Admiral Sir Alan West GCB DSC ADC The First Sea Lord joined London 2012 Chairman Sebastian Coe today to pledge The Royal Navy’s support for London’s Bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

This is a special year for the Royal Navy as it plays its part in the year long SeaBritain 2005 initiative. This initiative commemorates the 200th anniversary of the death of Admiral Lord Nelson. Today’s events aptly took place in Trafalgar Square, overlooked by the statue of Nelson himself.

Admiral Sir Alan West and Sebastian Coe were joined by Jude Kelly, Chair of London 2012’s Cultural Committee. Royal Marines, sea cadets and sailors paraded London 2012’s giant flag across the Square.

Sebastian Coe, Chairman of London 2012, said: ‘As part of our cultural and educational plans London will launch its very own ship, the Olympic FriendShip. This will sail around the world crewed by young sailors and accompanied by other young people from all walks of life, encompassing the spirit of the Olympic Movement. The ship will be launched at the Beijing Games in 2008 which have the theme “Sail Onwards in Hope”.’

‘I am delighted the Royal Navy is supporting the Bid. Greenwich, which has historic links with the Navy that continue today, is a key part of London’s Bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. Greenwich Park will host the equestrian events and the Dome will be home to gymnastics and the finals of the Basketball competition.’

Admiral Sir Alan West said: ‘The Royal Navy and the Olympic Movement share many ideals, such as encouraging individual and team success in the face of challenge and adversity. These are the same ideals that we have witnessed recently in Ellen MacArthur’s wonderful record-breaking voyage.’

The giant flag will also be displayed on the deck of HMS Manchester as it sails past the Dome this afternoon.  Aerial shots should be available, contact London 2012 press office for details.

Notes to Editors

1. Images are available from the London 2012 press office.

2.  For more information on the FriendShip contact the London 2012 press office.

3.  Admiral Sir Alan West is available for interview, please contact Cdr Pam Healey on 02392 725 427 or 07979 258 675

Back the bid – register your support now on http://www.london2012.com/ or text the word LONDON to 82012.

For further information contact the London 2012 Press Office on 020 7093 5100

Further information on the Royal Navy’s plans for Trafalgar 200 can be found on http://www.trafalgar200.com/ or on the year long initiative http://www.seabritain2005.com/