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Audio Tour of London 2012 Olympics Site

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					Audio Tour of London 2012 Olympics Site


Track 0: Credits


JE:   “This is an audio tour of the Olympic Park site, brought to you by the
      Olympic Delivery Authority. It‟s designed to be listened to from The
      Greenway – a walkway overlooking the Olympic Park which you can
      get to from Pudding Mill Lane DLR station. You should start at the
      front of the Viewtube, the lime green shipping container building,
      which is currently a visitor centre.


      The Olympic Delivery Authority is the public body responsible for
      designing, developing and building the venues and infrastructure for
      the Games.”




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Track 1: Welcome



JE:   “Hello and welcome from me Jonathan Edwards to the site of the
      London 2012 Games. I‟ve been a regular visitor here since work
      began in 2007 – and I can hardly believe my eyes at the
      transformation that has occurred over the last few years. London‟s
      creating the most exciting and accessible Games ever, and we hope
      they‟ll be the most sustainable Games possible too. And I‟m really
      proud to be part of it.


      I want to help bring you closer to the venues as they near completion
      – ready for Test Events to begin – and to tell the story of London
      2012, and its legacy. You‟ll see lots of images on your screen too –
      how the venues will look when they‟re finished, and key moments in
      their construction so far.


      As you can see, what had become a largely overlooked area on the
      industrial edge of London, is being transformed into a radically
      different landscape. The Olympic Park is already a landmark on the
      London skyline and every month around 10,000 people are coming
      to see for themselves. And for everyone who visits – from athletes to
      broadcasters, local people to international VIPs – actually seeing the
      site, really brings home the excitement. Here are just a few of them,
      starting with our very own Paralympian – basketballer, Adi Adepitan:

            Adi Adepitan:       “I grew up in this area and I know what it was like before
                                all of this happened. And I feel really proud that we‟re now
                                the centre of attention – and the people in East London
                                have got the opportunity to watch great sport. It‟s
                                awesome!.”



                                                                                          2
                   Philips Idowu:   “After the games have gone, hopefully it will inspire a lot of
                                    the youngsters and kids in the area to get involved in some
                                    kind of sport. Sport‟s a good way to get people together.”

JE:   “Infectious enthusiasm there from Philips Idowu. A good place to start the
      tour today, is to look at a map of the site, for a great overview of the whole
      Olympic Park. You‟ll find one here on the Greenway – look for a large
      curved board at the end of the lime green arcade, next to the View Tube,
      heading towards the Olympic Stadium.”




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Track 2: The Olympic Park
JE:   “The Olympic Park stretches in front you for 2 and a half square
      kilometres – that‟s the same size as Hyde Park! There‟s lots more
      coming up about the main venues, but just to get your bearings, look
      at the skyline moving from left to right, beginning at the black-and-
      white steel structure of the Olympic stadium. Immediately to the right
      of it you can just make out the curving shape of the Velodrome, with
      brown wooden-clad sides and a pale-coloured, concave roof. Next
      along is a white block that looks inflatable – this is the basketball
      arena, a temporary structure that reflects sunlight in daytime and at
      night will glow, from lighting inside. The group of tall blocks, looking
      right again, is the Athletes‟ Village. Further right and closer to you is
      the Aquatics Centre – you can just see the tip of its swooping roof,
      peeping out from the right of the detachable „wings‟ of seating –
      they‟re temporary structures for all the spectators at Games time.
      Stretching right across from the Athletes Village and behind the
      Aquatics Centre, is a long series of grey and pale-green buildings –
      that‟s Stratford City, a huge retail and business development,
      opening in 2011. And finally, the tall red structure you can see
      between the Olympic stadium and the Aquatics Centre, is going to
      be Britain‟s tallest sculpture – the ArcelorMittal Orbit, designed by
      sculptor Anish Kapoor. Its loops of steel will reach a giant 115
      metres high. And at Games time and beyond, visitors will be able to
      get right up to the top, with spectacular views of the Park and across
      London.


      This is an incredibly busy building site, with more than 10,000 people
      at work, at the peak of construction. You can see something of its

                                                                              4
road system, in constant use by machinery and even a bus service
to transport workers from venue to venue. Every minute, up to 5
deliveries of materials or equipment arrive here – and more than half
of them have been coming to the site by rail, and some by water too.
A huge amount of the site was polluted – by waste left behind by
industries like textile-printing, soap-works and chemical plants, that
moved here out of central London in the 19th century, on the
grounds of public health. Before even the first foundation could be
laid, the Olympic Delivery Authority had to clean a massive one-and-
a-half million cubic metres of the ground, with huge soil-washing
machines, before it could be re-used on the site.


