Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sited in Stratford, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has been considered as the heart of the Olympics 2012. If you missed the opportunity to attend this event, this is the right place to discover it. You can step into a place where world records were broken and explore the Athletes’ Village site and the stunning Olympic Stadium. Moreover, you can join the London 2012 Park Trail, exploring with the help of some friendly guides.
Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre
In the park there is something for everyone. For instance, there is the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, which hosted the wheelchair tennis at the Paralympic Games. This centre is open to the public all year-round and offers both indoor and outdoor courts and pitches to hire, plus different programmes in sports for children and adults. In addition, for basketball fanatics, the Copper Box Arena is the home of the London Lions, London’s only professional basketball team.
Lee Valley VeloPark
For those who remember the award-winning track cyclist Chris Hoy and his GB Team, the Lee Valley VeloPark will transport you to that iconic moment where they won. The venue offers a brand new one-mile cycle circuit, a BMX track and eight kilometres of mountain bike trails. But, that’s not the only thing you can do! Indeed, while you are having a bike ride in the north of the Park, you will be amused by the symbol of the Games: the five Olympic Rings, which represent the continents of the world.
The London Aquatics Centre
The Olympic Park is full of surprises! Last but not least, you may have the opportunity to swim in the same pool where American swimmer, Michael Phelphs won six medals — including four golds. The London Aquatics Centre is designed for swimmers of all ages and also provides fun for families, offering swimming and diving lessons plus other sessions in various aquatic disciplines. The venue includes a Technogym, different meeting rooms and a sports science space. Designed by architect Zaha Hadid, it is considered as one of the best community swimming facilities in the country, and with its huge capacity, you won’t miss out on further world class events.
Museum of London
However, the East London’s park is not the only way to relive this memorable sports event. Indeed, the Museum of London designed a space for another iconic symbol from the 2012 Olympics: The Cauldron. This permanent and free exhibition highlights Thomas Heatherwick’s structure that burned not only during the opening Olympic ceremony but also throughout the Games and the Paralympics. Thus, with the support of the Department of Culture, Media & Sport and the Mayor of London, you can admire the cauldron in both closed and open configuration; plus, you will have the chance to see the story of its design making and manufacturing.
Unfortunately, all the original petals were sent out to each nation after the end of the Games, so they are not displayed. The only exception is the Great Britain team petal — you will be able to see its surface burned by the flames.
Museum of London, 150 London Wall, London, UK, +44 20 7001 9844
By Caterina Mirra