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Lee Valley: Latest Olympic legacy venue opens in Stratford

BBC London take a look around the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, which has opened at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford.

Costing £30m, it boasts six outdoor and four indoor tennis courts, along with two international standard hockey pitches.

The centre, which hosted wheelchair tennis at the London Paralympics in 2012, has already secured a number of international tournaments for both tennis and hockey. England Hockey will play the majority of their home international matches at the venue in the future.

Sara Orchard speaks to Shaun Dawson from the Lee Valley Park Authority, England hockey player Henry Weir, chairman of Wapping Hockey Club Stuart Burnside and wheelchair tennis player Lucy Shuker about what impact the facility will have.

Video: http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/olympics/27929540

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bell.PNG

So on this location? (according to the image on page 41?)

Oh no!

They've melted down the Bell and recast it as two little ones (small enough not to be subcontracted to the Netherlands this time).

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Oh no!

They've melted down the Bell and recast it as two little ones (small enough not to be subcontracted to the Netherlands this time).

i think they are placing two bells to know with one looks best to place it. there will also be a west ham statue so, one of the bell might be a place holder for it.

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London 2012’s International Inspiration campaign far exceeds expectations

When Lord Sebastian Coe first revealed an ambitious programme in 2005 to use the power of the Olympic Games to inspire young people around the world to get interested and active in sports, the initial target was set at 12 million youngsters. It turns out the programme, like the London 2012 Olympic Games themselves, far exceeded expectations.

Two years after the Games, a new report puts the reach of the International Inspiration Programme – the cornerstone of the London 2012 Organising Committee’s international legacy initiative – at over 25 million young people in 20 countries worldwide.

The final evaluation report, which was prepared by the independent evaluation and monitoring organisation Ecorys UK, outlined the programme’s objectives, impact, and the extent to which it had delivered a sustainable legacy. In addition to inspiring 25 million young people through sport, the programme was also found to have successfully provided sports training to over a quarter of a million teachers, coaches and leaders and influenced 55 national policies, strategies and legislative changes.

According to the report, the programme has brought “wider benefits for children and young people” in the 20 countries, “including healthier lifestyles, increased engagement in education, personal development and social inclusion.”

Lord Coe, Chairman of the Organising Committee for the Games of the XXX Olympiad and Chair of International Inspiration, said: “It’s nearly ten years ago that I made a promise to ‘reach young people all around the world and connect them to the inspirational power of the Games so they are inspired to choose sport’, and nearly a decade on we will have inspired over 25 million children and young people around the world by providing education and sporting opportunities that they otherwise wouldn’t have had.

“I am incredibly proud that we managed to make a difference, using sport as a tool for development, for so many children and young people all over the world, as a direct result of hosting the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games here in the UK.”

The programme was delivered in partnership with UK Sport, the British Council, UNICEF UK and the legacy charity International Inspiration.

http://www.olympic.org/news/london-2012-s-international-inspiration-campaign-far-exceeds-expectations/234786

Kid-GB-630x364.jpg

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That report seems to omit the related news (here from the Reuters report of Lord Coe's views on Rio 2016) that

"The programme has now received funding for another three years from Britain's Department for International Development."

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BrPlINYIQAAP9fK.jpg

MPS Helicopters ‏@MPSinthesky

The #weather is improving, we passed the @AMOrbit and #olympicpark on the way home #olympics #London recognise it?

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The TV coverage of the Tour de France from Yorkshire and The approach to London from Cambridge was sensational!!!!! Britain has never looked better, and its probably the best grand depart the tour de France has ever had.

I found the TV coverage in London less impressive ,I don’t know whether it was a different production team but, the camas flailed about with very little context given to the location of the race and photographed with a every poor eye for a good shot.

Great start in Yorkshire though!!!!!!!!

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The TV coverage of the Tour de France from Yorkshire and The approach to London from Cambridge was sensational!!!!! Britain has never looked better, and its probably the best grand depart the tour de France has ever had.

I found the TV coverage in London less impressive ,I don’t know whether it was a different production team but, the camas flailed about with very little context given to the location of the race and photographed with a every poor eye for a good shot.

Great start in Yorkshire though!!!!!!!!

Totally agree! What about this shot:

11ju7g2.jpg

Dutch riders and journalists were very positive about the atmosphere along the route!

The Tour de France 2015 will start in the Netherlands (Utrecht)

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Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games – ticket exclusive

London celebrates its Olympic Legacy with the annual Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games and an exclusive offer of 50% off tickets!

The location for this year's event is the iconic Royal Horse Guards Parade in central London.

http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/promo/5dfc1f

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Im sure Yorkshire will reap the rewards of what they achieved for years to come. Even as a Brit I was gobsmacked at the wonderful scenes and scenery

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I found the TV coverage in London less impressive ,I don’t know whether it was a different production team but, the cameras flailed about with very little context given to the location of the race and photographed with a every poor eye for a good shot.

