Category Archives: 2012 Olympics

2012 Olympics

The London 2012 Olympics including the Olympic Stadium at Stratford, 2012 Olympic games, the orbit Tower sculpture and the legacy use of the infrastructure such as West Ham United football club moving to the olympic stadium

Contents
August 8th to August 22nd
July 25th to August 8th
July 8th to July 22nd
Orbit Tower blogging the Olympics and Paralympics
All Quiet in London During The Olympics
Opening Ceremony Day #London2012
15 Days To Go until London 2012 Olympics

The London 2012 Olympics including the Olympic Stadium at Stratford, 2012 Olympic games, the orbit Tower sculpture and the legacy use of the infrastructure such as West Ham United football club moving to the olympic stadium

August 8th to August 22nd

August 8th to August 22nd, 2012
A selection of my most interesting photos from one year ago.

More London Crowd


More London Crowd, Saturday night at The Scoop

Taken August 10, 2012 at 6:53 pm

Summer Pavilion Serpentine Gallery


Summer Pavilion Serpentine Gallery

Taken August 21, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Canary Wharf from Tower Bridge


Canary Wharf from Tower Bridge

Taken August 10, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Potters Field, More London, Tower Bridge


Potters Field, More London, Tower Bridge

Taken August 10, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Potters Field, More London, Tower Bridge


Potters Field, More London, Tower Bridge

Taken August 10, 2012 at 7:55 pm

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July 25th to August 8th

Visit Denmark at St Katherines Docks Tower Bridge


Visit Denmark at St Katherines Docks Tower Bridge

Taken July 26, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Londoners and Olympics fans intermingle on the Tube


Londoners and Olympics fans intermingle on the Tube

Taken July 30, 2012 at 1:57 pm

St Katherines Docks Danish House


St Katherines Docks Danish House

Taken August 7, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Lego Orbit Tower and Olympic Stadium


Taken July 26, 2012 at 5:23 pm

Lego Orbit Tower and Olympic Stadium


Taken July 26, 2012 at 5:24 pm

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July 8th to July 22nd

July 8th to July 22nd, 2012

 

 

Google Campus


Google Campus

Taken July 12, 2012 at 5:28 pm

 

 

Tapas Fantasticas #riojatapas


Tapas Fantasticas #riojatapas 2012 London

Taken July 14, 2012 at 12:05 pm

 

 

David Nash at Kew Gardens Members Evening


David Nash at Kew Gardens Members Evening

Taken July 19, 2012 at 7:21 pm

 

 

London Orbit Tower And Olympic Stadium


London Orbit Tower And Olympic Stadium orbittower.org.uk

Taken July 21, 2012 at 9:58 am

 

 

Tapas Fantasticas #riojatapas


Tapas Fantasticas #riojatapas 2012 London

Taken July 14, 2012 at 12:05 pm

 

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Orbit Tower blogging the Olympics and Paralympics

Blogging the Orbit Tower during the Olympic Games and Paralympics

Orbit Tower Media Centre

Orbit Tower Media Centre

For the duration of the London 2012 Olympic Games and the run up to the Olympics and Paralympics I’ve been blogging daily over at The Orbit Tower  1 . It’s been quite fun and a little bit exciting at times such as one particular weekend when a post about the Yorkshire Medals Table went viral on Facebook and Twitter. I’d prepared the site beforehand for big surges in traffic and I’m pleased to say it held up really well.

I learned or rather re-learned the practice of rapid interaction spread over multiple channels feeding back into developing more content on the main site. Success breeds success in this respect, so it seemed to work better for me when I was concentrating on the same topic every day for an intense period rather than spreading myself out over multiple diverse areas of work.

Realtime Analytics

One new tool which came into play was the Google Analytics Realtime beta service. This shows how people are finding and navigating a site on a minute by minute basis, rising from a dozen or so at a time during the main period up to over 120 simultaneous visits during the peak. When you have that amount of traffic you can really see what the hungry visitors are trying to find at that particular juncture in the developing story.

