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LOCOG has posted a very nice video about the people who transformed that ugly industrial area into the jewel we can see now. They did an incredible job -- and they deserve full credit for that.

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Looking very pretty. Hope it stays that way! :)

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Queen tours Olympic Park after debut as Bond Girl

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LONDON - (AP) -- Queen Elizabeth II toured London's Olympic heartland Saturday hours after she surprised a worldwide audience by starring as the newest Bond Girl.

The queen got a bird's eye view of the Olympic Park complex atop the 377-foot (115-meter) Orbit sculpture beside the stadium, where on Friday night she officially opened the 2012 Games. Her husband Prince Philip and London Mayor Boris Johnson accompanied her as she rode two floors up the sculpture's elevator to meet designer Anish Kapoor.

Dressed in a royal blue silk dress, crepe coat and matching hat, the queen could be heard remarking at the views of the London skyline and countryside up to 20 miles (32 kilometers) away. She was also wearing a brooch given to her in 1948, the last time London hosted the Olympics and four years before her accession to the throne.

Johnson said the queen had told him she was "very, very impressed with the success of her first film appearance, her first dramatic venture. It was very funny and seems to have gone down particularly well with the international audiences."

Buckingham Palace confirmed that the 86-year-old monarch agreed last year to participate in Danny Boyle's film portion of his four-hour opening ceremony extravaganza. Filming took place at the palace in March and April and featured three of the queen's corgi dogs: Monty, Holly and Willow.

Boyle's production involved Daniel Craig, the reigning James Bond, striding into Buckingham Palace to escort his VIP guest to the Olympic ceremony. Many watching had expected a famous actress to play the role of the queen, and untold thousands in the audience audibly gasped as the real-life queen was seen to swivel round in her desk chair and declare: "Good evening, Mr. Bond."

At the end of the film segment, two stuntmen dressed as Bond and the queen parachuted from a helicopter into the stadium, and moments later Elizabeth and Philip emerged in the stands.

The queen offered more surprises Saturday as she paid a walking visit to the Athletes Village and met about 150 members of the British Olympic team. Spectators took in the scene from balconies draped in Union Jack flags.

...

AP

http://www.newsday.c...-girl-1.3866313

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Two million fans attend events in Olympic Park

Two million spectators have now attended events at Olympic Park, London 2012 organisers have announced.

With four days of the Games to go, officials claim they have delivered on their promise to have packed and noisy venues, despite criticism earlier in the Games about empty seats in accredited areas reserved for officials and media.

Organisers also announced that 2.7 million people have attended one of the capital's live sites and that 160,000 watched the men's triathlon, 120,000 the women's marathon - which was held in driving rain - and 60,000 the women's triathlon.

"The passion and spirit of the British public has been outstanding," said London 2012 chairman Seb Coe.

"The huge crowds have contributed to making the atmosphere at events in both the Olympic Park and venues around the country incredible.

"I am very proud of the performance of our athletes, of my team which has given its heart and soul to these Games over the last seven years as well as the brilliant volunteers who seem to be having an extraordinary impact on everyone they meet."

http://uk.eurosport....-123350139.html

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So what now for the Olympic Park?

Following the end of the London Paralympics 2012, the Olympic Park in Stratford is set for yet another transformation.

Construction workers will return once again to turn a complex of arenas, pools and buildings, which have become so familiar to so many television viewers across the globe, into the newly-named Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

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The aquatics centre at Olympic Park. Credit: Press Association

The new-look park is set to re-open to the public in phases from July 27 next year - a year after the opening of the London 2012 Olympics.

The new Park will include:

  • 257 acres of open space
  • 6.5 km of waterways
  • Nine direct rail links
  • Five world-class sports venues
  • 2,000 events hosted annually and five new neighbourhoods

If all goes to plan, the target is for 9.3 million visitors to pass through it annually from 2016.

The plans involve the removal of temporary venues from the Olympic Park after the Paralympics, such as the Basketball Arena. Balfour Beatty will also remove the temporary seating from the Aquatics Centre, leaving 2,500 seats for future use. Major international competitions will be held at the Olympic Stadium even though its new tenants have not yet been confirmed.

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The Basketball Arena is to be removed from Olympic Park. Credit: Press Association

Four bids are in the running to make the showpiece venue their new home after the Games.Bids from West Ham United, Leyton Orient, Intelligent Transport Services in association with Formula One, and UCFB College of Football Business will be assessed to ensure they are compliant, before being evaluated ahead of negotiations, according to the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC). It is set to become the new national home for athletics and to host the IAAF 2017 World Athletics Championships.

