The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) handed over the Olympic Village site to the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG). The handover marks the start of the huge process to fit-out the new apartments and ready the Village to welcome athletes and officials from around the world in six months’ time.
Four times Olympic gold medallist Matthew Pinsent was on hand to assist LOCOG’s ‘bedding in’ process helping lift in the first of more than 16,000 beds which will be installed in the Village in the coming months.
The Olympic Village will be able to house 16,000 athletes and team officials during the Olympic Games and 6,200 athletes and team officials along with 1,000 referees and umpires during the Paralympic Games. LOCOG Chair Seb Coe said, “Athletes are at the heart of the London 2012 Games and our plans for the Olympic Village will provide them with a home-from-home as they prepare for one of the biggest sporting moments of their lives."
The mammoth task of equipping the Village is now underway and no detail has been forgotten. The 16,000 beds will be dressed with 64,000 bed sheets and 21,000 pillows, while the 9,000 wardrobes being installed will come complete with 170,000 coat hangers.
The facilities for what will be the largest peacetime catering operation in the world are also under construction. During the Games up to 60,000 meals will be served every day using a vast array of ingredients including 5,000 loaves of bread, 232 tonnes of potatoes, 75,000 litres of milk and more than 330 tonnes of fruit and vegetables.
The ODA started work on the Village in June 2008 and completed the construction of the 2,818 new apartments on time. After the Games, the apartments will create a legacy as they become homes in a new community to be known as East Village. This will offer high-quality housing - both affordable and private rented or owned - parklands, public squares and some of the best transport connections in the capital.
Of the homes in the Village, 1,379 will provide high-quality affordable housing, while the remaining 1,439 properties will become private housing. The construction of the Village has also included the development of a world-class education campus – the Chobham Academy – with places for 1,800 students.