By Tom Degun

Lambeth_with_landmarksApril 27 - A large Portuguse community and the fact that the London Eye is based there has helped Lambeth secure a deal for the Olympic Committee of Portugal (OCP) to locate themselves there during London 2012.

An estimated 27,000 Portuguese are based in the neighbourhood known as "Little Portugal" which is located to south of the Borough.

"The Olympic Committee of Portugal are delighted to move to Lambeth for the London 2012 Olympic Games," said Vicente Moura, the President of the OCP.

"All events, official receptions, meetings and press conferences will be held in Lambeth."

The decision to base themselves there came after the meeting earlier this month between the OCP and delegation headed by Steve Reed, the Leader of Lambeth Council.

"I am proud to show our support for Lambeth's Portuguese community by helping them support their team," Reed told insidethegames.

"This is a great way to join with Lambeth's single biggest minority population as they look forward to the London Olympics and Paralympics.

"Lambeth has the biggest population of Portuguese speakers in Europe outside Portugal itself.

"This is an exciting opportunity to celebrate their contribution to our borough while also making sure Lambeth makes the most of the London Olympics and Paralympics."

"I hope we will be able to support other communities living locally in the same way."

Reed, along with Lambeth Council Cabinet Member for the 2012 Olympic Games Florence Nosegbe, will meet the President of Portugal Anibal Cavaco Silva and OCP officials in Lisbon this Friday (April 29) to finalise the partnership.

Other items for discussion will include Lambeth's plans to develop new services to support for their growing Portuguese community.

This agreement will see a delegation of Portuguese athletes to travel to Lambeth on June 10 to mark the Day of Portugal, Camões and the Portuguese Communities, when the deal is expected to be officially announced.

Portugal join Brazil, Czech Republic, France, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands and Switzerland in agreeing deals for hospitality bases during London 2012.

In addition Russia have unveiled plans to set-up an ice rink in Marble Arch during the Games to publicise Sochi 2014.

Portugal claimed two medals at the Beijing 2008 Olympics. including a gold which was won in the men's triple jump event by Nelson Évora (pictured).

Évora, who was chosen as the flag bearer during the Opening Ceremony for the Games, claimed victory with a leap of 17.67 metres ahead of Britain's Phillips Idowu to give Portugal their only fourth ever Olympic gold.

He will be looking to defend his title at London 2012 after picking up silver at the IAAF Athletics World Championships in Berlin in 2009 after finishing behind Britain's Phillips Idowu.

Portugal's only other medal ay Beijing 2008 came in women's triathlon event where Vanessa de Sousa Fernandes picked up silver.

Lambeth, which is situated around one mile southeast of Charing Cross, is set to be a major tourist attraction during London 2012 with a number of iconic landmarks located in the area including Westminster Bridge.

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