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Olympic Athlete’s Villages

Josh Learner finds out where the world's best athletes will be kipping next year

Written by . Published on July 29th 2011.


Olympic Athlete’s Villages

THE 2012 London Olympics is just over a year away, but already the prospect of what might be in store is something to make our hearts skip a beat. Yes, the thought of Usain Bolt bolting down the 100m and 200m track is arousing, and yes, Great Britain’s potential in staking their claim on the medals table is patriotically riveting. But perhaps the agenda for everything surrounding the games should be the factor leaving the most profound mark on the games.

London is putting on the show of a lifetime. An experience, which future generations may never be lucky enough to see. The enormity of the task at hand for all involved is hard to comprehend against the giant, corporate and global backdrop. Venues all over London will be playing host to different sporting events and festivities.

Olympics 2011

Over the past few months, Jamaica, as well as a host of other National Olympic Committees (NOC’s)has announced venues for the location of fanzones or ‘houses’ during the Olympics. An array of cultural diversity will hit London and it is no surprise that all the hype is about the announcement of the Jamaican fanzone or Jamaica Village in Finsbury Park. Taking place over nine days from August 3rd – 12th, 50,000 people are expected to soak up the Caribbean flavour daily. A big screen will be erected as well as live music, dancing and plenty of Jamaican food. The likes of Usain Bolt and dignitaries such as Lennox Lewis are expected to be present to accompany the fruits of the exotic island.

Ziggi Golding, director of Festival Jamaica 2012, one of the event’s partners says, “In Beijing 2008, despite how well the athletes did, Jamaica didn’t really have a presence at the games and so didn’t have a profile.

“There will be a lot of great entertainment, encompassing music, food, drink, theatre and the arts. We want to represent all elements of Jamaican culture.”

Olympics 2012The Brazilians will be samba dancing their entourage into the Somerset House’s ‘Casa Brazil’ as they bid to showcase their pedigree for the 2016 games in Rio. Details over what will be taking place are unknown, but one thing is for sure – there’s certain to be a carnival atmosphere. After the deal was signed with the Brazilian Olympic Committee, Somerset House Trust director Gwyn Miles said, “We’re now looking forward to working together on a cultural programme that captures and celebrates the country’s vibrant arts and cultural scene, and showcasing the best of Brazil in the heart of London."

The scramble for the other high profile venues has certainly brought to light NOC’s desire to put their country at the forefront of exposure during, debatably, the biggest sporting event in the world. The notoriously lavish spenders, Russia, who hired out a whole science museum for the Vancouver Winter Olympics in February, have secured Marble Arch as their fanzone with plans to put-up a temporary, multi-story canopy around the arch and parts of the surrounding parkland.

Holland secured Alexander Palace, or, ‘Holland Heineken House’ and France House will be at Old Billingsgate. An interactive map of all of the London 2012 Olympic houses to date can be found here.

The casting eye of the global audience watches ever closer as each day goes by – London waits with open arms.

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