It's always the same production team. I think it had more to do with the bad weather and the fact London was at the end of the stage, when TV had to focus more on what was going on with the actual race than what was around. We usually get more helicopter shots of the scenery on France Télévisiosn than the international feed and there was still very little of London, most of it was shown when the peloton was still 20kms away.

The worst thing was when the french presenter mixed up the Velodrome and the Aquatics Centre and assumed the Stadium was being torn down ("They can't be building it so I guess they're tearing it down") DO YOUR RESEARCH DUDE :angry:

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Stirling Prize: Shard makes the cut on award shortlist

The Shard, the tallest building in western Europe, is among the designs up for a major architecture prize.

The London skyscraper is joined by Zaha Hadid's London Aquatics Centre, showcased during the 2012 Olympics on the Riba Stirling Prize shortlist.

The two designs are among six architecture projects vying for the prestigious award this year.

The prize is the Royal Institute of British Architects' (Riba's) highest accolade.

The revamped Everyman Theatre in Liverpool, the Library of Birmingham, the London School of Economics and Manchester School of Art are also in the running.

The prize is awarded to Riba-chartered architects and international fellows of the institute for their work on a building in the UK or elsewhere in the EU.

The six shortlisted buildings vary in size and purpose, but all will be judged by the same criteria - their design excellence and their significance to the evolution of architecture and the built environment.

http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-28291041

RIBA Stirling shortlist 2014

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London Announces Design Competition for ‘Olympicopolis’ Site

The Olympicopolis site is to the South-East of the Olympic Park, near to Zaha Hadid’s Aquatics Centre. Image © Flickr CC User Leo Reynolds

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has announced a new competition for the designs of a cultural quarter next to the 2012 Olympic park. The site has been dubbed ‘Olympicopolis’, and so far has expressions of interest from University College London, University of the Arts London, the V&A, Sadler’s Wells Theatre and now possibly – according to the Guardian - Washington DC‘s Smithsonian.

The two-stage open competition will be run by Malcolm Reading Associates, and aims to find “an exceptional team” of architects, masterplanners, engineers and landscape designers. The intention for the site is to create a cultural destination in London that Johnson hopes will rival South Kensington, the city’s primary museum quarter.

Though all the details are yet to emerge, the competition organizers were keen to attract early expressions of interest from designers. Malcolm Reading said: “While full details of the competition will be unveiled in September, we hope that over the summer, architects and masterplanners will start thinking about their ideal team and earmarking time for the contest in their autumn schedules.”

Those interested in the competition are invited to register here in order to receive further details of the competition later this year.

http://www.archdaily.com/529436/london-announces-design-competition-for-olympicopolis-site/

Smithsonian set sights on Olympic Park for London outpost

Washington DC-based institution in talks with mayor as part of arts and heritage plan for east London site

Vanessa Thorpe arts and media correspondent

The Observer, Sunday 20 July 2014

One of America's most revered cultural institutions, The Smithsonian, is in talks about building an outpost in London. The Observer can reveal that the Washington DC-based museum and research complex is one of a select number of international heritage and arts organisations invited to set up a site in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London.

At the end of last year, Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, announced that his scheme to build on the legacy of the 2012 Games would include the development of a large cultural quarter on the Stratford waterfront grounds originally cleared for the Olympics. A potential 10,000 jobs would be created in the area, it was promised, and early agreements drawn up with the Victoria & Albert Museum and University College London were followed by discussions with Sadler's Wells, the London dance theatre, which is also hoping to put up a venue in the park.

The Smithsonian, which is run by the US government, is the latest cultural organisation to be lined up for inclusion. Its current empire encompasses 19 museums, nine research facilities and a zoo, and it aims to improve understanding of American history and the American way of life. A series of meetings have been held with the mayor's office to draw up a deal.

An English base for the Smithsonian might be seen as an apt foreign venture because it was founded on a donation from James Smithson, the accomplished British chemist. The illegitimate child of the 1st Duke of Northumberland, Smithson was born in 1765 in Paris as James Lewis Macie, but he later switched to his father's family surname. At his death in 1829, his great wealth went to a nephew, but when he died childless the estate passed "to the United States of America, to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an Establishment for the increase & diffusion of knowledge among men".

This weekend a spokeswoman for Johnson told the Observer: "The mayor has made clear his ambitions for Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with a view that it becomes home to a range of prestigious higher education, cultural and technological institutions. Sadler's Wells, the V&A and UCL are already working with London Legacy Development Corporation with a view to occupying the site. Exploratory discussions with several overseas bodies are being conducted which remain commercially confidential until further public announcements may be appropriate."