Paralympics to come

It’s all quiet again now, almost, and there isn’t as yet any sign that the Paralympics are going to be anywhere near as high profile as we would like, but that may change once the TV coverage gets underway again on Channel 4. The actual number of Paralympic athletes themselves is 4,200 competitors from 147 nations taking part in 21 sports compared with 10,820 at the Olympics from 204 nations in 26 sports, so the amount of buzz generated by participants, coaches, trainers, entourage and families etc might be just under half, it all depends whether the inspirational trailers such as “Meet the Superhumans” really do deliver a brand new audience around the world and not just in the host country UK.

The US is a waste of time of course, with their NBC only scheduled to show a few short edited highlight programmes. They didn’t even show the whole of the epic Opening Ceremony from July, so we can forget about them.

The Orbit Tower

Searching for Orbit Tower Tickets

Searching for Orbit Tower Tickets

And what of the Orbit Tower? Well the ticketing has been a major complicating factor, restricting the number of people who could manage to navigate the obstacles to obtain the correct combination of orbit and olympic or park tickets to a mere trickle, but millions of people around the world caught sight of the sculpture on the Olympics coverage and many formed instant opinions about the artwork. I even quite like the way the very presence of the Orbit seems to cause a little bit of outrage in some people. They want to know what it’s for. What purpose does it have? And in that respect it is doing its job as a piece of art to make people question what a tower can be.

People who fell in love with the Olympic Park while they were there tended to learn to love the Orbit Tower a little bit as well. What will become of it after all the sport is long finished and forgotten, only time will tell.

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  1. Orbit Tower blog at http://orbittower.org.uk []
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All Quiet in London During The Olympics

Yesterday was the first full working day of the Olympics in London with commuters and Olympics fans rubbing shoulders on the public transport network. I decided to ignore the warnings and venture out anyway, as the weather forecast was good and I had a hunch that part of the city I was headed for would be quiet. Well I was right! Leaving home at 10 o’clock meant missing the morning rush hour entirely but you would still expect Stratford station to be even busier than normal, as the location of the Olympic Park. It was positively relaxed, and I was able to photograph the Olympic Orbit Tower,  cross the platform from the Greater Anglia train to Liverpool Street onto the Central Line tube and get a seat, no problem. At Holborn there was a slight slowdown at the platform exit as a hundred or so people with shorts and rucksacks made their way out to cross onto the Piccadilly Line, presumably headed towards  Horseguards’ Parade but out on the streets in Holborn and on the way to the British Museum there were definitely less Londoners and tourists out and about than you would normally expect on any day of the week, mid morning in summer.

Londoners and Olympics fans intermingle on the Tube

Londoners and Olympics fans intermingle on the Tube

What’s going on?

What IS going on? Have the measures to mitigate against transport congestion worked too well and kept people away? Or is it just the beginning, with a lot of people taking the day off or working from home, only to return to normal tomorrow? We shall see about that as far as the London commuters are concerned but for the millions of tourists who have decided to keep away from London as a destination this summer, and go elsewhere for te duration, then it’s already too late for all the businesses and activities in central London that depend upon them. I bet there are empty rooms in some of the hotels right now. It reminds me somewhat of Cornwall during the solar eclipse of August 1999. Scaremongering officials and media combined to paint pictures of the army being brought in to help feed people stuck by the roadside in traffic jams for days on end, but the reality was that the Cornish tourist industry had its worst season for decades. I was there and had a lovely time being able to get around the small towns and empty car parks just as if it was an off-season break. Now the same thing appears to be happening to London. There are lots of activities planned in the National Houses and other venues across London, expecting a kind of party atmosphere to break out throughout the capital, but most of them are very badly attended for now. Londoners, having been told to prepare themselves for longer journeys, plan alternatives and “don’t get caught out” (Boris on the buses) have either stayed at home or booked themselves a holiday abroad, and are now being urged to come out and join, and help make up the numbers!

Things to do in London during the Olympics

I went to the British Museum. No queues, no bag searches, a gentle stroll around the North American Flora Exhibition by Kew Gardens and inside to see a free exhibition about The horse: from Arabia to Royal Ascot (More about trying to find the Jade Figure of a Horse later).

