London 2012: Our insight into Stratford’s Olympic Stadium
After years in the planning and building the Olympic Stadium finally opened its doors yesterday as 40,000 people poured in to watch a series of athletics events.
It was part of bigger test event organised by LOCOG as a dry run for this the summer’s Games to see how the infrastructure copes.
I was among the 40,000 to get a long-awaited look inside the Stadium in what was a low key official opening of the venue during the 2012 Hours To Go event.
Getting to it was easy - there were lots of jolly people in pink high visibility vests pointing us to the Olympic Park - adding to the atmosphere as we made our way through Westfield Stratford City.
Once on the site, there were no queues at the airport style security checks which were quickly completed. Although there were police officers, security was low key and no soldiers were visible.
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It was as we began walking towards the Stadium the that we were able to appreciate its size and impact. Many people, with young children were also soaking up the atmosphere as they took photographs of the venues that will play a vital part in the 20121 Olympic Games.
We had plenty of time to appreciate the sites as we waited half an hour in the queues before we were allowed in but most people just took the opportunity to take more photos and just soaked up the atmosphere.
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Once through, although there were thousands of people swarming about it did not feel cramped. Even the toilets were remarkably free.
The longest queues were those at the food stalls where getting a hot drink became a priority as the wind was picking up and the temperature felt close to freezing.
Once inside the Stadium the sight of green in the centre surrounded by the red running track was staggering, on a backdrop of ten of thousands of excited spectators.
Everyone got into the sporting spirit - cheering on the athletes from the British Universities and Colleges Sports Championships.
Their efforts and the winter woolies we all wore helped keep our minds off the cold and freezing cross winds that gatecrashed the evening.
Gabby Logan and Vernon Kay kept up a running commentary and announced the official opening of the Stadium by introducing the Chivenor Military Wives who sang the National Anthem.
By the time the celebrities arrived for a bit of fun entertainment -tug of war, tandem race many of us had reached the end of our endurance and decided to head home.
Lets hope the weather is few notches warmer by July.
* LOCOG today promised to investigate after today’s Sun claimed they managed to bypass two security checks with batteries and wires inside a lunch box disguised as a fake bomb