David Cameron Olympics speech in full

The prime minister complains there are too many public school athletes in a keynote Olympics speech.

The next few weeks are going to be simply amazing.

We’ll remember them all our lives.

Our children will remember them too.

These four weeks in a British summer are going to be like no other four weeks in a British summer.

They will be about making the most of our country…

…being everything it can be…

…at the centre of the world’s attention.

There’s a lot to be proud of when it comes to these Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The bidding team and the last Government did a great job winning them for Britain…

…and a great job getting them off the ground.

The Government I lead picked up the baton and kept up the pace.

But of course there is another team that matters far more right now.

Later today I’m going to see members of Team GB.

Their dedication is humbling.

I’ve already had the privilege of seeing some of them train.

What counts is not just their immense skill, but their commitment…

…putting in the effort day in, day out…

…carrying the torch for Britain – and winning.

Before anything else I want to thank every one of them for their efforts.

 I know they will do us proud.

I’ll be cheering Team GB on all the way and I know the whole country will be too.


So we are all set for what should be an outstanding games.

And along the way there have been all sorts of challenges to overcome.

Think back to that moment in 2005 when we all cheered the success of London’s bid.

There was immense pride.

But also real anxiety.

Would they be worth it?

Would the venues be completed on time?

Would the public really get on board?

And most of all would the games bring the whole nation together – and not just be a festival for London?

I’m not saying there aren’t big challenges to meet in the remaining days…

…after all, I look out of my window every morning and see the beach volleyball arena being built.

But predominantly the answer to all those questions is a resounding ‘yes’.

The Olympic Park is ready and looks stunning.

The teams are arriving.

Our games are on time and under budget.

And they are reaching all parts of our country.

With 37 games venues…

…and 200 training camps across every part of Britain.

And just look at the brilliant success of the Olympic Torch relay.

It really says something extraordinary about Britain.

Huge crowds, everywhere – such as here in Loughborough, two days ago.

Already getting on for seven million people…

…more than anyone expected…

…have stood in the sun and the rain to cheer on their local heroes, the do-ers and the givers in society.

Think of that moving scene in Doncaster last week…

…when Lance Bombardier Ben Parkinson defied terrible injuries inflicted in conflict to carry the torch through the streets of his town.

The Torch has shown the games are not just about London, or England.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have all embraced the games.

In incredibly moving scenes the whole United Kingdom has pulled together.

Of course there’s still more to get right as the games start.

There will be hiccups, last minute worries and challenges to overcome.

However well prepared we are, some things will come as a surprise.

For example, the crowds and strain on our transport system…

…for which we will all have to make allowances.

So we have got to be prepared for everything.

But now isn’t the moment to talk things down.

Our national character can be quite self-deprecating but there there’s no need to think that anyone…

…or any country…

…could have done these games better.

We are doing these games brilliantly and we are doing them in Britain.

Now we need to go beyond the question ‘can we stage an outstanding Olympics and Paralympics?’…

…because I believe we can and we will.

The next question that matters just as much is ‘how do we make the most of the games?’

Not just in terms of medals won and visitors given a warm welcome…

…but in making the momentum of the games last.

That is the biggest challenge ahead now.

For me, that vision is about buildings, about people, about sport and about the economy…

…about legacy and inspiration for the future…

…and I want us to break records on every one.

So let’s start with things we are building and the places we are creating.

Our inspiration should be the Great Exhibition of 1851…

…when the personal drive of one man, Prince Albert, created South Kensington…

…a new quarter of the capital that became a home to art, science and technology.

London 2012 needs to match that – and it will.

When our bid won, we promised to use the games to transform a derelict part of east London and leave the city with better transport, new homes and busy venues.

Already, the benefits have been huge.

46,000 people worked on the Olympic Park during construction.

UK-based companies have won more than £6.5bn worth of contracts.

And 75% of every pound spent on Olympic construction has gone towards regeneration.

Unlike many past games, there’s no last minute panic with the paintbrush and we can concentrate on what comes next.

No games before has ever prepared for the future like this.

Thanks to the work of two governments, the games organisers and the Mayor, of the eight major venues six have operators ready for after the games…

…and the other two will follow this year.

This isn’t some distant prospect.
The first venues will open to the public in 2013…

…helping create an estimated 10,000 extra jobs at the Park alone.

Take the Aquatic Centre, expected to be used by 800,000 people a year after the games…

…everyone from local families to our best sporting talent.

With mix of permanent and temporary facilities, we will only be left with what we can use.

We mean what we say when we say no white elephants.


But I wouldn’t be happy if all the games left us could be summed up in steel and concrete.

When I talk about what the games can do for Britain, I don’t just mean the physical structures that will be left behind.

I also mean the chance to strengthen our society, to give people a way to help others.

And our inspiration for that should be the Olympics of 1948 and the Stoke Mandeville Games which were held alongside.

A moment when the world came together after war and those who had been wounded proved disability was no barrier to success.

And which led to the Paralympics, the second-largest sporting event on earth and another incredible part of this summer.

The lasting benefits of London 2012 can be just as great.

Already from Jubilee street parties to the Olympic Torch, this summer has unlocked a spirit of sharing that some thought might have gone for good.

When the organisers of London 2012 asked people to volunteer, almost a quarter of a million put their names forward.

Of those 70,000 have been chosen, contributing 8 million hours of volunteering.

