UPS (NYSE: UPS) today officially opened its 2012 Olympic Games logistics center in Stevenage, England, with help from its new London 2012 Olympic Games Ambassadors Ben Ainslie, Denise Lewis and Steve Rider.

The opening represents an important milestone in the buildup to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and comes in the same week that an International Olympic Committee inspection team visits the UK to review progress with the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG).

As the Official Logistics and Express Delivery Supporter of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, UPS has an active and instrumental role in assisting LOCOG's preparations. UPS will be responsible for delivering 30 million items, including 1 million pieces of sporting equipment. The fully operational Stevenage facility will be a vital asset on this journey.

The warehouse and distribution facility, which covers a total area of 331,000 square feet, will house a vast array of sporting goods and event equipment before they are transported to the respective London 2012 Games host venues, including the Olympic Stadium, the Velodrome and other venues outside the capital such as Weymouth and Portland. In addition, a second UPS facility in Tilbury will be opening in the next couple of months.

To coincide with the Stevenage facility opening, UPS launched its London 2012 Olympic Games Ambassador program featuring Ben Ainslie, Denise Lewis and Steve Rider. All three ambassadors will be helping to spread the message of UPS's preparations ahead of the London 2012 Games, taking part in voluntary community activities and building excitement among UPS's 7,500 employees in the UK.

Ben Ainslie, triple Olympic gold medallist and London 2012 sailing hopeful, praised the hard work being done to ensure every item of Games equipment is delivered on time to the right venue: "With an event like sailing, there is so much equipment that needs to be transported to off-site venues like The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy - from the boats, to the sails to even something as small as a bracket - so the planning that goes into making sure everything is ready and accounted for by competition time is quite incredible. Knowing this planning is in good hands allows me to focus on giving my best performance."

Denise Lewis, former heptathlete and Olympic gold medalist, also paid tribute to the logistical task in hand: "It takes a huge amount of time and dedication for any athlete to achieve their dream of competing in the Olympic Games. But what is sometimes forgotten is the dedication of those behind the scenes, like UPS, who ensure all the organization is taken care of before a starting gun is even fired."

Alan Williams, Director, London 2012 Sponsorship & Operations, described the scale of the operation at Stevenage: "Between now and the opening ceremony on July 27th 2012, UPS's Stevenage facility will store millions of items of inventory that are required to make the Games run smoothly. With so many time-sensitive items needing to be transported in and out of the venues in a short time period, a vast amount of expertise is required to ensure the process is efficient and effective from start to finish."

Steve Rider, British television sports presenter, said: "When you see a facility of this size you begin to realize the scale of what is involved to bring the Olympic and Paralympic Games to life. It is not just the athletes' equipment that needs to be delivered; there are all the other details that UPS and LOCOG have to organize, such as making sure all the broadcast technology is in place for the world's visiting media."

UPS is responsible for virtually all the distribution and logistics services for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games via an integrated supply chain solution that includes venue logistics services, warehousing services and a distribution network that will collect and deliver everything from documents to heavy freight. UPS also will be responsible for all customs clearance, freight forwarding and courier services before, during and after the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.