Unveiling the £1 billion village that will be home to some of the biggest names at the London Games, including Jessica Ennis and the Team GB footballers, possibly David Beckham, the organising committee said the bright lights of central London should ensure that those who do party will do so away from those still in competition.
Athletes letting their hair down once they have finished competition is a recurring issue for Games organisers, with swimmers often singled out as the most likely to relax once their program is complete at the end of the first week.
Former triple-jump gold medallist Jonathan Edwards, now the chairman of the athletes’ committee that advised on the village design, complained about the conduct of some of his British team-mates at the Sydney Olympics.
“They are there to have fun,” he said. “They finish their competition and stay in the village and party for the rest of the Games. “If my sleep is interrupted by the swimmers coming back at 2am from a party because they are finished, I might be tempted to move out of the village.”
Former US double-gold swimmer Nelson Diebel once said the Games is “a two-week-long private party for thousands of hard bodies”, and Locog will provide around 150,000 free condoms in the village.Unveiling the facility on Thursday, Edwards said he hoped athlete’s would respect their peers in London. “I think that there will be a lot of respect shown for each other by the athletes who stay here,” he said. “For those who are still competing, a single slammed door at 1am the night before their event could have an impact.
“But if some athletes were making a lot of noise in the early hours I am sure that they would be told and sorted out by others.” Tony Sainsbury, the general manager of the village who has attended 13 Olympic Games, said he expected partying to take place largely off-site.
“With central London so easily accessible we think that anyone who is in that mood will go and do it in London. You are not going to want to come back here.”
There will be limited room for partying in the well-appointed but functional rooms that will be home for the athletes in the most important three weeks of their careers.
London believes it has created the best athletes’ village ever. It is closer to the Olympic Park than at any recent Games, with just a short walk or brief shuttle services taking them to venues. The rooms are all adequately appointed with functional furniture, courtesy of a vast procurement operation. The 2,800 apartments have been provided with 16,000 beds, 9,000 wardrobes and 11,000 sofas, all built by a 40-strong team working full-time assembling flat-pack furniture.
The apartments will have four, six or eight athletes sharing and have internet access and televisions that will have access to all Freeview channels, as well as all streams provided by the Olympic Broadcast Network.
The flats do not have kitchens. Instead the athletes and teams will eat in a vast dining room capable of serving 5,000 covers at a time.
There will be a state-of-the-art gym and a polyclinic, as well as an anti-doping facility within the village. All athletes and team members will have to pass through airport-style security screening to get into the facility.
Edwards, who competed at four Olympics, said that they had focused relentlessly on detail to ensure that athletes have “the perfect platform” for putting in great performances.
“The most important things are getting a good night’s sleep, eating excellent food, and that the transport works. We think we have done that, and this is by far the best Olympic village yet in my experience.
“The Olympics is strange because it is the most important competition of your life but it’s perhaps the least ideal accommodation. At a World Championship I would be used to my own en-suite room. But when I won in Sydney I was sharing with a snoring Steve Backley.”
Facts and Figures
• 16,000 beds, 9,000 wardrobes and 11,000 sofas
• 22,000 pillows, 1,200 blankets and 28,000 duvets
• Each flat has its own lounge with TV and broadband
• 2,818 apartments across 11 residential plots
Source: London 2012 Olympics: athlete accommodation unveiled | The Telegraph
Tags: INFRASTRUCTURE | VILLAGE | FLATS