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London 2012 Olympic Park: Venues

VO: Rebecca Brayton
As host city of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, London, England built a number of temporary and permanent world-class sporting venues in Stratford’s Olympic Zone. From the striking curved architecture of the Olympic Stadium, to the unique shape of the Velodrome – otherwise known as "the Pringle" – to the colors of the Riverbank Arena, these venues are distinct. The handball arena – known as the Copper Box – is another inimitable building, as it is completely covered in copper. Many of these spots will remain in use for the city’s inhabitants and tourists to enjoy once the Olympics are over. In this video, learns more about the venues found at London's Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

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London 2012 Olympic Park: Venues

Welcome to, and today we’ll be taking a look at the Olympic Park sporting complex, found in London, England.

Olympic Zone

Built specifically for the 2012 Summer Olympics, London’s Olympic Park facilities are located within the 500-acre Olympic Zone in Stratford. In honor of that country’s monarch, the complex was renamed the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for her Diamond Jubilee. Aside from the sporting venues located on this site, you can find the Olympic Village that houses all the athletes and officials taking part in the games.

Olympic Stadium

The Olympic Stadium is one of the main focuses of the site. Like a number of the other venues, the stadium was built with sustainability in mind: lighter as well as recycled materials were used wherever possible.

Aquatics Centre

Another of the games’ main venues is the Aquatics Centre. As it is found at the park’s entrance, the striking curved architecture is one of the first things spectators are met with upon entrance to the grounds. Inside, there are two 50-metre pools, as well as one 25-metre pool used for diving. Found nearby for maximum efficiency is the Water Polo Arena.

The Copper Box

The handball venue is referred to as “the Copper Box.” That name reflects the material that envelops the exterior of the building, giving it a unique finish that will only be enhanced with time.


The Velodrome is another of the games’ sustainable and efficiently-built venues: it includes a ventilation system that works naturally and makes air conditioning unnecessary. Natural lighting is another important element, and a 360 degree glass wall feature allows onlookers outside the venue to see the action inside. Because of its unique silhouette, this building is affectionately called “The Pringle.”

Near the Velodrome is the BMX track, which was considered to be one of the most difficult tracks built to that point.

Temporary Venues

Meanwhile, there are a number of temporary venues, as well. These include the Basketball Arena, which was the largest temporary venue built for the Olympics to that point. The Riverbank Arena was also temporarily built for the 2012 games. Instead of the traditional green, those fields were colored blue with pink accents as a way to tie them in with the colors of the London Games.

World-Class Venues

Thanks to its job as host city if the 2012 Summer Olympics, London will be home to world-class sporting venues and leisure spots for years to come.

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