The idea of designing a cultural hub for the city has prompted comparisons with Prince Albert's grand Victorian project to create a concentrated area of museums and cultural venues in South Kensington with the proceeds of the Great Exhibitions of 1851. This 86-acre zone, still home to the V&A, the Science Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Royal College of Music, the Royal College of Art, the English National Ballet and the Royal Albert Hall, came to be known as "Albertopolis". The new east London project has been dubbed "Olympicopolis" or even "Borisopolis".

Speaking last year, Johnson said he wanted "to squeeze out every drop of potential" for the former Olympic site. "The idea behind Olympicopolis is simple and draws on the extraordinary foresight of our Victorian ancestors," he said. "We want to use Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park as a catalyst for the industries and technologies in which London now leads the world in order to create thousands of new jobs." He added later that he was "in talks with other global cultural brands, since we think we will need at least one more cultural institution to achieve the critical mass and very high visitor numbers the site deserves."

At the centre of the site would be an academic-led area, south of Anish Kapoor's red Orbit sculpture. UCL, which already has its built environment department, The Bartlett, the Slade School of Fine Art and faculties of science and engineering, has plans to complement its Bloomsbury base with a new centre in the park; this would comprise a centre for culture and heritage, a design school, a new biotech hub and an educational technology centre. The V&A's plans, in turn, would enable more of its permanent collection to be displayed, as well as providing a showcase for temporary and touring exhibitions in partnership with other international museums and galleries. There is a suggestion it would be "edgier" than its South Kensington home, with an emphasis on modern design and headline-grabbing exhibitions such as its recent David Bowie show.

This spring Sadler's Wells revealed that the Olympic Park was a probable site for its proposed 500-seat theatre. Designed as a fourth performance space to host contemporary dance work, it would form part of a cultural and educational hub if discussions, at an "early stage", were fruitful. Wayne McGregor, the choreographer, has also confirmed he would open two dance studios on the site as a "gift" to the hundreds of young choreographers and dancers who he believes are searching for inexpensive rehearsal rooms. The large new studios are to open in January next year, he said.

The development scheme would be expected to add around £5.2bn to the British economy, contributing £99m in tax revenue each year, it was claimed last year. It would be part funded by the sale of a planned 1,000 luxury flats and retail sites on the site.

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jul/20/smithsonian-london-boris-vision-olympicopolis

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UK economy boosted by more than £14 billion since London 2012, Prime Minister to tell Glasgow 2014 conference

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British Prime Minister David Cameron will tell a business conference in Glasgow today that the UK economy has seen a cash injection of £14.2 billion ($24.3 billion/€18 billion) since London hosted the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012.

Government department UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) held a British Business Embassy during London 2012 to generate internal and international investment for businesses, setting a target of reaching £11 billion ($18.7 billion/€14 billion) by 2016.

A Olympics Legacy Report claims that that target has already been beaten just two years in from businesses securing contracts, additional sales and new foreign investment.

Cameron will address the Commonwealth Games Business Conference at Glasgow City Chambers later today just hours before the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games.

He will tell them: "Part of our long-term economic plan is about promoting every part of our country to the world and Glasgow's Commonwealth Games will give us another fantastic platform to do this.

"It follows on from London 2012, which was not just an amazing sporting event, but also a great opportunity to secure a lasting economic and sporting legacy for the whole UK.

"This Government will continue to work on behalf of every hardworking business in the UK to drum up trade, encourage investment and pave the way for growth so we can generate jobs, pay our way in the world, and create stability, security and a brighter future for our country.

"I am confident we can build on our experience in London and make Glasgow 2014 so much more than just an amazing sporting event."

Cameron is also set to announce a raft of new trade and investment deals that are said to be worth over £200 million ($341 million/€253 million) to the British economy.

The newly-released UKTI Inward Investment Annual Report published figures showing record levels of foreign investment for 2013-2014 with 1,773 projects spread across the UK claiming that it created 66,390 new jobs and safeguarded 44,971.

The report highlights how hosting major sports events can bring about benefits that improve people's lives and help sell the best of Britain to the world.

It claims that £150 million ($256 million/€190 million) worth of business contracts have been secured by 40 companies for the 2014 FIFA World Cup that has just finished in Brazil as well as for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Former head of London 2012 and the Government's Olympic and Paralympic Legacy Ambassador, Sebastian Coe said: "This report shows just how much is happening across the country to keep the spirit of London 2012 alive two years on from the Games.

"The country has taken the inspirational performances of our athletes and the uplifting public spirit seen during those few weeks in 2012, and built on it, whether through community projects, volunteering, and new sporting facilities, or through new ways of working together and improved trade relationships.

"This report celebrates some of those achievements, but there are many more examples happening all across the country.

