LONDON, England, May 28, 2010 – The London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG), the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) and the Badminton World Federation (BWF) have agreed that Wembley Arena in north London will be the Olympic venue for rhythmic gymnastics and badminton in 2012. Further detailed plans for the venue will be discussed.

Rhythmic gymnastics and badminton were originally going to be held at a temporary venue in Greenwich.

Sebastian Coe, LOCOG chair, said, “We are delighted to have reached this agreement with the FIG and BWF, and I would like to thank them for their full co-operation and support. We will now work through all the detailed arrangements with them and Wembley Arena to put on first class events. This is a big boost to north London, which will be a hub for the London 2012 Olympics with the soccer finals happening at Wembley Stadium.’

Hugh Robertson, Minister for Sport and Olympics, said, “I welcome the BWF’s and FIG’s decisions. It is sensible during these difficult economic times to make use of an existing and well established facility. Wembley Arena will be an excellent venue for fans and participants of both sports and I hope they will inspire many others to take up Badminton and Rhythmic Gymnastics.”

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said, ‘I am delighted that by using one of London’s existing world-class venues, we have saved millions of pounds in the 2012 budget. LOCOG and the international federations for badminton and gymnastics are to be congratulated for finding a way to use the fantastic facilities at Wembley Arena. With the ODA simultaneously doing a great job of bringing in the new venues on time and on budget, we are in good shape to host a world-beating Games without spending beyond our means.’

Denis Oswald, chairman of the IOC’s Coordination Commission for the London 2012 Olympic Games, commented, “This is an important milestone in London 2012’s planning for the Games. With the venue for badminton and rhythmic gymnastics confirmed, LOCOG will be able to advance full steam ahead with its planning. We would like to congratulate the Badminton World Federation, the International Gymnastics Federation, and LOCOG on finding the best solution for the athletes and the Games. We look forward to seeing some fantastic sporting endeavors at Wembley Arena in 2012.”

FIG President Prof. Bruno Grandi of Italy said: “I am happy that a good solution could be found in the interest of our athletes and wish to thank LOCOG for their comprehension.”

Source – London Olympic Games Organizing Committee