Since many in the United States did not have a chance to really see Olympic Park or the other venues that were used for London 2012, I thought it was important to highlight what the London 2012 Planning Committee created. The Olympic Park, located in Stratford (East London), was built on a 500-acre piece of commercial and industrial wasteland. This area was a site where businesses and factories used to flourish, but soon failed. The area became a contaminated zone.
London 2012 reshaped the area (and created jobs) to build the new facilities, many of which that will be permanent structures to the East End skyline. The Games of the 30th Olympiad have become known as the “greenest Olympic games”, and you could tell. Throughout the Olympic Park, recycling centers were color coded to make life easier on the spectator. The Park added over 500 bird boxes and 150 bat boxes to promote and maintain the environmental integrity of the region. Flowers, shrubs, and trees were planted throughout the 500-acre space, while waterways were refurbished to create a more scenic atmosphere.
The three “current-day” artists who performed during the closing ceremonies – Jessie J, Tinie Tempah, and Taio Cruz – were all born and raised in the East End of London. When the Olympic Flame was being extinguished, a phoenix rose from the flames. Just like the bird rising from the ash, East London has risen to become a completely different, and better, place. It was fitting to see these hometown celebrities pay tribute to the city they love, and also the part of the city they called home for a long portion of their life. Many people know that David Beckham was an advocate for the London 2012 – he is also from the East End of London and was a huge proponent of making the Olympic Stadium a permanent structure to the East End landscape. The Aquatic Center, the Velodrome, and the Olympic Stadium will all continue to be used in the years to come, which will only benefit the community of East London and continue creating a lasting legacy for the Games of 2012.
This post was written by our Olympics correspondent, Matt.