In 2005 Britons celebrated winning the Olympic Bid for the 2012 Games fifty four votes to fifty against France, yes! We would be hosting the summer Olympic Games for the first time since the resounding success post World War Two in 1948. As the date draws closer tensions rise because, although building for the London 2012 Olympic Games was reported to have started weeks ahead of schedule, builders are now racing to meet the projected completion date in July 2011.

The main stadium is still surrounded by construction material in December. This structure will be the central hub where the majority of the competitions will take place. The metal frame structure is made of recycled gas cylinders as part of the planners’ Green Initiative in sustainable design.

Previously the Lea Valley was littered with dilapidated urban brown sites but these are being renovated and reused by the Olympic Council, transforming the landscape into a futuristic mesh of modern facilities and green areas. This sign of sustainable development is pleasing to the local community because, by raising the desirability status of the area, it will attract people to live here for years to come.

The huge proportions of the task are apparent on looking beyond the central hub of the Main Stadium and Olympic City, to the rest of the Lea Valley area that the Olympic venues will spill onto. The future Olympians’ apartment blocks rise like totem poles amidst sprawling suburbs.

Television stations anxiously report on the progression of building works.

Although the educational centre, the ‘View Tube’, took only three days to build from old cargo containers the swimming centre seen in the background (designed to look like a sting-ray) is already three months behind schedule.

Visitors to the Olympic site can chalk their impressions onto a huge blackboard running behind the entire viewing platform. Whilst the chalk creations are ephemeral, the constructions they depict will be utilised by the public long after the games have finished.

Here’s hoping that the London Olympic Games in 2012 leave their mark in history and with that The Tribe magazine can leave its mark too, support from St Andrews students.


Jennifer Dale