Story: Jack Foley
TOURIST landmarks in London are to form the centrepiece of the
capital's 2012 Olympic Games bid, which was officially unveiled
at a glittering event in Covent Garden on Friday, January 16,
As part of the proposals for the games, which will be pitted
against bids from Paris (the bookies favourite) and Rio
De Janeiro, Wembley, The Millennium Dome, Wimbledon, and Lord's
will be transformed into leading sporting venues.
Organisers also envisage competitors descending on Hyde Park,
for the triathlon and road cycling, while showpiece events such
as beach volleyball could take place in Horse Guards Parade, and
baseball and softball in Regent's Park.
Wembley Stadium, which is currently being rebuilt, could play
host to both men's and women's football finals, while Wimbledon,
inevitably, would play host to the tennis event.
Cardiffs showpiece Millennium Stadium, currently used for
the FA Cup Final and other prestigious football finals, could
be used for earlier rounds, along with Glasgows Hampden
Park, Windsor Park, in Belfast, and Manchesters Old Trafford.
Cricket bats could make way for archery at Lord's, while the
main Olympic Park, in lower Lea Valley, could house an 80,000-seat
stadium, for athletics and the opening and closing ceremonies,
as well as an aquatic centre, the Olympic village, hockey stadium
and a multi-sport complex for basketball, handball, volleyball
and modern pentathlon events.
The dis-used Millennium Dome could be given the chance to shine
once more, by being used for artistic gymnastics, trampolining,
basketball and handball finals, while Greenwich Park would host
the equestrian, modern pentathlon riding and running events.
Alexandra Palace, which is currently a popular concert venue,
would host fencing competitions, while Eton College Rowing Centre,
at Dorney Lake, would take on rowing and flatwater canoeing
The Olympics bid was submitted to the International Olympic Committee
on Thursday (Jan 15) and properly unveiled to the worlds
media the following day.
Its organisers were keen to stress that the proposals for the
Olympic Park, especially, offer the most compact venue ever proposed
to the International Olympic Committee, with many of the 28 sports
being within 15 minutes of the athletes village and just
a seven-minute train ride from central London.
"Our people, especially the young, will benefit from new
facilities," explained bid chairwoman, Barbara Cassani. "Our
next generation of athletes will be better equipped to develop
into future Olympians.
"Our Games will deliver the best for athletes. A compact
Olympic Park with easy access from living quarters to competition
venues. Competitors will be inspired to deliver personal best
performances against the backdrop of London's world-famous landmarks."
Aside from the frontrunners Paris and Rio de Janeiro, bids have
also been received from New York, Moscow and Madrid.
London wins Olympics bid!