. It was a tremendous shock for all of us when we were awarded the Games back in 2005 – I can still remember the look on Kelly Holmes’s face now. But we recovered.
Those of us who stayed on regrouped and we dug deep – quite literally in the case of the Aquatic Centre – and the really great news there, by the way, is that the leak is now basically controllable, so we’re controlling it, which is another big positive to take out of this whole thing going forward.
If these Games are about one thing then it’s not just Sustainability but also Legacy. But of course they’re about much more than one thing, more even than two things. They’re about many things, each one uniquely central to everything we’re about and everything we do. Who would attempt to say where Inclusivity ends and Diversity begins? Only a fool. And as we all know we don’t have time for fools in the Deliverance Team. Look around you.
Yes, there have been problems along the way. Of course there have. But in Deliverance what we like to say is that problems are solutions waiting to happen. So we have said it, again and again.
OK, so we discovered that there wasn’t going to be enough wind to power the giant sustainable wind turbine planned for the Olympic Park as a symbol of everything that all of us believe in so passionately. Did that stop us building everything that all of us believe in so passionately. Did that stop us building the turbine? Yes, it absolutely did. Not building it was the solution waiting to happen in that particular case, and it’s a solution I take pride in every time I drive past the Olympic Park on the A12 on my way to somewhere else and glance across at where it doesn’t stand.
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Another big potential solution of course was ticketing. To begin with there were problems getting tickets for some of the most popular events and particularly for those events that people tried to book online. But we’ve worked tirelessly on this and I think we can be proud of the fact that we’ve gradually turned it around.
Now as we approach the Games it’s becoming increasingly clear that there are going to be empty seats practically wherever you look, whether it’s Women’s Football up in Cardiff or Greco-Roman Wrestling in the Greco-Roman Wrestling Dome – to which I may add we’ve built a spectacular Cable Car to take people directly there from the car park in the Taekwondo Zone without going anywhere else in between.
So let’s not be afraid today to acknowledge what it is that we’ve achieved. Seven years ago there was literally nothing. Now there’s definitely something. And we delivered that something out of nothing. Let us take that achievement with us going forward towards a future beyond Deliverance, wherever that actually means.
So thank you to each and every one of you and I suppose what I’m really trying to say it that, basically, it’s all good.
Ian Fletcher, Head of Deliverance
This is an edited transcript of a speech that Ian Fletcher gave to the Deliverance Team on the final day of their seven-year journey towards an increasingly inevitable start of the London 2012 Games. As dictated to John Morton, writer/director of Twenty Twelve (Tonight at 10:00pm, BBC2)