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Play to win in 2012

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It's unmissable. An opportunity to see some of the world's greatest individual players and most successful and famous teams brought together to compete for one of the most coveted prizes.

And just about everyone has a view on the form, the talent, the strengths, weaknesses and formations. And just about everyone has a view on who is going to win.

No, it's not the World Cup in Germany. I'm talking about this summer's other great showdown - the competition to lead construction of London's 2012 Olympic Games.

But calm down everybody.

Before you reach for your wallets and head for the bookies to bet on the winner of the coveted delivery partner role, bear in mind that it is still very much a matter for fun speculation.

Regardless of how exciting and attractive our odds and form guides might seem, there is still quite some way to go yet before the winner is known (although I'm sure that there must be a betting market for this somewhere - there usually is! ).

There are few people in civil engineering without at least one eye on the development of this particular bid process.

It may only represent at tiny percentage of the UK's annual £100bn construction activity over the next six years, but London's 2012 Olympics project is without question the project to have on your cv.

Whether you are in design, project management, construction or supply, it is an opportunity to shine, to put your marker down, and to secure business in the future.

Yet, despite what the bookies might tell you, there really is no safe bet on who might win this important delivery partner role.

After all, since Olympic Delivery Authority bosses David Higgins and Jack Lemley decided to rede ne the programme manager role last January it has been very dif cult for anyone to effectively assess the form.

There are some very accomplished teams with their hats in the ring but without question the bidding process will throw up a few more surprises before Lemley chooses his partner.

He will demand (perhaps even command) the best team to bring this project in on time.

It is no secret that the current groupings do not perhaps represent what might have been considered his original dream team.

So expect the unexpected.

What is absolutely clear is the extent to which outstanding civil engineering planning, design, construction and operation must underpin everything being developed ahead of London 2012.

Regardless of who leads the team, we must as a profession ensure we maximise the opportunity to showcase ourselves.

We must deliver success on the day, a legacy in terms of the facilities left behind but also drive forward the commitment to sustainable development.

The civil engineering profession takes to the stage now.

It is six years until the 2012 Games open, six years for the Institution to mount a high pro nationwide campaign to emphasise and lead the profession's role and contribution towards making this event the UK's greatest ever.

As we see from this week's cover story, one year on from London's historic and unforgettable Olympic bid victory, there really is massive interest and enthusiasm surrounding the planning process.

Along with every individual and organisation seriously competing for place at the Olympic 2012 table, the profession must commit to this project right away and get on board with total and united enthusiasm.

Antony Oliver is NCE's editor

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