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Much of my preparation for the Olympics over the last week or so has involved writing lists, checking facts and spotting cables out of place or signs missing. Sure, there's been a few journalists starting to trickle in to the Media Workroom at the Basketball Venue and the teams have been training for a couple of days which has made it all a little more real. But it's still a case of hurry up and wait.
After years of planning and preparation, all anyone can do ahead of the Opening Ceremony is hold their breath, tidy up the last remaining loose ends and wait for the starting pistol.
The sense of anticipation is palpable. While there have been plenty of negative media stories from the outside, the atmosphere around the Olympic Park itself - even amongst the journalists already on site - is actually extremely positive. The expectations of these games are high from both sides of the media fence and, as the moderator for basketball and handball media conferences, I'm expecting some lively sessions.
In a recent blog about the Olympics, I marvelled at the sheer scale of the project. Now, having been immersed in the operation and seen it for myself, it becomes even harder to comprehend, let alone explain, the size of the undertaking. From the thousands of sweepers and cleaners to the most senior operations managers, the Games is a great social leveller, with everyone pulling in the same direction and urging each other on.
The athletes themselves - in our case the literal giants of sport in the Basketball arena - are putting the finishing touches to their preparations and, although there have been the usual teething troubles along the way, they all seem genuinely excited by the competition ahead of them.
Interestingly, the media too has generally turned the corner and started to focus on the positives of the next two weeks. As I walked out of a sparsely populated Olympic Park late in the evening, the venues were fully lit for the first time and the sound of some of the world's most famous musicians rehearsing echoed from the Stadium, but only a few hundred people milled around.
It was at that point that a colleague commented "this will be the last time you'll ever see this place so quiet", while a journalist walking beside us was moved to add: "I'm usually really cynical about these things, but this really something else." I'm certain it will be!
Published 26th July, 2012