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London Gears Up for 2012 Olympics


  • Published: 2009-01-12 (Revised/Updated 2009-01-27) : Author: Victoria Cochrane
  • Synopsis: The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will use a mixture of new venues existing venues and historic facilities.

The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will use a mixture of new venues, existing venues and historic facilities as well as temporary facilities. In the wake of the problems that plagued the Millennium Dome, the intention of the London Olympic Committee is too ensure there are no "white elephants" (where the cost of keeping a facility amounts to more than its usefulness) after the Games.

Out of the original nine cities who submitted bids to host the 2012 Olympics the list was whittled down to five in 2004, with London joining Madrid, Moscow, New York and Paris in the final stage of selection.

After preliminary evaluations of the five cities, Paris emerged as the strong favorite in many people's eyes (mostly due to this bid being the city's third in recent history), with London following close behind. Over the next few months, London closed the gap on Paris significantly; so much so in fact that many people predicted a tie between London and Paris for the Games.

In July 2005 the final selection was announced at the Raffles City Convention Center in Singapore. After the elimination of Madrid, New York and Moscow, it was revealed that London would be hosting the 2012 Olympics, beating Paris by just four votes. The London Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games was created shortly after the announcement and put in charge of implementing and staging the Games with various aspects of the Games being developed since the bid.

The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will use a mixture of new venues, existing venues and historic facilities as well as temporary facilities. In the wake of the problems that plagued the Millennium Dome, the intention of the London Olympic Committee is too ensure there are no "white elephants" (where the cost of keeping a facility amounts to more than its usefulness) after the Games. Some of the new facilities will be reused in their Olympic form while others, including the 80,000 capacity main stadium will be reduced in size; while several other facilities will be relocated elsewhere in the UK.

London's public transport systems also face numerous improvements, due to it being an aspect of the bid which scored poorly during the International Olympic Committee's initial evaluation of the city. Improvements are set to include the expansion of the London Underground's East and North London lines as well as the introduction of the new "Javelin" high speed rail service using Hitachi bullet trains.

The London Olympic Committee also plans to have 80% of athletes competing in the games travel less than 20 minutes to their event. The Olympic Park, to be situated in Stratford in East London, is to be served by ten separate railway lines with a combined capacity of 240,000 passengers per hour. Park and ride schemes are also in the works to reduce traffic levels during the games while many hotels in London are already preparing for a huge influx of guests.

With a total budget for the regeneration of several areas in London, as well as the cost of staging the Games themselves reaching £9.345 billion, athletes and sports fans alike can expect quite a spectacle when the 2012 Olympic Games arrive in London.

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