We’re celebrating the lasting legacy of London 2012 and the incredible people who continue to turn moments into magic. 10yearson.queenelizabetholympicpark.co.uk
Source: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park: 10yearson.queenelizabetholympicpark.co.uk
Read more: Press release & download link
Governments hosting high-profile sporting events like the Olympics and FIFA World Cup are repeatedly criticized for building massive, unsustainable venues, often abandoned in the years after the big event. In 2012, London aimed to change that narrative, praised at the time by climate activists for paving the way for sustainable architecture. Nearly a decade later, how are these venues being used and repurposed? What can other host countries learn from 2012? CNBC’s Tom Chitty reports from London.
Disclosure: CNBC parent NBCUniversal owns NBC Sports and NBC Olympics. NBC Olympics is the U.S. broadcast rights holder to all Summer and Winter Games through 2032.
Source: CNBC International on YouTube
The Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games held in London in 2012 are widely regarded as one of the most successful of modern times. They regenerated a largely wasteland area in East London and inspired a generation into sport.
On the track, Team GB’s sporting performance was the best this country had produced at an Olympics since 1908, and there was an equal emphasis on the Paralympics too, with over 4,000 athletes from 164 countries competing in front of packed crowds.
However, the initial resistance and negative reception to the bid when it began in 2003, was a world away from the euphoria and patriotism that London 2012 would inspire. By the time London had decided to bid, the UK hadn’t tried to host the Olympics for a decade. There had been three previous failed British bids, by Birmingham and Manchester, and many years of cynicism by those who felt that hosting an Olympics was nothing more than an elaborate and expensive exercise in national ego boosting.
Encompassing resignations, a TV investigation that nearly scuttled the team’s hopes, and a dramatic final push involving Prime Ministers and global superstars, the story of the bid for London 2012 contains almost as much drama as the Games themselves.
Kirsty Wark is joined by core members of the bid team:
Barbara Cassani was the first Chair of the bid and Sir Keith Mills was its Chief Executive.
Jonathan Edwards and Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson sat on the Athletes Advisory Board.
Richard Caborn was the Minister for Sport and Sir Craig Reedie was a member of the International Olympic Committee
Lord Sebastian Coe became Bid Chair in its second stage.
Producer: Steve Hankey
Presenter: Kirsty Wark
Series Producer: David Prest
A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4
— Seb Coe (@sebcoe) July 6, 2020
🔊Sound on for MAJOR goosebumps!🔊#OnThisDay in 2005, London was awarded the 2012 Olympic games!
What. A, Moment! 🥇🎉❤😭
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) July 6, 2020
15 years ago today London won the bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games! 🙌
In that time, the Park has undergone an incredible transformation 🤩
— Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (@noordinarypark) July 6, 2020
15 years ago today, London was awarded the right to host the 2012 Olympic Games! 🤝 pic.twitter.com/YIoCgVXa8S
— Team GB (@TeamGB) July 6, 2020
Read more: London 2012 Candidate File
From the publisher:
Images of the Past: Wembley: The History of the Iconic Twin Towers
It was the field of dreams, the birthplace of legends, the hallowed home of our sporting gods. Historic Wembley Stadium, with its iconic Twin Towers, was truly the most revered of venues.
Until the Millennium, when the world-renowned colossus was demolished to make way for its futuristic replacement, the famous old Stadium witnessed some of the most heroic events of the Twentieth Century. But its history, although always exciting, was also often uncertain– and not a little bizarre.
So, despite most eyes being on future fixtures as the sporting hub heads towards it centenary, it is the ancient edifice’s often forgotten past that is the subject of this book. And the uncomfortable truth is that Wembley’s original debut was anything but auspicious. In fact, it was once viewed as a debt-ridden disaster. So doomed was it deemed to be that the North London complex was about to be knocked down – and was rescued only at the last moment, in the most extraordinary circumstances. Happily, it recovered to become a success story, the memories of which are recorded here, hopefully to open the floodgates of nostalgia for followers of sport.
Wembley, it must be remembered, came to the rescue of the first post-War Olympics when no other nation on earth would accept the challenge. It gripped greyhound racing aficionados and it thrilled to the roar of speedway stars. The giants of American football also muscled in to display their skills there.
Great Britons like Frank Bruno and Henry Cooper stepped into the ring (and Cassius Clay was felled to the canvas) before stunned boxing fans. And, of course, Wembley crowds gasped in awe at the footwork of Stanley Matthews and wept in ecstasy at the triumph of Bobby Moore.
But the North London location is more than just the Holy Grail of sport. It has seen defining moments in pop music history, such as Live Aid. It has given platforms to the Pope and evangelist Billy Graham. It has staged breathtaking spectaculars no other venue could hope to accommodate, growing in stature over the course of an astonishing century.
This then, for both sports buffs and social historians, is historic Wembley’s story … an unfolding saga played out beneath those symbolically soaring Twin Towers.
By Maurice Crow
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Series: Images of the Past
Published: 5th March 2018