Search

‘A distinct buzz of excitement hits you, like you’re part of the show’ — Parklife reporter Freddy Mayhew takes a dip in the London Aquatics Centre

17:21 11 March 2014

Freddy Mayhew in the pool.

Freddy Mayhew in the pool.

Archant

The first thing that hits you is the heat.

Freddy Mayhew in the pool.Freddy Mayhew in the pool.

It’s 28C in the London Aquatic’s Centre. Simply put, that’s certainly too hot for clothes.

But the temperature is only a brief distraction from the size and functional beauty of Zaha Hadid’s elegant structure.

It is so well designed – the huge windows allowing light to stream in over the spectators’ seats and onto the vast 50m competition pool and diving boards – that you wonder why all pools aren’t built this way.

I wasn’t lucky enough to get a ticket for any of the swimming events in the lottery — neither was the centre’s architect, she revealed — and I could hardly imagine what it was like during the Games, it seems so purposeful and complete now.

In the vast changing rooms, everything is sleek and new. Emerging from them onto the poolside, a distinct buzz of excitement kicks in, as though you’re part of the spectacle.

I think of the famed Olympian-sized footsteps I’m following in as I pad my way to the main pool.

Then I catch sight of one of them, Team GB’s Tom Daley, as he trains over at the diving pool.

His athletic body is enough to make me quickly slip into the water to hide my own lumbering frame.

Do I try to I pretend to be Michael Phelps and power my way to the end? Of course not. I gently breaststroke and take it all in.

• Read more on the latest news from Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park fortnightly in the Newham Recorder

0 comments

Latest News Stories

17:09
Newham Youth Question Time, with Det Supt Ian Lardner, Lyn Brown MP, Cllr Seyi Akiwowo, Cllr Rokhsana Fiaz and Stephen Timms MP,

Students had the chance to grill their members of parliament in the run-up to the general election at Newham Youth Question Time at the Town Hall.

Lyn Brown
Connor Dolam, left, and Alex Eastwood, from Chobham Academy,  join the National Obesity Awareness Week at the Copper Box

Researchers at Cambridge University announced last week that 337,000 deaths a year are caused by “carrying too much weight”.

08:24
CCTV image of man police want to question after Stratford hotel incident, March 2014

Police have released this CCTV image today of a man wanted for questioning after a sex attack on a woman in a hotel in east London.

Yesterday, 19:02
Dr Shuja Shafi, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, speaks at the British Values Conference at a Beckton school

One of Britain’s most prominent Muslim leader’s has warned that society risks “singing to the tune of terrorists” if it allows paranoia and suspicion to take hold.

United Kingdom

Most read news

Brothers: The David Haines Story, will be broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland at 10.30am on Sunday.

Over £30,000 has been raised in a couple of days for a mugging victim, despite the goal only being set at £500.

We let two experts have their say on why the campaign is needed – or isn’t.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Newham Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24
Our trusted business finder