Friday, 3 April 2015

A visit to the Olympic Park

A Saturday afternoon trip out to visit the Orbit sculpture and have a wander around the Olympic Park in Stratford

It turned into a very pleasant way to spend a few hours, the orbit is an impressive structure with great views into the City, Canary Wharf and out to the East and the wilds of Essex along the Thames.

I was eager to see what 'legacy' the Olympics had left in the Olympic Park and I must say I was impressed. Walking around the park it is easy to see it is a hub of activity with a vibrant atmosphere.

Runners and cyclists taking advantage of the large areas of traffic free pathway.

An interactive keep fit class you could join in with.

Plenty of interactive activities such a climbing apparatus and a replica of Greg Rutherford's Gold winning long jump leap where you could compare your efforts to this epic leap. It really brought into context the amazing feat and made you appreciate exactly how far 8.31m is. For the record I managed about 2.5m although I reckon in a sand pit without jeans I could get to 3m! Still some way off a gold medal!

Despite having fun I did have two sour notes to the Olympic Park and the legacy of the 2012 Olympics.                                                                                                                  

Firstly all the cafe outlets serving stodgy unhealthy food OK so it wasn't McDonald's fast food style grub but we aren't going to produce Olympic champions on giant chocolate cookies are we?

Secondly on the day we visited there was a biathlon competition taking place as part of Pentathlon GB. While it was great to see so many young teenagers competing the thought did cross my mind, why are they running around a large tarmac area just a few hundred metres from the Olympic stadium? The answer is of course the Olympic Stadium is closed while it is redeveloped into the new home of West Ham United Football Club. While I largely agree with this move the fact there are no other outside athletic provisions at the site is a bit staggering? Surely keeping the Olympic athletic warm up track as some sort of mini athletics venue could have been a good idea?
Anyway Olympic legacy rant over!

With so much activity and exercise going on all around I did feel a bit left out as the only exercise I took part in was a quick jog down the 450+ steps of the orbit.                                                         

After enjoying the views from the orbit and wondering around the park enjoying the atmosphere the only thing left to do was to visit the RUN sculpture on the other side of the park outside the Cooper Box arena

An impressive shiny metallic sculpture standing proud looking out over the park it was an essential point for me to visit and photograph and feature in my blog. 

Overall I would highly recommend a visit as an enjoyable way to spend some time in the East of London.