The Legacy of London 2012

June 6, 2014

Zaha Hadid designed an incredible swimming pool for the London Olympics. The organic-like structure will hopefully stand for years as a symbol of sport, as well as architecture. Unfortunately during the Olympics, her design was rather distorted by huge temporary seating which was bolted onto the perfect structure. But it’s perfect now, although through some stupid (non-legacy!) IOC rule, it has to drop the name of Olympic Pool, and is renamed the London Aquatics Centre.

Two years after I sat in the huge crowd watching Michael Phelps add yet more gold medals to his Olympic collection, and new sensation Missy Franklin break world records, my 14 year old daughter Anna was competing for Teddington Swim Club. One of the first people to try out the pool since its two year post-Olympic refit, she was competing in the London Regional Swim Champs. Standing on the blocks for her first of her multiple races, it really did feel like 2012 again. I was very proud of her!

Seb Coe and is London 2012 team won the right to stage the games, based largely on a promise of legacy. There is still much to do. Whilst this year’s swimmers got the chance to feel the water of champions, in future years, the cost of pool hire is likely to be prohibitive. Even this year, spectators were restricted, because again the cost was too high. Why? If legacy isn’t the next generation in regional competitions, encouraging participation and support, then what is it? Come on Seb, in whichever role you’re in now, sort it out!

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