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international olympic committee
massive undertaking
2012 olympics
david beckham
East End Transformed For London 2012 Olympic Games
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East End Transformed for London 2012 Olympic Games

The City of London supported by the National Lottery has substantially transformed the Lower Lea Valley in London’s East End for the 2012 Olympic Games. It is quite amazing what can be achieved when political will and major investment is available.

With just a hundred days to go to the London Olympics, the Olympic Park and associated venues are ready for action, thanks to the hard work and dedication of thousands of people.

Have you ever stopped to think about the magnitude of what is involved in an Olympic bid and making the dream a reality - the vision, political support, funding, planning, management, construction, marketing, staging the event and the legacy after it is all over.

The winning team - bid process

The bid process for the 2012 Olympic Games started before July 2003, which was when the first application had to be into the International Olympic Committee. The London Bid Committee included leading politicians and famous faces of sport such as Princess Anne, David Livingstone, Boris Johnson, David Beckham and Sir Steve Redgrave, amongst other well-known personalities and celebrities.

The bid teams supporting the Bid Committee would have included countless numbers of people and organisations not in front of the cameras such as, banks, planners, designers, engineers, environmentalists, ecologists, utilities, contractors, advisers, bid administrators and others, all working hard to produce bid documents and meet deadlines at various stages.

The bid process for a bid of this size and importance is a massive undertaking involving significant investment in resource, time and money, and with no recompense for failed bids.

London finally won the race to host the 2012 Olympics in July 2005 after various submissions, inspections and presentations. The strongest parts of the London Bid were financial certainty, sustainability and focus on legacy, which other bidders failed to match.

Olympic Park construction

Apart from the major building and civil engineering elements of construction work, being the first major Green Olympic Bid, there was a strong emphasis on controlling the environmental impact of the works and future ecology of the site.

The Olympic Park has been built on what was contaminated land consisting of factories, warehouses and dilapidated housing, which had lain derelict for decades. As well as resolving contamination issues, more than 200 buildings were demolished, overgrown land cleared and waterways cleaned.

Ninety eight percent of waste was recycled and reused on site minimising lorry movements and waste sent to landfill. Another example of going green was the demolition of existing overhead pylons and moving services underground into new tunnels.

During construction, the Olympic Ecology Plan protected the natural habitats for wildlife such as, birds, bats, newts, moths and fish and controlled their relocation to the new urban park, the largest in Europe for 150 years, and created as part of the legacy.

Since construction began in 2005, tens of thousands of people have been employed by the project and at its peak in 2011; the workforce was 12,000 strong on the Olympic Park alone.

It is often difficult to imagine works of this scale, but as an example, just think about the logistics of feeding 12,000 people several times a day, and sometimes cater for 24/7 working. How many chefs were needed, how many spud peelers, how many servers, how many people washing up, how many canteens and kitchens, and how many cleaners?

Project management on this scale involves a unique mix and depth of expertise, detailed planning, co-ordination and teamwork, to complete work on time and to budget.

Getting the show on the road

The implementation of the Games will take a different army of people and know-how to finally make it happen such as, the media, transport workers, temporary workers, security personnel and the athletes themselves who have dedicated years of hard work to the exclusion of all else to qualify for the Olympics, even if they have little chance of winning.

Some of the people representing Britain come from the East End of London. How proud they must be looking forward to participating in a world-class event on their own doorstep, and how proud they must be seeing changes that will enable local communities to be rebuilt and inspire future generations of athletes.

The legacy

In short, the legacy of the games will be to provide new housing, work and leisure facilities and to make forgotten areas viable again by attracting new businesses and people back to the East End. As well as the social, economic and environmental benefits, new habitats for flora and fauna will rejuvenate existing wildlife, and bring in new plant and wildlife to these uncared for areas.

Although the Games are centred on London, other parts of the country will also benefit, such as Weymouth and Portland in Dorset where the Olympic sailing events will take place at new and improved facilities, which after the Games will be used by local people.

Already it is exciting to see the physical changes that have taken place and the positivity in the East End of London. Rough areas of wasteland and years of neglect have disappeared seemingly overnight. The project is one of the largest regeneration schemes in the UK and Europe, made possible by sport and major investment.

With just a hundred days to go, the London Olympics 2012 now feel real and just as importantly the prospects for some of London’s oldest boroughs are once again upbeat after years of neglect.


Street Talk

There is so much that goes on to get a town ready to host the Olympics. Most people can't even begin to imagine all the logistics. Great article. I'm looking forward to reading more of your articles. I love to travel and it seems you do a great job giving us the 'inside' look.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

Many thanks for your comment.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

I don't know what the problem is with Barcelona Sightseeing Tips. It has been approved by email, but is showing as pending on my dashboard?

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Why can i not get a link to your new article? Barcelona Sightseeing Tips/ I have tried through the link and your bio but cannot find it there.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

The construction and changes that take place for such events are astounding. I remember the world cup soccer in South Africa, where we stood convinced all the stadiums would not be ready on time and yet they were. The hype and excitement it developed within the country even for us Rugby fans. It is wonderful that such events with the enormous amount of money involved can still take place. I was discussing with one of the other authors how quiet it has actually been towards the build up to this event. But now we are starting to see things on the TV as athletes begin their quest for selection. I am sure it is going to be a great success for London and the follow up use of the facilities an improvement for all. I look forward to the TV coverage where one gets the chance to see the best of the best. Good luck to England and London for a very successful event.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

I remember the Winter Olympics in Norway I believe in 94? I want to attend one more in my lifetime. Thanks or the article

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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