Let the Games Begin!
It seems like it wasn’t too long ago that the world was gossiping about the Beijing Olympics. It started off with a spectacular opening ceremony, which included a cast of over 15,000 people, in the eye-catching Bird’s Nest stadium. That was four years ago, and now all eyes are on London for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.
One of the changes for the 2012 Games is the new mascots: Wenlock and Mandeville. These shiny creatures are said to have been created from two drops of steel left over from London’s Olympic Stadium. Each mascot has a camera for an eye that captures all of the Olympic action. Their names come from two athletic events in England that were the forerunners of the modern Olympics and Paralympics.
While Wenlock and Mandeville love to try out all of the Olympic sports new to them, there is one that will be new to the whole world. For the first time in history, Women’s Boxing will appear at the Olympics, making this the first Summer Games with all sports having both women’s and men’s events. Baseball and softball aren’t included this year, but the rest of the sporting events will seem more vivid than ever as all the heart-stopping action is broadcast in 3-D.
Architecture for a Sustainable Olympics
Organizers of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London have risen to the challenge of holding the first sustainable Olympics in history. When designing the buildings used for sports and accommodations, architects needed to consider more than just whether their designs were distinctive. Additionally, the venues had to be constructed to be environmentally friendly.
Architects kept a key phrase in mind when they created the designs: reduce, reuse, and recycle. The first step to reducing waste was to use venues that were already available. As an example, tennis will be played at the Wimbledon tennis club. The venue was updated for the Olympics, and a retractable roof was put on to cover the Center Court. The famous live music and sports venue Wembley Arena will be used for badminton and rhythmic gymnastics. Fortunately, Wembley Arena did not have to be changed at all.
As the architects designed new venues, they wanted the buildings to have as little impact on the environment as possible. Specifically, they incorporated a lot of recycled material into the constructions. The Aquatic Centre fits this bill with 30,000 sections of low-carbon timber and 11,000 square meters of 100 percent recycled aluminum lining the roof. The base that the Olympic Stadium was built on is made up of 6,500 cubic meters of recycled cement that was moved from other parts of the Olympic Park.
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