After a thunderous summer of drama, noise and
sporting glory, the now-famous Olympic venues of East London have fallen
silent. The hard work begins now to deliver on ‘legacy’, an intangible,
immeasurable term much loved by anyone publicly associated with Stratford and
the London 2012 Olympics.
project is off, it seems, to a good start. Indeed, the President of the
International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge, has raved, ‘This great
historical city has created a legacy blueprint for future games hosts.’ One of
the greatest fears among pre-games skeptics was that Stratford would be home to
a series of architectural white elephants, but a year of redevelopment will see
the site transformed into a new public park and sports facilities, known as the
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
the Olympics and Paralympics will have noted the wildflowers and waterways
alongside huge works of art, which will now mingle with new housing, schools
and office complexes. The ugly yet already iconic Orbit, Britain’s largest
piece of public art, will also remain, offering fine views from its ungainly
of controversy that remains is whether the games will bring more tourists to
Britain in the long term. At 5.6 million, holiday visits to Britain in the
first half of 2012 were two percent up on last year, and Visit Britain claimed
forward bookings are ‘good’ as they unveiled an ambitious push to capitalise on
the feel-good factor. The aim is for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to become
the focus of the third day of many international visitors’ stays in London,
once they’ve explored the area around the South Bank and central London’s other
happening to the Olympics venues?
Aquatics Centre (“The Great Wave”)
The main swimming
competitions venue had its capacity reduce to 2,500 people, and it will be reopening
in 2014 as a public pool. It will also host the 2016 LEN European Swimming
Home to training
pools during the Olympics and wheelchair tennis in the Paralympics, it will
host the 2015 European Hockey Championship.
Multi-Use Arena (“The Copper-Box”)
With a capacity of
6,000, the “box that rocks” is London’s third largest indoor arena and will be
used for various sports, including basketball.
West Ham United FC
and Essex Country Cricket Club are among those bidding for the venue’s lease.
The stadium will keep the track and host the 2017 World Athletics Championship.
Velodrome (“The Pringle”)
The Velodrome and
BMX track will be joined by a road cycling track and mountain bike trails
snaking round the venue to form the new “Velopark”.
Tom Hall is Lonely Planet’s UK-based web
This article was published in partnership with Lonely Planet