Gold rush: Sheffield is already on Olympic glory trail

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TODAY marks one year to go until the 2012 Olympic Games begin - and Sheffield has already struck gold.

The city’s economy is already benefiting to the tune of £6 million from 60 national, European and global competitions being held in the city this year in the run-up to the London games, which have attracted thousands of competitors, coaches, relatives and supporters.

Meanwhile, training camps involving top Olympic teams from around the world at venues including Ponds Forge and the English Institute of Sport are set to bring in a further £1 million - those who have already signed up to train in Sheffield include the US diving team.

Sheffield’s facilities are also being used by four Great Britain Olympic teams, along with individual sporting stars such as our very own heptathlete Jessica Ennis and runner Emily Freeman.

An estimated one in seven of the 500 competitors representing Team GB will have trained in Sheffield.

Council bosses also hope the games will leave a lasting legacy by encouraging people to get active and interested in sport - and participation rates are already improving, with a quarter of the city’s adult population enjoying regular sports and fitness activities - making Sheffield the most active large city in Britain.

And Sheffield companies are also benefiting with several having won contracts to help construct the Olympic facilities in London.