Polish UEFA EURO 2012 tournament director Adam Olkowicz said a harsh winter and flooding had not hampered his nation's preparations for the finals, which begin two years on Tuesday.
Plans to stage major celebrations to mark this exciting milestone on 8 June have been set aside as widespread flooding is affecting many regions, but speaking at a press conference, Olkowicz insisted that work remained on track. "We are very sorry for the people suffering from the floods and are not staging any special 'Two Years to Go' celebrations as a result," he said. "The major works, like venues or airports, have not been affected."
Olkowicz said the main challenge Poland now faced as it looked ahead to co-hosting the finals with neighbouring Ukraine was "time", but insisted that work on stadiums was going ahead at full speed despite the inclement weather. "Even if this year's winter has been extremely harsh, there have not been any delays in the erection of the stadiums," said Olkowicz, who recently visited all four sites along with UEFA EURO 2012 director Martin Kallen. "Construction works are being undertaken around the clock in three shifts to ensure that work keeps progressing on time."
With work at Poland's four venues for the finals – in Warsaw, Wroclaw, Gdansk and Poznan – continuing apace, Olkowicz detailed the next major tasks on the horizon for the local organising committee. "Currently we have to focus on volunteering, team bases and UEFA family and guest accommodation," he said. "We have to sign around 9,000 agreements which will create a legal basis for all the UEFA EURO 2012 related projects we are managing."
It was also announced that the third graphic element of the UEFA EURO 2012 portfolio – the official mascot – will be unveiled by the end of the year, with the tournament's logo and slogan having been launched in December 2009. Meanwhile, Marcin Herra – chairman of the Polish government's PL.2012 board, who attended a steering meeting at UEFA headquarters last week – confirmed the "timely manner of preparations".
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