‘2012 hours to go’ (the official opening of the London 2012 Olympic Stadium)

On Saturday the 5th of May 2012, the 2012 Olympic Stadium in London was officially declared open, 82 days ahead of the start of the games on the 27th of July.
I was one of the lucky ones who managed to snap up tickets to become one of 40,000 in the stadium to witness the opening and the end of the BUCS championships before that.

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Above is an iphone panoramic image from my seat in the stadium.

This was one of the main test events as part of the ‘London Prepares’ series, to make sure all venues are in full working order before the Olympics.

I arrived at 5:00pm at the Stratford gate entrance to the Olympic park, where everyone had their tickets checked and then went through Airport style security checks. This took no time at all and was hassle free, a good thing considering the numbers of people filing into the park at the time.
From then on, we were free to walk through the park from the Orbit structure next to the Stadium in the south west of the park to the velodrome in the north east. It’s when you walk through that you really appreciate the scale of the park.
Some bits weren’t quite finished such as a few areas of Landscaping (though landscaping was superb) and a huge Mcdonalds on site! (something to do with a main sponsor) But first impressions of the park were really positive.

By half 6I arrived at one of the bridges to access the Olympic Stadium, ready for the 7pm doors open time. The queues were already building fast. Crowd control was something the stewards dealt with really well though, so everyone filed through without problems.

By 7pm I had easily found my seat in the stadium, 12 rows back from the track and was watching some of the Athletics as well as taking photos. At 8:45pm the co hosts Vernon Kay & Gabby Logan took over to begin the celeb games section of the evening.
Though this was ok there were sections that could have been improved (e.g cycling round the track and not a circle in the field) and some celebs didn’t seem properly into the games. Other than that, it was great.
Then came the moment a lucky young lady in the crowd above me was announced to open the stadium alongside Seb Coe and also receive a pair of tickets to the Olympic opening ceremony on 27th July.

15 mins later we all witnessed the stadium officially opened with the release of white balloons and a light display in the darkened stadium bowl.

Below are some of my photos from the event:

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The Night’s Hosts, Gabby Logan & Vernon Kay

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Some newly landscaped areas around the Olympic park. These will look great in the summer when things have had more time to grow and settle into the landscape.

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Queuing on one of the bridges leading to the stadium.

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The view from my seat in the lower bowl of the stadium.

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BUCS athletics events that continued through to 8:45pm.

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After the fun & games element of the evening, some of the personalities ran a parade lap around the track, imagining what it’s like to be Usain Bolt.

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Some of the brilliant volunteers, who without helping out for the prepares series, none of this would have happened.

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