One impressive piece of Victorian engineering remains. Running
right underneath your feet, here on the Greenway – it‟s the giant
pipe of the Northern Outfall Sewer. It was built in the 1860s to carry
sewage safely and hygienically out of the centre of London, and it‟s
still in use today.


Now, for more about the main venues for London 2012, starting with
the Olympic Stadium itself. And as you listen, you might like to take
a few steps towards the stadium.”




                                                                     5
Track 3: Olympic Stadium


JE:   “Very little can prepare you for the excitement of stepping out onto
      the track or field in an Olympic final – I was lucky enough to do it on
      four occasions, starting in Seoul in 1988, and finishing in Sydney in
      2000 when I won a gold medal. And it is the best moment of your life
      and also the scariest at the same time. The stadium is the symbol of
      any Olympic and Paralympic Games, from the spectacle of the
      opening ceremony to the drama of a new record.

      Three major challenges defined the design of this stadium: firstly,
      how to provide a venue with an 80,000 capacity for the 4 weeks of
      the Games, that could be then reduced afterwards, as necessary;
      secondly, how to bring spectators as close as possible to the action;
      and finally, how to build sustainably, with the least possible
      environmental impact. And all this squeezed on to a relatively small
      site that‟s virtually an island. The stadium is surrounded by
      waterways on 3 sides – and you can just see one stretch of water if
      you look beyond the line of young trees; there‟s a creamy coloured
      bridge there too, leading onto the stadium „island‟.


      The result of this challenging site is a bowl-shaped stadium, sunk
      down into the ground. This makes it the lightest Olympic stadium
      ever built, with the minimum of steel necessary above the ground.
      It‟s been designed in a series of tiers that could be removed after the
      Games – the grid of steelwork has even been bolted together, rather
      than welded, so that it can be more easily re-configured. The A-
      shaped sections around the top are 14 huge banks of lights, bright
      enough to illuminate every detail of the action on High Definition TV.

                                                                            6
And below them you can make out the white fabric roof, 45,000
square metres of it, stretched and supported by a series of cables –
it was carefully hoisted into place by a team of abseilers.


At Games time, spectators will walk onto the stadium island, across
one of the five new bridges connecting it to the rest of the park.
They‟ll go straight into the stadium, just above the level of the track.


Construction is now complete, on time and under budget – and
ready for Test Events to begin.”




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Track 4: Aquatics Centre


JE:   “The Aquatics Centre is already an icon of London 2012. Its principle
      shape – within the detachable wings of seating – is like water in
      motion; its swooping roof has the grace of a stingray. You can get
      the best idea here by looking at an image on your screen or back at
      the orientation board. It will be the „gateway to the games‟, its roof
      and tall glass walls the first thing people will see as they come into
      the Olympic Park. The architect, Zaha Hadid, has designed it to
      compliment the river landscape of the Park – and it‟s built on a new
      open area which will be a bridge between the Park and the new
      Stratford City retail development, just behind as you look.


      The success of Britain‟s medal-winning swimmers at the Beijing
      Olympic and Paralympic Games has created huge excitement about
      the Aquatics Centre. And visitors to the construction site have
      included the Commonwealth diving champion Tom Daley, and
      Olympic double gold medallist Rebecca Adlington:

            RA: “I can‟t believe the difference – last time I came the roof wasn‟t even on the
            pool, it was still kind of just the structure. You could see a bit of the stadium but
            obviously now you can see the seats are in, like everything, the whole lights
            everything are in there now. It‟s such a difference. It‟s just unbelievable.”

            TD: “The Aquatics Centre looks amazing. I‟ve seen the roof so far and it‟s a funky
            shape, and that‟s what you need, you need something different and unique to
            stand out. When there‟s thousands of people cheering on the British athletes I
            think it‟s going to be an incredible atmosphere. You have to have the Olympic
            feel and the Olympic buzz. I‟ve come and seen this now and I think it‟s really
            inspired me to want to go back to training and work harder to make sure I‟m here
            winning the medals.”
            Total clip 40”




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The Aquatics Centre‟s undulating roof was the biggest engineering
challenge of the Games. It‟s made from 2,800 tons of steel, and was
put together here on site and lowered into place. Remarkably, it
balances on just three giant concrete supports. And this means
inside, there are great sight lines of the pools for the spectators.