North American Garden by Kew at British Museum

North American Garden by Kew at British Museum

Lunch in Soho. Fabulous sushi bento box in my favourite Japanese canteen restaurant, usually full of Japanese students and some adventurous tourists but able to walk in and  get a table with no waiting yesterday. Maybe I was lucky, but Chinatown is one of the epicentres of camera toting tourists and felt determinedly less busy.

St Katherines Docks is the location for the ‘Danish House’ IMAGINATION, one of dozens of National Houses set up by participating countries in the Olympics to host parties and exhibitions, to follow their national teams and mingle with athletes and celebrities. One site which lists them all, especially those that are free to the public  is LondonPrepares.com

Above: The London Orbit Tower during the Olympic Games

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Opening Ceremony Day #London2012

Well its raining quite hard here in Newham, host borough of the London 2012 Olympic Games, at 07.30 in the morning but the nationally broadcast local weather forecast says we can expect it all to dry up in time for the long awaited opening ceremony this evening.

Lego Olympic Park at the Danish House

Lego Olympic Park at the Danish House

I’ve seen the hoards of people streaming in and out of the Olympic Park at Stratford the past few evenings as the final dress rehearsals have taken place, and they are all very keen     on the idea that nobody should spoil the surprise of watching the spectacle live on TV by revealing any of the big transformations or details about the processions and acts. All that has been confirmed so far in the public domain  is that the Orbit Tower is not the Olympic Cauldrom

Danny Boyle

The name of Danny Boyle is on everybody’s lips today, as he is the man chosen to be artistic director of the opening ceremony, but who is Danny Boyle?
Best known for having been director/producer of the film “Trainspotting” he was also the man behind “Slumdog Millionaire”, “Shallow Grave”, “127 Hours”, “28 Days Later” and “Sunshine”, Danny Boyle has also been involved in theatre production including the Royal Shakespeare Company and a theatre production of “Frankenstein” that was broadcast live into cinemas. By the way, another Hollywood director, Stephen Daldry, is one of the executive producers of the opening and closing ceremonies, having directed “Billy Elliott” “The Reader” and “The Hours.”

So what can we expect tonight? Well 9 geese, 70 sheep, 12 horses and three cows. A giant hillside that may or may not open up to turn into something else. A smaller version of the London section of the river Thames, Paul McCartney and James Bond probably. No morris dancers – phew.

The buzzword for the East London games opening ceremony is “British quirkiness” hmm.

Gloriana

Oh yes, the Royal Barge Gloriana is bringing the Olympic flame down the Thames and quite possibly up the River Lea Navigation and into the Olympic park. I remember when it was all overgrown towpaths and supermarket trolleys.

Royal Barge Gloriana from the Thames

Gloriana – the Royal Barge

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15 Days To Go until London 2012 Olympics

I live almost exactly 2 miles away from the London 2012 Olympic Games main stadium at Stratford, East London.

So far, the main effect on my life has been to have watched the building of the iconic structures on the skyline. The Main Stadium, The Aquatic Centre and The Orbit Tower.

I don’t have a car but when I rent one and try to drive home via central London I found the closure of Carpenters Road a nuisance. Newham Council sent me some guff about registered visitors car parking during the games periods, which I ignored.

  • Concrete blocks appeared on street corners around where I live, and then notices about parking zones were attached later.
  • There are notices on some of the tube stations saying these are expected to be congested during the period of the games, and before, so Londoners should be planning alternative routes or ways of getting about.
  • I can see the construction of the controversial temporary police muster station at the other end of Wanstead Flats.

That’s about it it, so far. The items in the national news about ground to air missiles being installed on blocks of flats are a little alarming, but it doesn’t feel quite like a military police lockdown, yet. I’m dreading any increased helicopter noise, but you never know, maybe the no fly zone will actually make it quieter ?1

Will lots of  neighbours be taking advantage of the locality and to rent out their houses or receive loads of extra visitors for the duration? I’ve no idea. I’ll be staying put, and hoping for a quiet time. I’l let you know how it goes as the opening date comes ever closer.

London 2012 Olympic stadium from Stratford

London 2012 Olympic stadium from Stratford

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  1. Apparently the no fly zone doesn’t apply to scheduled passenger aircraft []
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Thanks for reading Andy Roberts articles about 2012 Olympics on the DARnet Blog