May 12, 2017
The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympics coming to my neighbourhood played a massive role in me finding the joy in sport.
Living and working around the emerging Olympic Park as it turned from urban wasteland to a global mega event destination made me fall in love with my city even more, and I feel privileged to have worked as a project manager and consultant in a range of roles over an 8 year period…even if it did lead to redundancy in the end.
I love having the Olympic Park on my doorstep now, like seriously I can be there in 3 minutes from my front door, and its where my local swimming pool is, and is a favourite place for me to run, and just chill out with friends and family. I love the place.
I have particularly special relationship with the Olympic Stadium which now houses my football team West Ham.
So lets just have a quick run through of why its so special to me. The stadium was pretty much built on the site where an old nightclub called PowerHouse used to be, or pretty close. That played a massive role in me growing up as a teenager…raving until the early hours, walking home to Forest Gate with my mates as the sun was coming up.
In 2008ish I was working on a project with young people from the 5 olympic boroughs, working alongside the architects of the various facilities to help young people understand the changes going on in their neighbourhood, we got to don hard hats and go into the building site to take a closer look.
Then in 2010 I can remember taking part in the Newham 10K run, and running into the area where the stadium was being built and seeing a line of construction workers cheering us on,
Get back to work you lazy bastards someone shouted, which made us all laugh.
In December 2011 I got to sit in the VIP area of the stadium as David Cameron switched on the stadiums Xmas lights.
A few months later I was back in the stadium at some of the test events, and the highlight of all highlights was a few days before the games kicked off being able to take a group of my volunteers and some friends to a rehearsal of the opening ceremony, it was spectacular and we got to see it before everyone else…how awesome is that?
I didn’t manage to get into the stadium during games time. I was working in the anti doping team in the athletes village on the other side of the park and that kind of kept me busy.
A year later though I had my moment of glory as I took part in the Newham 10K once more, this time with the event finishing inside the stadium running on the very same piece of track that Usain Bolt and Mo Farah worked their magic. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life.
So you see, I am a bit of a London 2012 geek. I have all these memories. All these moments that I cherish. Moments I am sure I will be banging on about for years to come. Like seriously I will be that old person harping on about days gone by and the glory days of Stratford when the olympics was in town for a few weeks.
And guess what?
I have just been offered a fabulous little momento to help keep my memories alive….a piece of the actual London 2012 Track.
It is the original track used during the 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games. The track was removed in spring 2016, so that a new track could be installed as part of the transformation works to convert The Stadium into its legacy mode. A small amount of the original track was retained, in order to produce the commemorative products that are now available for purchase.
Following replacement of the athletics track from the London 2012 Games at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park we are selling authentic track provided in a displayed product using the track as the center piece. These vary from Premium products such as start and finish lane numbers to a presentation pack containing your own piece of the track, either way buyers get a piece of history.
I am getting a little keyring which I can use daily, and I have an additional one to give away to one special lady who follows my blog.
So over the weekend I am going to be running a competition on my FaceBook Page all you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is tell us how the London 2012 inspired you, or your favourite memory from the games…I will throw in a couple of Clubhouse Memberships too and chose 3 winners on Monday.
If you are desperate to get your hands on a piece of the track and are not lucky enough to win one through my competition this weekend, check out this link, keyrings are only £10
Every product purchased comes with a certificate of authenticity signed by the Mayor of Newham and the Chairman of E20 Stadium LLP and the London Legacy Development Corporation. Proceeds from the sale of the track will go back into maintaining and operating the London Marathon Community Track and the London Stadium. The Stadium is a publicly owned asset and all the profits it generates are returned to the taxpayer so its a win win.
While we are talking about favourite memories of games time, I have a few….
- Usain Bolt sneaking back into the Athletes Village via the staff entrance at 8am after being out clubbing all night
- Watching the TV live with Mo Farah, but listening with the audio off and my patio doors open so I could hear the crowd roar.
- Mo Farah walking though the village trying not to get noticed the day after his 10K win….didn’t work
- Asking Ryan Lochte what sport he played while he was waiting to give a urine sample…I am not that up to date on my swimmers
I could go on and on and on…the games were very special to me and I will always be grateful that they came to East London.