There will be two 50-metre pools and a diving pool, with seats for 17-
and-a-half-thousand spectators during the Games. They‟ll watch
swimming, diving, synchronised swimming, and the swimming
elements of modern pentathlon. After the Games, the building‟s
innovative and flexible design will come into its own – the two
detachable „wings‟ of seating that you can see, they‟ll be taken
away, and movable walls and floors mean the pools will retain their
size for elite competition, but can also be made smaller for everyday
use. Its legacy will be as an inspirational new home for swimming in
east London.”




                                                                       9
Track 5: VeloPark

JE:   “If you‟re still near the curved orientation board on the Greenway,
      you‟ll have the best view of the Velodrome. Look carefully between
      the stadium and the white structure of the basketball arena, you can
      see its inward-curving roof. It‟s now complete – on time and on
      budget. British cyclists brought home such a haul of medals from the
      Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2008, that there‟s a real
      buzz about their prospects here in 2012. And during construction,
      gold medal-winners Ed Clancy and Sarah and Barney Storey, visited
      the site:

             EC:     “Cor! I expected it to be good, you know, but I really am overwhelmed
             with what‟s going on here. I can‟t wait to rip round this place! You know. It‟s really
             quite special. It‟s something else. I really wasn‟t prepared for it.

             SS:     It‟s just feels so privileged to be in here and see it. The idea that the
             seats in the stadium are going to be full to try to cheer us on. We want to keep
             the momentum going from Beijing and try and continue the goldrush!

             BS:    We all started riding our bikes in a velodrome, at some point. And for
             perhaps the next Olympic champion, Paralympic, champion, to come from this
             velodrome would be an amazing achievement.”




      British cyclists have been closely involved in the Velodrome‟s design
      – Sir Chris Hoy has said he believes it will be “the best velodrome in
      the world.” This means overcoming several technical challenges: the
      low shape of velodromes means that they can be dark inside – but
      here, a whole wall of glass will run round the building like a ring of
      light, flooding the track with daylight. More natural light – and
      ventilation – will come through the roof, a double curve made from
      wood and aluminium, which rests on an incredibly light web of
      cables, like the strings across a tennis racket. It‟s a sustainable
      design too: the mesh roof and glass wall will cut down dramatically


                                                                                                10
on the need for artificial lighting and air-conditioning, and a
rainwater-harvesting system will re-use more than half the rainwater
that falls on the roof, to flush the loos.


To achieve record-breaking speeds, the track is made from Siberian
Pine, a wood which is both smooth and hard – flexible enough to
bend into the track shape, but also tough enough not to splinter. And
the track-side conditions also have to be right – free from draughts
and also the perfect temperature and humidity – we think it could be
a very warm 30 degrees on the track here during the Games!


After 2012, a whole Velopark will be built around the Velodrome and
the Olympic BMX circuit. It will be owned, operated and funded by
the Lea Valley Park Regional Authority. There‟ll be a new road-
circuit and mountain bike trails, bike hire for visitors and a café with
views across the Park down to the Thames and Docklands.”




                                                                      11
Track 6: Olympic Village and Stratford City


JE:   “The Olympic village is made up of the tall blocks you can see
      between the stadium and the Aquatics Centre. Athletes‟ villages are
      probably not something that TV viewers really spend too much time
      thinking about. But to an athlete preparing for the hardest challenge
      of your career, where you wake up on the day of your final is a big
      deal. And personally I‟ve spent lots of time making sure that the
      London 2012 village is as good as it can be, for the athletes of the
      world. I recently visited the site – with two of our best-loved
      Olympians, and my two good friends, Colin Jackson and Denise
      Lewis:

            DL: “It‟s going to be great for the athletes. Completely. The athletes need to feel
            that they‟re right in the heart of where the action is taking place. And I think that‟s
            something that we‟ve got really right in London.

            JE: “Now Colin, you went to 4 Olympic Games. Just tell me some of your
            experiences about being in a village.”

            CJ: “Well, the Olympic Village is the heart and soul really of everything. It‟s where
            you rest your head at night, and that‟s a vital part of your preparation. You need
            to come back to a place where you feel comfortable. You know, where you feel
            there‟s a sense of belonging. And I think London has certainly managed to get
            that feeling right for 2012.”
            Complete insert: 33”




      During the Games, the village will be home to 23 thousand
      Olympians and Paralympians, and officials. They‟ll eat in a 5,000-
      seat dining-hall, there‟ll be a gym, shops, even a cinema. And
      athletes will be able to keep in touch with home, through television,
      internet, and newspapers from all over the world.




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After the Games, the village will become a new community with
2,800 new homes, 50% of them to be affordable housing; there‟ll be
fast new transport links to central London, and beyond, from
Stratford International rail station; plus a new Education Academy
and a Polyclinic Medical Centre. And, it‟s right next door to Stratford
City – the long, low stretch of grey buildings just to the right.


