diamond geezer

 Sunday, April 29, 2012

London 2012  Olympic update
  Olympic website update

Yesterday morning, while you weren't watching, the London 2012 Olympic website updated. It's slipped into Games mode - no longer focusing on preparation, but concentrating on sport. When the eyes of the world alight on London2012.com they won't be interested in building sites and Games Lanes, they'll want to know when the cycling's on and who won medals in the canoeing. But there's plenty of information for spectators if you drill down, including some I've not seen elsewhere before. So here are some snippets I've gleaned, in case you're one of the lucky millions with tickets (or even if you're not).

You cannot enter London 2012 venues with liquids, aerosols and gels in quantities greater than 100ml
Yes, it's true, security paranoia at London 2012 will be similar to trying to board a plane. Welcome everyone, to Stratford International Airport. If you wander up to security with a cup of coffee, it's going in the bin. If you bring a can of Coke, let alone a can of Pepsi, it's going in the bin. If you stick a yoghurt in your packed lunch, it's going in the bin. The same goes for bottles of perfume, spray-on deodorants, hair gel, hand sanitisers, cough syrup and toothpaste. As we all know, liquids are the chosen medium through which international terrorists seek to wreak havoc on the world... despite the fact that none of them yet successfully have, but they might, so be very very afraid. The ban's clearly pointless, given that would-be evil masterminds could have bought 20 tickets to the hockey or synchronised swimming, allowing their group a total of two litres, which is more than enough to build a bomb in a toilet cubicle, but don't let that worry you. Some might see this rule as blatant profiteering for Coca Cola, the sponsor with exclusive rights to sale of liquids within Games venues, but rest assured there is an alternative. Empty drinks canisters will be allowed, so long as they're not glass, and so long you emptied them beforehand. Free drinking water will then be available inside all venues, so you can fill them up for nothing and quench your thirst in the grandstand. Phew. Full list of restricted items here.

A spectator map of the Games-time Olympic Park has been revealed
Ooh, a proper map at last, complete with venues, entrances, artworks and various other Points of Interest. If you've got a ticket to the Olympic Park during the Games (<grins smugly>) then these are your entertainment choices while you're not watching your event...
» Near the stadium there'll be two separate gardens, the Great British Garden and the 2012 Gardens.
» The far end of the Park, along the river, will be mostly park. The bit where the Manor Gardens allotments once were will be a Live Site, sponsored by British Airways, where you can watch the events like everyone else at home but on a bigger telly.
» A three mile walk, guiding you round all the artworks and pretty landscape features, will be signposted by butterfly icons.
» There'll be four London 2012 shops, one of them a Megastore, in case you still haven't bought all the branded teatowels your kitchen needs.
» The biggest McDonald's in the UK appears in the key, but somebody's forgotten to position it on the map. It'll be located in World Square... where alternative street food will include Chinese noodles, Mexican burritos, coffee and crepes. British classics such as fish and chips, roast dinners and curry will be available elsewhere in the park.
» Tickets for the Orbit observation tower will be available at the London 2012 tickets site only. It'll be open for lift rides to the top, and for walks down the exterior spiral staircase, but only for the four weeks of the Games. And then the Orbit will be closed again, until "late 2013", which is one hell of a mothballing for something that was supposed to be a world class tourist attraction.
» Near the foot of the Orbit will be the Official Pin Trading Centre, for all the spectators with a pin badge fixation, sponsored by Coca Cola. Don't all rush, will you.
» Further commercial activity will be widespread. At least eight Games sponsors are building visitor attractions, mostly interactive pavilions, where they'll attempt to convince you how wonderful, caring and eco-friendly they are. If it rains, these consumer temples may be the only substantial sources of cover. Here are the eight mentioned on the map (some of which, I have to say, sound ghastly)
    - BP. Fuelling the Future (interactive experience)
    - The Acer Journey (interactive experience)
    - Samsung Mobile Live PIN (interactive experience)
    - Coca-Cola Beatbox (interactive experience)
    - The National Lottery: It’s Your Space (interactive experience)
    - EDF Pavilion – The Magic of Electricity (interactive experience)
    - The BMW Group Pavilion (interactive experience)
    - Panasonic 3D Theatre

Other things I've spotted
"Spectators wishing to walk to their venue will be able to book onto free guided walks, available for a number of Games venues. The walks start from various points across the UK and will lead you along audited walking routes to remove the worry of getting lost or arriving late. These must be booked in advance." (you what?)
"Businesses at the North Greenwich Arena will be operating as normal throughout the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and will remain open to the general public. However, all visitors to the O2, including staff, will have to pass through a security screening area before they enter the complex." (I bet the restaurant owners hate that)
"There are still almost four million tickets available for the Games." (really? why?)
Seating plans for all the major venues are now available, so that when your tickets arrive (in June) you can check how near to the action you are (or how far)
"Changing the Guard will still take place at Buckingham Palace, although the time may vary. We are working with the Ministry of Defence to identify a nearby suitable location for the ceremony to take place." (there's power for you)
"The Army is set to station soldiers and high velocity surface-to-air missiles on top of a block of residential flats at Bow Quarter to ward off any airborne terror threats during the Olympics." (sorry, that's not on the London 2012 website, that's merely gobsmacking news) (sheesh)
• They've killed off the London 2012 blog. It now exists only as a partial archive, tucked away in a dark corner of the site, should any archivists of the future ever be interested in some mis-formatted words with all the pictures missing. (see, blogging's dead)

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