Today (Monday 23 July) marks exactly ‘Two Years to Go’ until the Opening Ceremony of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
To celebrate the milestone, the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee welcomed three Scottish athletes to the site of the Athletes' Village in Glasgow's East End. Visiting the Village allowed all three to get a first glimpse of what the 6,500 athletes and officials coming to Scotland in two years' time will be calling home.
Designed with input from athletes, the Village will be right on the doorstep of Celtic Park, venue for the Opening Ceremony in two years’ time, the new Commonwealth Arena and the spectacular Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, which will both be open later this year.
The location and proximity to key venues further demonstrates Glasgow 2014's commitment to making this a truly athlete centred and sport focused Games, the site in Dalmarnock will bring a legacy of 700 new homes and 620 jobs to the city.
Former Scottish hockey player Rhona Simpson, who has stayed in the Athletes' Village at three Commonwealth Games and two Olympic Games, was invited to the East End site to see how the Village was taking shape. Rhona was joined by two young athletes who aim to experience the atmosphere of an Athletes' Village for the first time in 2014, swimmer Ross Muir and long-jumper Jade Nimmo. Rhona, who is the athlete representative on the Glasgow 2014 Board, was impressed with how far the Village has progressed since the start of construction last year.
Rhona Simpson, Scotland's most-capped hockey player, said:
"With the eyes of the sporting world firmly on London 2012, I'm incredibly proud to be marking this particular milestone at Glasgow 2014’s Athletes' Village. The excitement being generated by the Olympic Games will only increase the anticipation and desire the people of Glasgow and Scotland have to welcome the athletes of the Commonwealth back to the UK in two years' time.
"The focus at the Organising Committee is to ensure the Athletes' Village provides the comfort and convenience needed by today’s performance athletes. The development is still in construction but with ‘Two Years to Go’ until the Games, it's fantastic to witness how well the Village is progressing and to learn more about the venue that will be home to the athletes in 2014."
On Wednesday 23 July 2014, people from around the globe will be celebrating the Opening Ceremony of the Games and the start of 11 days of world-class sporting competition between 71 Commonwealth nations and territories.
As momentum gathers towards Scotland's biggest multi-sports showcase, the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee and Games Partners are making positive progress towards the Games across a wealth of areas. Progression at the Athletes' Village and other venues across the city are a clear indicator that planning towards the Games remains on track and on budget.
Lord Smith, Glasgow 2014 Chair said:
“Athletes are at the heart of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and our commitment to delivering an athlete centred and sports focused Games is springing to life as we mark the ‘Two Years to Go’ milestone. It’s great to see the living accommodation for 6,500 athletes and officials starting to take shape and to see the world-class venues that are starting to emerge from building sites across Glasgow and Scotland.
“Across the country thousands of people of all ages are starting to engage with the Games in so many different ways. The pace is quickening and we look forward to sharing the next stage of a journey towards delivering an outstanding Games of which Glasgow and Scotland can be proud.”
Michael Cavanagh, Chairman Commonwealth Games Scotland, said:
"The Athletes' Village is the heartbeat of the games and it is important that it provides a home from home for the athletes from all 71 Commonwealth nations, regions and territories. Team Scotland has had considerable input into the planning of the Village and the facilities it will have, to ensure this goal is achieved.
"It is fantastic to see that the development work is now well underway and remains on schedule. This will give great reassurance to all the Commonwealth Games Associations around the world and enable them to plan with confidence for the Games. Our athletes and team staff are really excited about the prospect of Team Scotland being here in the Village in exactly two years' time ready to perform with distinction and make their country proud."
Shona Robison, Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, said:
“This is an important milestone in the countdown to Glasgow 2014. With only days to go until the start of the Olympics, and Glasgow hosting Olympic football at Hampden later this week, excitement is building.
"I hope that we can maintain this momentum and inspire communities across the country to get involved in the Games and to celebrate the fact that this amazing event is happening right here in Scotland. Construction at the Athletes’ Village is progressing well and is another reminder that these Games are on time, on budget and on track to be a great success.”
Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council said:
“The Athletes’ Village will provide a wonderful home for the thousands of competitors from across the Commonwealth in 2014 and it’s fantastic to see the tremendous progress that has already been made in its delivery as we reach two years to go before the Games.
"I am sure that the Athletes’ Village will prove to be an ideal base for everyone competing at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and equally sure that once the last athlete has gone, the site will become a fantastic new neighbourhood for the city.“
Ed Monaghan, spokesperson for the City Legacy Consortium said:
“With Two Years to Go, work is on schedule in creating the Athletes’ Village. Not only are we creating new jobs for people in the local area, after the Games, the Athletes’ Village will provide a vibrant new community with amenities, public spaces and housing, most with riverside views and only 3 miles from Glasgow’s city centre.”
The Athletes’ Village is at the heart of one of the UK’s largest regeneration areas, bringing a legacy of new homes and new jobs to Glasgow’s East End.
The site is being developed by the City Legacy Consortium which includes CCG, Cruden, Mactaggart & Mickel and WH Malcolm each of whom have decades of experience of creating jobs in Glasgow.
After the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, the Athletes’ Village will transform into an exciting new residential community with houses and apartments for social and private housing. The private housing will be offered at affordable levels.