"I look forward to the next twelve months of this legacy journey."

International visits to the UK increased by 6 per cent in 2013 to 33 million with a 13 per cent increase in visitor spend to £21 billion ($36 billion/€27 billion) following London 2012, according to the report.

In terms of a sporting legacy, it is claimed that more people than ever before are playing sport with 1.7 million more than in 2005 when London was awarded the Games, while a new £18 million ($30 million/€29 million) National Lottery fund has been launched to improve sports facilities in primary schools.

Paralympic sport has also benefitted with Sport England committing to spend over £170 million ($290 million/€215 million) in disability sport between 2013 and 2017.

It also highlights the regeneration of London's East End, including the reopening of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the 2,800 homes converted from the Athletes Village to residential housing, while proceeds from the sale of Village have gone to supporting sport, arts and volunteering projects across the country.

"By common consent, London wowed the world when it staged the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games," said Mayor of London Boris Johnson, present at the Bird's Nest Stadium in Beijing to officially accept the Olympic flag at the 2008 Olympic Games Closing Ceremony.

"Two years on from that golden summer we are accelerating the transformation of Stratford and beyond.

"Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is now reopened and ambitious plans are in place to develop a constellation of educational, artistic, technology and cultural institutions on the site to strengthen our lead as a global force in these sectors and deliver tens of thousands of jobs.

"This is a living legacy that is reaping economic and social dividends not just here in London but across the UK."

Today's Commonwealth Games Business Conference is the first of a number of events set to take place at the British Business House which runs until Friday (July 25).

The House aims to showcase the "Best of British" and will provide a base for businesses, Ministers and industry leaders to take part in roundtable discussions, sector-themed seminars hosted by Ministers and networking opportunities.

Insidethegames

Edited by Tunku Rols

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London 2012 Olympic Cauldron at Museum of London

It was the most closely guarded secret of the London 2012 opening ceremony. Two years on, the Olympic Cauldron is on display at the Museum of London.

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It was an unforgettable moment. Seven young athletes bearing torches jogged towards the centre of the London's Olympic Stadium.

The world caught its first glimpse of the cauldron - a stunning work of art. The athletes touched the edges of the cauldron with their torches, the flame spread and 204 copper petals burned brightly.

The long elegant stems gracefully rose and converged to form a great flame - a symbol the peaceful coming together of 204 nations.

Two years later, as the Commonwealth Games begin in Glasgow, elements of the centrepiece of the London Olympics, designed by Thomas Heatherwick, are on show in the heart of the City of London.

As you walk into the museum's new gallery, the first thing you see is an open section of the torch with 42 of the original steel stems.

You are struck by breathtaking ambition but equally the elegant simplicity of the cauldron.

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Further into the gallery, 55 stems stand 7m (23ft) upright, wooden moulds for the petals are displayed, while footage from the opening ceremony and the moment the cauldron was unveiled is played.

"It's the moment that the cauldron is lit that is the memorable thing," says Heatherwick. "It was challenging logistically, but that made it I hope more compelling."

However, the apparently seamless moment when the cauldron was lit could have been a complete disaster, he admits.

"To be very honest with you, it never worked, fully, until the actual ceremony," Heatherwick says.

"The most moving moment I've had in my life, was the moment when they started to lift and there was this huge gasp."

The exhibition's curator Georgina Young says the lighting of the cauldron was a "real tipping point" in the public's attitude towards the Games.

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"We noticed a change in sentiment," she says. "The negativity and anxiety before the Games turned into something positive."

"You can see that through people's responses through social media during the ceremony," she adds

"To see it pulled off so seamlessly was a spine tingling moment - it was witnessed by billions and the impression it gave was that London was positive, exciting and working properly."

"It suddenly felt London 2012 was going to be special."

To make the cauldron moment a surprise, its execution was shrouded in a secrecy of Bond-esque proportions.

"The cauldron was tested at 3am and there were no-fly zones over the park," says Ms Young.

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Former Olympic medallist Sharron Davies, who was also London 2012 ambassador, said: "It was also a complete surprise to so many people.

"A lot of my friends were in on the secret and they were desperately trying not to drop any hints."

Gemma Webster, one of the engineers who built the cauldron, says: "We weren't allowed to tell anybody. I wasn't allowed to go home and tell my family."

"All the drawings, if they weren't used were shredded, everything was top secret," she adds.

Heatherwick says: "It's exciting to reveal the engineering feats that were necessary to make such an extraordinary project happen."

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With Olympians looking ahead towards Rio 2016, it is hard to imagine how the lighting of London's Olympic Cauldron could be matched.

"The bringing together of many torches was unique to London," says Dr Dave O'Brien, lecturer in cultural policy at City University.

"It will be interesting to see if that influences future designs for the Games."

BBC

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