Dominant media and public perceptions of the Olympics focus on the international sporting event, concentrating on “games-time” and elite sport. However the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) conceptualisation of Olympism encompasses a broader range of objectives including education and culture. The bid to stage the London 2012 Games (hereafter called the 2012 Games) reflects wider political, economic and regeneration aspirations and subsequent policies and plans identify the sporting event within its broader regeneration context. The combination of improved infrastructure and an enhanced image for the East of London is intended to create impetus for a much wider and longer-term regeneration project. This wider agenda is supported by a four-year Cultural Olympiad (CO) which comprises a programme of “cultural” events and projects culminating in the London 2012 Festival, running from June until the end of the 2012 Games.