Third Time’s the Charm: Summer Olympics Redux

So you’ve heard the Brits are hosting the 2012 Olympics in London. But did you know that they’ve already hosted the Games twice before, in 1908 and 1948? Both times before they had little notice or time to really do it up proper. In 1906, they were suddenly made host when Italy bowed out—something about being distracted by Mount Vesuvius erupting—and in the 40’s, the UK was still recovering from the massive bombings during WWII. They still managed to pull them both off, although with little fanfare; the Olympics in 1948 were known as the Austerity Games.

Well, this time the Brits have had the full seven years to prepare, and they plan to pull out all the stops.

OIympics constructionOkay, so they’re still in construction—don’t judge! Here’s what you want to see: the Olympic Stadium. Next to it is the ArcelorMittal Orbit designed by Anish Kapoor, also still in the building phase.

Olympic Stadium

The 2012 Olympics, and all of the jobs and redevelopment that comes with it, will be a great boon to the surrounding locality of East London, which was one of the hardest-hit areas during WWII and has struggled ever since. Here’s a shot of the stadium, a little closer-up, from the tube station.

Olympic Stadium closeupA lot of the surrounding neighborhoods house industry, which may or may not still be around once the Games commence. There’s apparently a lot of pressure for individuals and businesses to sell to the ODA, or Olympic Delivery Authority.

Olympic ghettoThere are also two rivers neaby, one of which houses this pretty little lock-keeper’s cottage and some canal boats.

Lock-keeper's cottage

canal boats

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