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Queen salutes 'dedicated' athletes
The Queen has described how thousands of competitors had completed years of "dedication, hard work and personal sacrifice" in the run-up to London 2012.
With just days to go to the start of the Olympics, the Queen sent out her warm wishes to the athletes making their final preparations ahead of the global event.
She spoke at a Buckingham Palace reception to welcome members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and was presented with a set of medals - gold, silver and bronze - by the organisation's president Jacques Rogge.
The Olympic Games will be officially launched by the Queen on Friday and a spectacular £27 million opening ceremony created by Hollywood director Danny Boyle will be staged. Around 17,000 athletes and officials will be involved in the 17-day long Games which amount to 26 world championships.
The Queen said: "In the coming days over 10,000 athletes from more than 200 nations will be undertaking their final preparations following years of dedication, hard work and personal sacrifice. We send our warm wishes to them all for a rewarding and enjoyable Games."
The Queen said it was hoped the Olympics would leave a strong legacy for future generations and added: "Hosting the London 2012 Games has provided inspiration to our children and communities, whether by motivating them to take up physical activity or encouraging them to demonstrate the Olympic values of excellence, respect and friendship in their daily lives, places of learning and local communities.
"Nowhere has this been more evident than in the warm welcome given to the Olympic Torchbearers as the Olympic Flame has travelled the length and breadth of the United Kingdom."
Meanwhile, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will cheer on Team GB medal hopefuls when they attend a host of Olympic events. Sportsmen and women will get royal support from William, Kate and Prince Harry at the global event.
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall are due to attend Olympic events and the Queen is also expected to visit the Olympic Park, although details have not been officially released.
The Cambridges - Team GB ambassadors along with Harry - will watch equestrian competitors in Greenwich, tennis players at Wimbledon, swimming at the Olympic Park in Stratford and athletics.