As it happened: London prepares for Olympics

Key points

  • David Cameron tells a news conference on the Olympic Park that people will see that Britain can deliver. He says he wants the Games to lift the world by bringing people together
  • The Olympic torch has been on the penultimate day of its 70-day UK journey, visiting the White City site of the 1908 Olympics, Downing Street and Buckingham Palace along the way
  • Olympic officials in London are to blame for the North Korean flag error that jeopardised a women's football game at Hampden in Glasgow, the BBC understands

Live text


  • Alexis Akwagyiram 
  • Martin Tooth 

Last updated 26 July 2012


Good morning and welcome to the BBC News live page. We'll be bringing you all the latest news, views and analysis as the countdown continues to the official London 2012 opening ceremony on Friday night. Follow our coverage for the most up-to-date developments in text, video and audio.


Of course, the sporting action actually began on Wednesday, with Team GB's women's footballers setting the tone for the host nation with a 1-0 victory over New Zealand at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. It's not often a team playing in all black gets beaten at that stadium.


However, that victory was overshadowed by controversy later when images of players from North Korean women's football team were shown on a screen beside the South Korean flag at their match at Hampden Park, Glasgow. The players walked off, delaying the match by an hour.

A North Korean Official gesturing to explain the wrong flag was being shown


London 2012 organisers later apologised for the error, saying: "A genuine mistake was made for which we apologise."


Looking ahead to today's action and there is plenty more football being played, including the start of Team GB's men's campaign - one of eight matches.


Wednesday also saw more than 60,000 people attend the technical dress rehearsal for the Olympics opening ceremony. Everyone has been sworn to secrecy about the event. So what can be said? Here are 10 facts about Friday's show, which is expected to be watched by millions worldwide.


Kate Connolly in Glasgow

tells the BBC she was at the match at Hampden Park on Wednesday and does not blame the North Koreans for walking off: "It was a real foot-in-mouth moment, and put a dampener on what had been a really good day earlier."


The Olympics has other facets, aside from the sporting spectacle. A global investment conference is being held in London on Thursday, starting a series of business summits intended to showcase the UK and attract investment during the Games.


Norman Smith, Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

tweets: David Cameron says ministers are paying for their own tickets for Olympics unless on official Govt business #olympics