diamond geezer

 Monday, July 27, 2009

London 2012  Olympic update
  Three years to go

There are three years to go until the Olympics. Looking at the stadium today, anyone might think it was only one.

Olympic Stadium July 2009

There are three years to go until the Olympics. When Friday 27th July comes around this arena will echo to the sound of cheering and dancing and pyrotechnics and parading athletes and whooshing torches and arty display things and whatever else the 2012 budget can afford. Let's hope the weather forecast for the Opening Ceremony is a bit better than it is today.

There are three years to go until the Olympics. They had some special events in and around the stadium over the weekend as part of the Open Weekend celebration. On Saturday there were family-friendly events on the Greenway (which is why there are wooden chairs and tables set out in the foreground of my photo). Dave went, and he made a video. And on Sunday the first 300 members of the public (all competition winners) were allowed inside to look up at the grandstand from within, and to point at the finishing line, and to take photos, and to get a bit excited.

There are three years to go until the Olympics. I've been taking a monthly photo from up on the Greenway for the last two years, and the pace of change has been astonishing. But I'm a bit worried that, with the exterior of the stadium now pretty much complete, there's not going to be very much more change to document between now and 2012. Ah well, I'll keep taking nigh identical pictures until either I get bored or they finally seal the Greenway off. [latest photo]

There are three years to go until the Olympics. That's 1096 days, as it says up there in the sidebar of my blog. And that's also how long it says on the London 2012 homepage, which makes a refreshing change. Earlier this year they were counting down to the day before the Olympics (which would have been '1095 days to go'), but now they've changed their mind and are counting correctly. About time too.

There are three years to go until the Olympics. The 2012 team have taken this opportunity to launch a special commemorative metal badge with a '3' on it which they hope 3000 of you will buy. Anna, who's the 2012 "licensing manager for jewellery and collectable products", thinks that anyone after a recession-beating investment should consider investing in a 3 Years To Go pin. Having seen the design, you wouldn't buy it to wear, that's for certain.

There are three years to go until the Olympics. The stadium's already a landmark in East London - readily viewable from the Bow flyover, from the DLR, from the North London Line, even from the top of the Gherkin. But best make the most of looking at it now. If everything goes to plan that upper tier of seats will be removed soon after 2012, and the ring of giant white trusses will come down, and the arena bowl will retreat back beneath the skyline. We shall not see its like again.

There are three years to go until the Olympics. We may now have a stadium, pretty much, but nobody's yet quite worked out what we're going to do with it afterwards. A slimmed down athletics arena? (yeah, like that'll really draw the crowds in). An occasional test match venue? (that's the latest idea, although it's hardly a full-time occupation). A potential 2018 World Cup venue? (hardly seems worth waiting six whole years in order to use the place for a month). An echoing tumbleweed arena at the heart of a new-build estate where nobody wants to live? (nah, surely not, probably).

There are 36 months to go until the Olympics. And there are 38 months until it's all over. I wonder how many decades it'll be before the effects wear off.

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