On top of that 8,000 Londoners have signed up to be Ambassadors welcoming visitors to the city…

…and 15,000 local leaders are helping communities celebrate the games.

People from right across the country, giving their time.

Without them London 2012 would simply not be possible.

And the point is this: if we can do this during the games, why can’t we keep doing it for our society when they are over?

Not government telling people what to do – that won’t work.

But the games inspiring communities to do things to help themselves.

It starts next month, the weekend after the games end…

…when the Join In Trust is aiming to get as many sports clubs as possible to open their doors to invite people to take part and volunteer.

Already, in just over a month, more than 1,000 events have signed up.


And that leads to one area in particular where this Olympic spirit of taking part can make a real difference to young people.

In driving participation in sport itself.

Sustaining the momentum of the games means opening people’s eyes to the possibility of sport.

Getting young people to follow their heroes and take part at school and in their local clubs.

Our inspiration can be London’s first Olympics of 1908, which saw the games blossom in their modern form…

…as rules were written, teams competed in a purpose-built stadium and paraded under their national flags for the first time…

…helping sport become something that could be shared by everyone.

Some of the barriers that hold young people back are in their minds: about imagined barriers of aspiration and confidence.

The Olympics are a chance to break them down.

I’m not claiming one Olympics will turn every child into tomorrow’s Mo Farah or Victoria Pendleton.

But just look where our great athletes have come from.

Seb Coe started running with the Hallamshire Harriers. Amir Khan started boxing at Bury ABC.

Sport can change lives.

So why is it that in so many schools sport has been squeezed out and facilities run down?

The result is that independent schools produce more than their fair share of medal winners…

…and too many children think taking part in sport just isn’t for them.

We’ve got to change that.

So we’re putting £1bn into youth sport, including a massive expansion of after-school clubs for children who don’t think sport is for them.

Already, we’ve got 3,000 secondary and 4,500 primary clubs underway.

I want to see 13,500 by 2015.

It’s not just about helping young people develop a sporting habit for life.

We’ve got to nurture the best talents for the future, too.

It’s fantastic that more than 14,000 schools signed up to the Olympic-style School Games programme in its first year.

And that 1,600 of our best young athletes took part in the inaugural School Games finals at the Olympic Park a couple of months ago.

I want to see that competition grow, to become a fixture in the lives of young people in this country.


There’s a further reason why the games have got to be great for Britain, too.

They should be great for our economy.

We shouldn’t see them as an expensive luxury in tough times.

It is precisely because times are tough that we have got to get everything we can out of them to support jobs and growth in the economy.

And that’s my mission for London 2012.

Because we have built the solid foundations for a successful games, we are able to focus our efforts on making sure they are a boost for Britain.

It’s what I’ll be devoting my energy to.

Making sure that we turn these games into gold for Britain.

Our inspiration for this should be the Festival of Britain in 1951, which was a showcase of national enterprise and innovation.

Now, as then, we need to drum up business for Britain.

Sell Britain to the world on the back of British success.

No other country in the world has the chance to put on this show and profit from it in the next few years.

That’s why during the games I’m hosting a Global Investment Conference and 17 Global Business Summits.

They will bring British businesses together with potential investors and trading partners from around the globe.

I expect to see benefits to the British economy worth over £1bn.

I am confident that we can derive over £13bn benefit to the UK economy over the next four years as a result of hosting the games.

I am certain that when you add in the benefits from construction the total gain will be even greater.

For instance, a study by Lloyds Bank published this week found the games will contribute £16.5bn to the economy by 2017.

Put another way: more than the cost of holding the games in the first place.

Already, firms here in the East Midlands have won contracts worth £360m.

And as Sir John Armitt says in his report published today, it’s vital we don’t allow rules on Olympic marketing to block companies from making the most of that success

So we are working with the British Olympic Association and IOC to make sure Olympic marketing rules do not get in the way.

It’s through things like this that the games can ignite that vital spark of enterprise…

…helped, too, by things like StartUp Loans, nurturing the next generation of British business…

…and today backed by Regus, who are offering help to 30,000 young entrepreneurs by giving them office space to start businesses.

We’ve already said that we expect the games to boost tourism to the UK…

…bringing in more than 4.5m extra visitors…

…and £2.3bn worth of spending over the next four years.

That will contribute to the creation of over 70,000 new jobs.

And a better reputation for Britain.

As part of the run-in to London 2012, we launched the GREAT campaign.

From the side of buses in Berlin to skyscrapers in Sydney, we’ve been pushing the message that Britain is a great place to visit and do business.

It works, there’s no reason to stop and so we will extend it.


So this summer is going to be about a magnificent sporting event.

We’ll be celebrating the medals, the heroes and the heroines.

It will be inspirational.

But we must make sure these are the inspirational games.

But to really make the most of them we have got to make sure this inspiration is more than a one-off, one summer wonder.

It can be so much more.

One of those special moments in our national story.

A time that caught the mood. A time that lifted us. A time that left created something amazing.

So yes, there is an opportunity to regenerate communities.

To bring people together as volunteers.

To revive school sport.

And to bring prosperity and jobs to this country.

But the first prize is even more valuable.

A national boost to our energy and inspiration, a chance to realise how great we can be and how much we can go on to achieve as a country.

These are Britain’s games, Britain’s opportunity and Britain’s moment.

We’ve got to make the most of them – and we will.