The 2012 London Summer Olympics will be the premier event this year; London is the only city in the United Kingdom to have ever hosted the Olympic Games. In fact, London will become the first city to officially host the modern Olympic Games three times, having previously done so in 1908 and 1948. The Games begin July 27.
This week, some of the world’s best cyclists will test out the track in the Velodrome before 25,000 spectators to compete in the UCI Track Cycling World Cup sponsored by Samsung. Cyclists will not only be competing for the cup, but to accrue points toward the UCI Olympic Track ranking and to secure starting spots for the 2012 London Olympics.
I visited the Olympic Park in London last fall to take a look at the progress being made on the construction. Visitors can walk around the perimeter of some of the main venues and see for themselves just what goes into making the Olympic Games happen. And, of course, they can pick up all sorts of London 2012 trinkets, t-shirts and other memorabilia near the construction sites.
There are large, helpful, colorful maps and boards around the area, giving visitors details about each venue, such as what sporting events will be held in each one, and what those venues will be used for after the Games. Visitors also can enjoy life-size portraits of some of the Olympic and Paralympic athletes participating in the Games, as well as those working behind the scenes to make the events happen, in an exhibition entitled, “Road to 2012: A Local Story.”
Here are some pictures of what the main Olympics Park area looked like last fall. For more updated photos via Web cam, please check out the official 2012 Olympics site:
- Olympic Stadium
The Olympic Stadium is structurally finished, with roof and all spectator seats installed. The stadium, while still massive and able to house thousands, will mostly be made out of recycled material with a limited amount of steel, making it the most sustainable stadium in Olympic history.
- View Tube
The View Tube is an activity center located right next to the Olympic Park that enables visitors to get a panoramic view of some of the main venues for the London 2012 Games. The Tube was built using recycled shipping containers and includes a café, education, arts and information spaces.
- Locations For Visitors
- ArcelorMittal Orbit
This sculpture, entitled "The ArcelorMittal Orbit" and designed by artist Anish Kapoor, will be Britain's largest piece of public art and will stand taller than the Statue of Liberty. The structure is made of tabular steel and is majority funded by ArcelorMittal, the global steel company, for 16 million pounds ($25.1 million). The orbit will offer views across the entire Olympic site.
Constructed from local recycled materials, Goal! is a sculpture re-imagining victory events such as the Tour de France and the Olympics, built by Berlin-based artists Folke Kobberling and Martin.
Click on each slide for an enlarged photo. All photos courtesy of Liza Porteus Viana.
What Olympic events are you most excited to see in London 2012? Share below!
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