An early-morning men’s field hockey game was showing on one of the Olympic Park’s video screens, set in front of sloped spectator lawns bordered by flowers and tall grasses.
Pamelia got up at 4:30 a.m. for her flight from London back to the U.S., so my Olympic day began early too. Or too early. To give myself a boost (on four hours’ sleep), I augmented my morning coffee with a half-hour walk through the sunshine of the Olympic Park. Spectators were pouring in for men’s field hockey matches and swimming preliminaries. Children were jumping from colored dot to colored dot on a rubberized surface that covers the ground near the Olympic Stadium. The smell of Cornish pasties (filled meat or vegetable pastries) from a concessions stand wafted through the air. Pop music blared from loudspeakers. Many fans had Union Jacks painted on their cheeks or draped around their shoulders like blankets. Everyone looked happy.
Here’s that area of overlapping colored dots. Kids—and some adults—can’t resist trying to jump from one dot to another of the same color. The surface is made of recycled sneaker soles.
A home-country fan.
The Olympic Park will become a city park after the Games, and in many spots it already has the feel of one.
The Olympic Park is large—2.5 square kilometers, or 617 acres. Giant maps help visitors find their way around.
Estimated walking times help too.
That’s the Olympic Aquatics Centre, where Phelps, Lochte and friends are doing a bit of swimming.
That’s the Olympic Stadium, with the 377-foot-high Orbit sculpture-slash-viewing-tower in the distance. I’m eager for track and field events to start in the stadium later this week.
The park has streams, bridges and restored wetlands. The basketball arena is in the distance to the right, with the cycling velodrome to its left.
That’s where the aroma was coming from.
No Olympic Park would be an Olympic park if it didn’t have an official-souvenir megastore, but at least this one tries to be green.
Hope you’re all enjoying the Games. So far they’re a big success.