Stratford City will be the biggest urban shopping centre in Europe –
a 1.5billion pound development with 300 shops, bars and
restaurants, two hotels, a cinema, offices and apartments. It opens
this year.


The next 4 tracks on the tour are about: buildings in the west of the
Park, the site‟s history, the Olympic Park‟s design, and its Legacy.
And you‟ll get the best views if you walk further down the Greenway
towards the canal – you might even get a glimpse inside the
stadium. Walk along past the stadium, away from the lime green
View Tube building, and towards a tall brick chimney and a pair of
high apartment towers. You‟re going in the direction of Hackney
Wick and the canal. There are 2 tracks to listen to as you make your
way – about the Olympic Park and the history of the site. And 2 more
when you reach the bridge over the canal.”




                                                                     13
Track 7: A new green space for London

JE:   “If you walk here in 2012 and beyond, you‟ll have a spectacular view
      across a whole new landscape. It‟s London‟s first major new park
      since Victorian times. Two thousand mature English trees are being
      planted among miles of paths and waterways, and meadows will
      flower around the Olympic stadium. This southern part of the Park
      will keep the festival atmosphere of the Games, hosting special
      events, with cafés and bars, and a boat service on the river.


      Looking north over the Olympic stadium, towards the Velodrome, will
      be quieter spaces along the banks of the River Lea. The various
      waterways on site are being restored after decades of neglect –
      30,000 tons of rubbish, including shopping trolleys and even cars,
      have been removed, water quality has been dramatically improved,
      and riverbanks have been renewed. And after the Games, the new
      riverside access that the Park is opening up, will mean that you can
      cycle all 27 miles from the source of the River Lea in the
      Hertfordshire countryside, south through the Olympic Park, right
      down to the Thames.


      Now you might not think it, but the kind of neglected, post-industrial
      site that this was, before construction began, often makes a
      welcome habitat for wildlife. Many animals had made their homes
      here – newts, toads and common lizards, and birds such as kestrels,
      greenfinches, redstarts and kingfishers. And this biodiversity is being
      protected during construction: 2,000 newts and hundreds of toads
      have been moved to a local nature reserve, and an artificial nesting
      site has been built for sand martins, nearby on Hackney Marshes.

                                                                           14
And when construction here finishes, many will be returned – and
joined by others, like the birds and bats we hope will make their
homes in the nesting boxes that have been built into the venues –
surely one of the best views in London from a bird box high up in the
Olympic Stadium!”




                                                                   15
Track 8: A Landscape of Water, industry and innovation

JE:   “As you‟re walking along the Greenway towards the canal, it‟s
      interesting to reflect on the history of the Park site, and surrounding
      area – important for centuries as wetlands, and as a centre of
      industry and innovation.


      In Pre-historic times, early Londoners fished and hunted in the rivers
      and streams, with stone tools. And before construction began, the
      Olympic Delivery Authority invited archaeologists to dig in key sites.
      Their finds included a four-thousand-year-old flint axe-head, four
      skeletons from an Iron-Age settlement from the site of the Aquatics
      Centre, Roman river walls, and a 19th-century boat used for hunting
      wild birds on the River Lea. It‟s thought that in the 9th century, Viking
      invaders advancing on London were repelled, on waterways near
      here, by King Alfred‟s men. And the area of Temple Mills, between
      Stratford and Leyton, to the north of the site, is said to be named
      after a watermill built there by the Knights Templar, in the 12th
      century.


      By the 19th century, the network of waterways had enabled Hackney
      Wick, at the western end of the Greenway in the direction you‟re now
      walking, to become a thriving centre of heavy industry. Industries
      such as dye-works and petrol distillers, relied on the canals and
      rivers both for deliveries of goods and also transporting away
      noxious waste. Among the many things made and processed here
      was the first true synthetic plastic – „Parkesine‟, named after its
      inventor Alexander Parkes.



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Waterways and innovation are also part of the 2012 vision of
sustainability. New bridges are being constructed across the Park, a
new lock has been built at Three Mills to expand the network of
navigable waterways in this area, and materials have been brought
to the site by water – including giant pipes for the Olympic stadium
and power cages for the Aquatics Centre.

And these kinds of materials and services have been supplied by
thousands of businesses across the UK. The 2012 Games, and the
Olympic Park into the future, are contributing an estimated 6 billion
pounds of investment. To give you just a few examples of UK
businesses at work here: steelwork for the stadium has been made
in Lancashire and South Wales, concrete components for several
venues have come from companies in Derbyshire, Somerset, Dorset
and Country Antrim amongst others, scaffolding safety equipment
has come from Glasgow, site buildings for construction workers have
been made in Yorkshire, and thousands of wetland plants for the
Park have been grown in Norfolk – many from seeds that were
collected here on-site before construction even began.


