- A GUIDE TO LON­DON’S OLYMPIC PARK -

Where London - - Where Now -

AQUAT­ICS CEN­TRE

De­signed by the late Zaha Ha­did, this spec­tac­u­lar cen­tre, with its dis­tinc­tive wave-like roof and state-of-the-art fa­cil­i­ties, is open to peo­ple of all ages and abil­i­ties. It can seat 2,500 spec­ta­tors, but don’t let that put you off tak­ing a dip. There is a wide range of fun and fam­ily-friendly ac­tiv­i­ties, as well as lane swimming, div­ing lessons and pro­fes­sional train­ing ses­sions. OLYMPIC HIGH­LIGHT: When Amer­i­can swim­mer Michael Phelps be­came the great­est Olympian in the his­tory of the Games dur­ing a tur­bu­lent re­lay race in which he won his 19th Olympic medal.

THE COP­PER BOX ARENA

Hand­ball, fenc­ing, bad­minton, gym­nas­tics… this arena at­tracts lots of lo­cal sports clubs these days, while also host­ing every­thing from heavy­weight box­ing matches to pop con­certs. Later this year, you can watch the 2016 Na­tional Taek­wondo Cham­pi­onships (24-25 Sep), Win­mau World Darts Masters (24-27 Nov) and Eng­land Roses vs Ja­maica’s Sun­shine Girls in the Vi­tal­ity Netball In­ter­na­tional Series (29 Nov). OLYMPIC HIGH­LIGHT: Dubbed the ‘box that rocks’, this venue hosted goal­ball events in the Par­a­lympics. In­vented in 1946 to re­ha­bil­i­tate World War II sol­diers, it in­volves vis­ually im­paired ath­letes throw­ing a ball with a bell to­wards a de­fended goal.

THE STA­DIUM

The Park’s most recog­nis­able venue is the only arena in the UK to host both world-class foot­ball and ath­let­ics events. When it’s not stag­ing ma­jor in­ter­na­tional sports meet­ings, the sta­dium is used for en­ter­tain­ment, in­clud­ing a mas­sive AC/DC con­cert ear­lier this sum­mer. This month, it’s all about the beau­ti­ful game, though, as the sta­dium be­comes the new home of West Ham United FC – the big­gest and most suc­cess­ful Bri­tish sta­dium move in the mod­ern era. See the club take on Ju­ven­tus in an in­ter­na­tional friendly on 7 Aug, and book your tick­ets now for next year’s World ParaAth­let­ics Cham­pi­onships (14-23 Jul 2017) and the IAAF World Cham­pi­onships (4-13 Aug 2017). This will be the first time that both Cham­pi­onships are held in the same sum­mer, in the same city! OLYMPIC HIGH­LIGHT: When dis­tance run­ner Mo Farah be­came the first Bri­ton to win the 10,000m gold medal. Born in So­ma­lia but raised in west Lon­don, Farah was seen as an im­age of mod­ern Bri­tain and hailed as a na­tional trea­sure.

ARCELORMIT­TAL OR­BIT

Whizz up the UK’s tallest sculp­ture in a lift and en­joy views across Lon­don’s fa­mous sky­line. On a clear day, you can see for 32km in a panorama that takes in iconic build­ings, in­clud­ing The View from The Shard, the Houses of Par­lia­ment and the ‘Gherkin’. What goes up must come down, so if you’re a thrill-seeker then you’re in for a treat. Why not ab­seil down the sculp­ture, or zoom down the world’s tallest and long­est tun­nel slide? Cre­ated by Bel­gian artist Carsten Höller, this is no or­di­nary hel­ter-skel­ter ride. It stretches al­most 590ft long and 249ft high; as you rush down, you can reach speeds of up to 24km per hour! OLYMPIC HIGH­LIGHT: De­signed by Turner Prize-win­ning sculp­tor Sir Anish Kapoor and en­gi­neer Ce­cil Bal­mond, the Or­bit be­came a pow­er­ful sym­bol of a ne­glected part of Lon­don sud­denly trans­formed.

LEE VAL­LEY VELOPARK

Track cy­cling, road rac­ing, BMX and moun­tain bik­ing – this iconic venue has it all. Burn some rub­ber in­side the award­win­ning, 6,000-seat velo­drome or head out­side and feel the wind in your hair as you tackle dozens of bumps, jumps and berms on the re­mod­elled Olympic BMX track. The 1.6km road cir­cuit is flood­lit and there’s 8km of traf­fic-free moun­tain bike trails if you pre­fer to get off the beaten track. OLYMPIC HIGH­LIGHT: When mar­ried cou­ple Sarah and Barney Storey won a stag­ger­ing five gold medals and one sil­ver be­tween them for Team Great Bri­tain in the Par­a­lympic cy­cling events. „

Clock­wise from top: Top of the slide at ArcelorMit­tal Or­bit; Mo Farah at the Olympic Sta­dium; Aquat­ics Cen­tre

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