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19 Jul 2012
London 2012 , IOC News , Legacy

London 2012 venues ready to host world’s greatest athletes

All 34 London 2012 venues are ready to play host to the world’s leading athletes, with the Olympic Games set to get underway in just eight days. At the heart of the action will be the stunning Olympic Stadium – the showpiece venue of the newly-built Olymp

The venue lies at the heart of the Park, on an ‘island’ surrounded by waterways on three sides, with spectators at the Games reaching the stadium via five bridges that link the site to the surrounding area.

The flexible design of the Stadium means its 80,000 capacity can be reduced after the Games, when it will continue to host elite level sport, such as the 2015 IAAF World Athletics Championships.

Elsewhere in the Olympic Park, the eye-catching Aquatics Centre will host the swimming, diving and synchronised swimming events.

Designed by internationally acclaimed architect Zaha Hadid, the breath-taking venue forms part of the gateway to the Olympic Park – more than two-thirds of spectators will enter the Park at the south-east corner via a bridge that forms part of the venue’s roof.

With a capacity of 17,500, the Aquatics Centre’s spectacular wave-like roof is 160m long and up to 80m wide, housing a 50m competition pool, a 25m competition diving pool, a 50m warm-up pool and a ‘dry’ warm-up area for divers.

After the Games, the venue will be transformed into a facility for the local community, clubs and schools, as well as elite swimmers, attracting an anticipated 800,000 visitors a year. The two temporary wings will be removed – reducing its capacity to 2,500 – although it will be possible to increase the venue’s capacity for major competitions.

The track cycling events will also be held in the Park, at the newly-built Velodrome, which is one of the most sustainable venues of the London 2012 Games.

Built using sustainable materials, the venue’s design incorporates natural ventilation and lets in an abundance of natural light, reducing the amount of energy needed for artificial lighting. Its roof also collects rainwater that will reduce mains water usage by more than 70 per cent.

After the Games, the venue will form the heart of a new VeloPark for use by the local community, clubs and elite athletes, which will also include the reconfigured BMX track, a new mountain bike track and a new road cycle circuit, as well as a cafe, bike hire and cycle workshop facilities. 

The Olympic Park is also home to the iconic Copper Box, which will host the handball competitions during the Games before it becomes a multi-use sports centre for community use, athlete training and events after the Games.

Temporary venues for hockey, water polo and basketball have also been built within the Olympic Park, while other events will be held across the rest of London and the UK.

A number of existing venues will be used around London, such as the North Greenwich Arena, Wembley Arena, and the Excel. Iconic venues like Greenwich Park will stage the equestrian events, while the beach volleyball will be held at the historic Horse Guards Parade, near Buckingham Palace. The tennis competitions will be staged at the famous All England Club in Wimbledon, while Lord’s Cricket Ground is being used for the archery events.

Outside London, the sailing competitions will be held in Weymouth, while Eton Dorney will stage the rowing and canoe sprint events and Hadleigh Farm will host the mountain bike races.

The football competition will be hosted in London at Wembley, as well as around Great Britain in Cardiff, Coventry, Glasgow, Manchester, and Newcastle

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