A tour of the Olympic Site in Stratford doesn't reveal much of London's 2012 Olympic Plans
15.08.2008 - 15.08.2008 23 °C
Did you watch the Beijing opening ceremonies? I did, one of the few pleasures of living in the most expensive city in the world with no job is the ability to watch stupid stuff on TV in the middle of the day.
I absolutely loved the footprints walking from Tiananmen Square to the Olympic site. I was absolutely gutted to learn later that what we saw on TV was just some CGI hocus-pocus. Damn computers! At least this video shows that the fireworks did appear in real life, and were probably worth seeing in real life. Too bad we at home didn't get the chance.
It's a little bitter sweet watching the 2008 Olympics, as this was the second Olympics in the past 12 years where Toronto lost to the winning city. We also lost a the 1996 Games to Atlanta (coming third behind Athens, who got 2004's games). Of course, given the poor showing so far of Canada's Olympic team, perhaps it's best that we didn't win. It would be quite embarrassing to not win at home, as Canada did during the 1976 in Montreal, when we earned the distinction of being the only host country to never win a gold medal.
Anyway, all this Olympic talk had be wondering how London is doing getting ready for their shot at the games in 4 years time. I know that they are doing something, as the DLR (which runs between Olympic sites in Greenwich and Stratford) and Jubilee lines (which runs between central London and Stratford) seem to be constantly under construction, so something is going on.
But I was a little more curious than that, and took the tube up to Stratford to see what I could of the main Olympic site.
Here's what it looks like!
Umm, okay. Not quite. That's a picture of what it will look like, hopefully, in 4 years time. What it really looks like today is this...
...mounds of dirt, earth movers and construction cranes. At least, that's what it looks like at the few places you can actually see inside the site. Mostly, you just get a view of blue hoarding covered up with Olympic posters...
They are pretty posters though, and the inspiring pictures can't help but put a bit of excitement about the event in 2012 in your step.
I walked all around the site. Mostly it's highway, hoarding and big trucks. The very west side is bounded by the River Lee (navigation channel), and so you get a bit of a different view of the area.
It's not always grand, as it seems a lot of the area has been left to seed, so you get a fair bit of graffiti and run down buildings.
That being said, though, there are some very nice and wild parts of the channel, and it's quite quiet, natural and peaceful for most of it. The geese seemed to like it.
So, with 4 years to go, I guess there is still lots of time to turn the blue hoarding, dirt piles and graffiti'd buildings into something spectacular. I'm not getting too excited just yet...
...but still, I think 2012 is probably going to be pretty cool.