The Olympic fever lives on! Cheer on the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey, or join in National Paralympic Day.
Lois Bryson-Edmett discovers, two years on from the wildly successful London Olympics, that the Queen Elizabeth Park is still alive with sporting events that you can watch and take part in.
Michael Phelps becoming the most decorated Olympian, Usain Bolt confirming his place as the fastest man in the world, and Jessica Ennis making Britain proud when she became the heptathlon champion – these are just some of the highlights of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Since then you might assume that, as with many Olympic venues, the park has sat in quiet memorial of these great events, but this is far from true.
Today’s London Olympic Park is alive with activity and, of course, sporting competitions. Cheer on the 24,000 cyclists in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 (10 Aug), which sets off from the park, then passes through the Surrey countryside, before returning to London at The Mall for the grand finale.
Sports fans of a different kind can flock to the park for Gfinity G3 (2-3 Aug). Held in the Copper Box Arena, which was home to handball and fencing in the Olympics, e-sports teams from around the world will battle it out for prestigious titles on video games such as FIFA 14, StarCraft II and CallOfDuty:Ghosts.
As many of the sporting venues have opened their doors to the public, you can live out your own Olympic fantasies. Hit some balls in the Lee Valley Tennis Centre, or take a dip in Zaha Hadid’s undulating Aquatics Centre. The pool is still favoured by sports stars, so you might even bump into the Olympic diver Tom Daley who likes to train there.
But it’s not just about sports at the park. The National Paralympic Day featuring the Mayor of London’s Liberty Festival (30 Aug) gives you the chance to enjoy Paralympic sport alongside live music, theatre and dance from deaf and disabled artists. And at the Poetry Potting Shed (4- 8 Aug), you can discover your inner Wordsworth. With the help of the poet-inresidence at the drop-in sessions, you can have a go at writing your own poetry.
And while you are in the park, make sure you visit Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond’s ArcelorMittal Orbit. The red, tangled tower rises 376 feet above the skyline, and offers unforgettable views across the city. For full listing, turn to p. 30
“Hit some balls in Lee Valley Tennis Centre or take a dip in the Aquatics pool”