Estimates suggest 800,000 visitors a year will use the Aquatics Centre when the park reopens.

The two temporary wings will be stripped away to cut the capacity to 2,500 after the Games. It will be possible to increase the venue capacity for major competitions, the LLDC said.

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The Copper Box. Credit: Press Association

The Copper Box, where the handball and some modern pentathlon disciplines were held, is to become a multi-use sports centre for the community, athlete training and events. Greenwich Leisure Limited has again been named as operator. Its flexible design and retractable seating mean it will be suitable for activities ranging from international competition to community sports. Legacy chiefs hope indoor sports such as basketball, handball, badminton, boxing, martial arts, netball, table tennis, wheelchair rugby and volleyball could be played there.

The first homes on the park are to be ready at the end of 2014.

The North Park, a nature-themed community sector and playground also including the multi-use sport, entertainment and community arena, will be the first area to re-open in July next year.

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The Orbit inside Olympic Park. Credit: Press Association

The South Plaza, sitting between the Olympic Stadium, Aquatics Centre and the ArcelorMittal Orbit, is set to open at Easter 2014. Visitors will then have access to the whole of the park.

Structures used during the Games, such as temporary venues, bridges, walkways and roads, will be stripped out during the transformation.The closure is also when the park will be connected to the surrounding area with new roads, cycle-ways and foot paths. Permanent venues, bridges and parklands will be completed ready for everyday use by residents and visitors during this time.

http://www.itv.com/n...e-olympic-park/

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*sigh* That seems a long wait until Easter 2014 when the whole park is accessible again. ;)

I'm surprised, though, that they take that much of the Games infrastructure out, including the extra-wide bridges. Don't they need them also for the 2017 IAAF World Championships and the other sports events (including the possible West Ham matches) in the park? Or did they only need them because so many sports events took place at the same time in the park during the Games?

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*sigh* That seems a long wait until Easter 2014 when the whole park is accessible again. ;)

I'm surprised, though, that they take that much of the Games infrastructure out, including the extra-wide bridges. Don't they need them also for the 2017 IAAF World Championships and the other sports events (including the possible West Ham matches) in the park? Or did they only need them because so many sports events took place at the same time in the park during the Games?

I wouldn't be at all surprised if the South Park plans change once West Ham are confirmed as the stadium's team. But I think the North Park plans are pretty well fitted to the legacy and the visitor numbers.

Here's a good run-down of the timetable.

http://noordinarypark.co.uk/when/

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I'm surprised, though, that they take that much of the Games infrastructure out, including the extra-wide bridges. Don't they need them also for the 2017 IAAF World Championships and the other sports events (including the possible West Ham matches) in the park? Or did they only need them because so many sports events took place at the same time in the park during the Games?

There are still 4 bridges + the whole area behind the stadium which I presume can be used for access.

Most UK football stadiums are surrounded by housing so I think it will be more than fine with what they will have remaining.

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It's a real shame it now closes for a long period - even if they kept it open in it's current state through to say the end of October just to let people enjoy it and then try and get what they can open by next Spring would be good.

The main question though is the stadium - seems criminal to downsize it, even if it would only reach capacity once a year. More than anything I hope though there is a sporting legacy - and if in 30-40 years London decides it's time to bid again that the Olympic Park can still be used as an Olympic Park for a future games and doesn't end up cluttered by housing .

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I'd rather it was cluttered by housing and had a purpose for the next 30-40 years, than be kept empty just in case London get the Olympics again in the distant future.

Can't wait to re-explore the park again next year and in 2014.

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It seemed to me the over all layout will remain the same with hosing on the site of some of the temporary venues and more green space,

I would like to see the Water chariot resume entering the Olympic park at old ford lock , sailing around the Olympic stadium and stoping by the orbit.

The aquatic centre will be more aesthetically pleasing with the temporary stands removed.

In the mediate after math of the Olympics I do hope we see an emphasis on re-landscaping The canal side Where the TV studios were and reintegrating old ford lock in to the park.

With a museum to London 2012 rather than rushing to build housing.

I also have a suspicion there may still be some unexploded ww2 bombs to deal with

Most of all I hope the magic is still there when the park re-opens.

