London marked a mere six months to the start of its Olympic Games on Friday by focusing on the minutiae of putting on the show now that the monumental stage has been built.

As a host of countdown clocks showed 182 days to go, organisers LOCOG took charge of the Olympic Village site that will house up to 16,000 athletes and team officials during the Games starting on July 27.

We are in great shape, chairman Paul Deighton told reporters at a briefing while reeling off facts, figures and a list of the key events still to come on the road to what promises to be a spectacular opening ceremony.

All the things we needed to do to be in great shape over the past six and a half years are in place, he declared. The venues are in great shape, the money's in good shape.

But there's still an enormous amount to do. Like any business, you need to get the vision right and the resources right and plan right but you still need to execute superbly within that strategy.

And this last six months is all about that attention to detail.

Those include fitting out 2,800 apartments in the village, testing venues, interviewing, training and kitting out volunteers and installing enough cabling to wrap the circumference of the landmark London Eye 1.3 million times.

Enough temporary toilets have been ordered (10,000) to service the entire population of Malta. Sufficient tent units will be erected to cover a space equivalent to all of Hong Kong and more fixed line telephones must be installed than are in all the iconic red boxes across Britain.

The number of temporary seats (250,000) comes to more than the capacity of Barcelona's Nou Camp and Real Madrid's Bernabeu stadiums combined, with more than a million tickets still to go on sale after being held back for contingency planning.

Once the Games start, there will be enough condoms distributed (150,000) to put a smile on any athletes' face, although LOCOG would not be drawn on whether that quantity was expected to be sufficient to cater for demand.

Organisers are also bracing for the largest peacetime catering operation in the world, with 14 million meals served to spectators - enough to feed lunch and dinner for a day to the entire population of Rio de Janeiro, the next host city.

The current 4,000 strong workforce will expand to 200,000, after 76,000 interviews, with training starting next month.


Friday's milestone was one of many that organisers have trumpeted on the countdown to the city's third summer Games, with the 200 days to go mark passed on January 9.

April 18 will be 100 days to go, May 5 marks 2,012 hours remaining and June 7 crosses the final 50-day threshold but the date when a majority of Londoners become truly enthralled by the scale of the event seems yet to dawn.

If there is still considerable scepticism, amid fears of transport chaos and suffocating security, LOCOG expects enthusiasm to burn brightly once the torch arrives on British soil in May.

The torch relay is when the nation is really going to come together, said LOCOG chairman Sebastian Coe. We are quite slow burning as a nation but it will happen...when that torch starts its journey, that's when the landscape does transform very quickly.

Jeremy Hunt, the UK minister for Culture, Media and Sport, was on hand to emphasise the government's commitment to the Games.

We want to demonstrate at a time of great economic uncertainty the things that we believe we can do. I hope that it won't just be a boost to this country but to global confidence, he told reporters.

Hunt said the biggest construction project in Europe would make sure the Games delivered a big boost for tourism, with the effects felt long after the last medals had been won.

If we get this right, it is a very big moment to sell Britain as a tourist destination, he said.

We are looking at the three to four years that follow 2012. We think we can get an extra two and half billion (pounds) in tourist spend creating up to 60,000 jobs as a result of that.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Mark Meadows)