For the next track, continue making your way along the Greenway to
the bridge over the canal.”




                                                                   17
Track 9: Energy Centre, and International Broadcast
Centre/Main Press Centre


JE:   “If you‟ve walked along the Greenway to the canal and you‟re
      standing on the bridge, you‟ll have the best view for this track. Look
      upstream beyond the white gates of the Old Ford Lock. The rich
      brown building you can see is the Energy Centre for London 2012.
      The copper clad block just beyond, is the Handball Arena. Visible
      over the top of the brown Energy Centre building, are several white
      square shapes – they‟re a glimpse of the International Broadcast
      Centre. And both Energy and Broadcast Centres are vital to keeping
      the show on the road during the Games, and are key parts of the
      future of the Park.

      We think 4 billion people will watch the 2012 Olympic and
      Paralympic     Games.    And     twenty    thousand     broadcasters,
      photographers and journalists will be based here in the Broadcast
      Centre, and the Press Centre next door – relaying each medal won
      and record broken, to almost every country on earth.


      The Broadcast Centre is the biggest building in the Park – equivalent
      to the size of Canary Wharf tower laid on its side – and large enough
      to have its own High Street. The Olympic Park Legacy Company,
      which is planning the future of the Park, wants the area to become a
      long-term centre for employment after the Games, and is marketing
      the site for a range of commercial uses.




                                                                          18
The new Energy Centre will generate the power to heat and cool all
the venues across the Park – a much more efficient system than
using individual plants at each venue. Power will come from:
biomass boilers, burning woodchip from sustainable local sources,
and a Combined Cooling, Heat and Power plant. This is a lower
carbon process, which captures heat that would otherwise be lost,
and re-uses it as hot water, or steam, to be piped elsewhere around
the site – to heat the swimming pools in the Aquatics Centre for
example. And after the Games, the Energy Centre will supply
electricity to the local grid, with the capacity to serve up to 10,000
homes.


There‟s one final track on the tour, and it‟s about the Legacy of
London 2012 – and, as you listen, you might now like to walk back
towards the bright green View Tube building, for a last look at the
site.”




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Track 10: Legacy

JE:   “As you‟ll know after spending time here looking at the site, London
      2012 is about much more than the Olympic and Paralympic Games
      themselves. Of every pound being spent on the Games, 75 pence
      goes towards long-term regeneration and legacy.


      When the Games end, the Olympic Park Legacy Company will take
      over. And it‟s already begun setting out its plans, including renaming
      the Park: The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.


      Over the next 25 years, a new part of London will be created here,
      with five new neighbourhoods – with family homes and community
      facilities, including new schools, nurseries, health centres, and faith
      spaces.


      The Legacy Company‟s vision is that the permanent Olympic venues
      will become a new destination for visitors, schools and community
      sport, while the Park‟s open spaces will be brought to life through a
      busy programme of events and attractions.


      As well as these physical changes, London 2012 is a massive boost
      to British industry, and it‟s creating employment and training for
      thousands of people from East London. One in five of the people
      working here on site live in one of the five boroughs nearest to the
      Park – that‟s Newham, Hackney, Waltham Forest, Tower Hamlets
      and Greenwich – and 12% were previously unemployed. Several
      thousand of the construction workers have gained new vocational
      qualifications on site. And hundreds of apprentices have been

                                                                           20
placed here for apprenticeships lasting up to 4 years, many of them
local young people.


Paul Henry is one of them – he‟s a graduate civil engineer:

      PH: “Currently, I‟m working on a pedestrian bridge on the north side of the park.
      It fills me with a great deal of pride to see the handrails going up now and starting
      to see the bridge take shape. But I‟ll be even happier when it‟s finished! It‟ll be
      nice in a few years to come back and tell the grand-kids I built that bridge, that
      was my first bridge. Growing up I had family members that worked on the old
      Pudding Mill Industrial Estate, so I used to visit there. So, just seeing it come
      from what it was, to what it is now, I think that change is a really positive one for
      the whole of East London.”
      30”



I really hope you‟ve enjoyed what you‟ve seen and heard about the
Olympic Park site today. We‟re on time, within budget and on track
for a fantastic Games. A huge amount has already been achieved,
and if you visit again, you‟ll see how things are constantly developing
as we move towards that immovable deadline – the opening
ceremony for the Olympic Games, on the 27th of July 2012. And I for
one can‟t wait.”




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