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Boris to oversee London Olympic legacy

Mayor Boris Johnson will chair his London Legacy Development Corporation following the success of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Johnson said the Games legacy, including the future of the Olympic Park and the continued regeneration of East London, is a top priority as he personally oversees the process as chair of the LLDC Board.

"Securing the future of the Olympic and Paralympic legacy and building on the regeneration of East London is a matter of huge importance to me personally," Johnson said.

"It is vital that I continue to be at the forefront of the decision-making, driving forward the huge task of delivery. The chairmanship of the LLDC will enable me to do just that, building on what has already been achieved."

The former MP for Henley also confirmed the appointment of Daniel Moylan, his aviation advisor and current chair of LLDC, to spearhead a new aviation policy unit with a brief to develop air infrastructure links to benefit business in London and the South East.

"Daniel Moylan is a gifted politician with a superb brain. I've asked Daniel to take on one of the most important challenges of my second term, the vital task of driving our aviation policy," Johnson added.

"London is the heartbeat of the UK's economy. We must remain competitive, and to do that we need a coherent aviation strategy for 21st century London. Daniel Moylan will help me deliver that."

http://uk.eurosport....-133937515.html

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Work begins on the transformation of the London 2012 Olympic Park

big-screen_2339003k.jpg Workers begin to dismantle one of the large viewing screens in the Olympic Park.

mcdonalds_2338988k.jpg Workmen begin to move furniture from a McDonald's Restaurant in the Olympic Park

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A workman abseils from the top of the Olympic Stadium

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Signs warn people of moving vehicles in the Olympic Park

http://www.telegraph...ympic-Park.html

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LOCOG begins Olympic Park handover to London Legacy Development Corporation

The London 2012 Organizing Committee has handed over most of the Olympic Park to the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC).

The programme of work to transform the Olympic Park site after the Games is well underway with LOCOG removing the temporary facilities that were necessary to make the Games happen. In just six weeks since the Paralympic Games Closing Ceremony a significant proportion of the temporary overlay has already been removed from the Olympic Park.

The handover means that the LLDC have taken operational control of the Olympic Park (perimeter security, access control and logistics operations) and associated areas. The Legacy Corporation will then begin works to transform the Park into a new part of London, to be known as Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, through a 292m pounds construction project.

LOCOG has phased handover dates for specific venues and spaces to the LLDC. The Aquatics Centre, the Velodrome and the Basketball Arena have now been handed over to LLDC, the Copper Box will be handed over in November and the Olympic Stadium and Press and Broadcast Centres will be handed over in December.

Meanwhile, LOCOG is also preparing to hand over the Olympic Village to the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) so that a large- scale retrofitting programme can begin, transforming the 2,818 apartments and houses into East Village -- a new community for London from 2013 onwards.

Seb Coe, LOCOG Chair, said: "The UK hosted a spectacular Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer. We have now begun the first chapter of the lasting legacy we promised when we bid for the Games. We began our work straight after the Games to transform the venues, parklands and facilities in the Olympic Park to ensure generations to come will benefit from a golden summer. I congratulate my team for taking out all the temporary structures so quickly so that the job of transformation continues quickly."

Dennis Hone, Chief Executive of ODA and interim Chief Executive of LLDC, said: "The work has already begun on preparing the Olympic Park and Olympic Village for legacy. Once the overlay and Games-time elements are removed, we will start to deconstruct the temporary venues, adapt permanent venues for future use, reshape the landscape and retrofit the Village into a new community for London. This will take some time, but the wait will be worth it. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will be a fantastic new place to live, work and visit and enjoy. This really is an opportunity to create a legacy of the type we have never seen before."

The Legacy Corporation has planned its works to enable the Park to begin to re-open in phases, from 27th July, 2013, as each piece of work reaches completion. The whole Park will be open by spring 2014.

http://news.xinhuane...c_131925640.htm

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The BBC Aquatics Centre webcam apparently stopped transmitting on October 9. But in the last picture it took you can see that they have removed the wrap around the Olympic Stadium.

2012_99.jpg

And here's a picture taken yesterday - a poignant reminder that the wonderful summer is over, also weatherwise. So sad to see the "naked" stadium and the Orbit in that ugly, depressing fog and in that deserted park.

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And here's a story about what is about to happen with the now-removed wrap of the Olympic Stadium:

http://fuelfix.com/blog/2012/08/14/olympic-stadiums-chemically-produced-wrap-getting-recycled/

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