2012 London Olympics
Venues and Village
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Many of the events in the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games are being held at Olympic Park in Stratford in the east of London. Olympic Park covers an area of 500 acres (200 hectares) and features the newly-built Olympic Stadium, the London Aquatics Centre, the Basketball Arena, the London Velopark, and the Riverbank Arena. The 80,000-seat Olympic Stadium (seen left), built at a cost of over $1,000,000,000, is where the track-and-field events, as well as the opening and closing ceremonies, are being held. The swimming and diving events are being held in the 17,500-seat London Aquatics Centre, built at a cost of over $500,000,000 and housing two 50-metre pools and a 25-metre diving pool. The 12,000-seat Basketball Arena is hosting the basketball and handball events, while field hockey is being played in the 15,000-seat Riverbank Arena. The London Velopark features a 6,000-seat velodrome for the indoor cycling events, a 6,000-seat outdoor BMX track, as well as a one-mile road course and a mountain bike track. Olympic Park is also the location of the Olympic Village where nearly 18,000 athletes and officials are being housed in 3,300 apartments, each featuring a TV, internet access and a private courtyard. The Olympic Village also features a huge dining room that can feed up to 5,500 hungry athletes at any one time.
London Aquatics Centre (left), Olympic Stadium (background, right)
and Water Polo Arena (foreground, right). The strange-looking tower in the centre is the "ArcelorMittal Orbit" observation platform.
The Three Zones
Olympic Park is located in the Olympic Zone, one of three zones in London in which events are being held. The other two zones are the River Zone and the Central Zone.
- The River Zone is located on both sides of the River Thames in the Thames Gateway area. The venues in this zone include ExCel (Exhibition Centre London) where boxing, fencing, judo, table tennis, taekwondo, weightlifting and wrestling are being held, Greenwich Park where the equestrian events are being held, North Greenwich Arena (also known as the O2 Arena) where the gymnastics events are being held, and the Royal Artillery Barracks where the shooting events are being held.
- The third zone, known as the Central Zone, covers much of central and west London, and includes venues such as Wembley Stadium where the finals of the football competitions are taking place, Wembley Arena (badminton), Wimbledon (tennis), Earls Court Exhibition Centre (volleyball), and Lord's Cricket Ground (archery).
Several events are being held outside London, including canoeing and rowing on Dorney Lake in Buckinghamshire, sailing at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy on the south coast of England, and many of the football matches.
venue (noun): the place where a sporting event or a concert is being held
The venue for this concert can hold around 50,000 people.
stadium (noun): a large sports ground surrounded by seats for spectators
Have you been to the new football stadium yet?
aquatics (noun): sports played in or on water
Our sports program includes tennis, athletics and aquatics.
arena (noun): a large building with tiered seating for sports events or concerts
We’re meeting at the basketball arena at 7 o’clock.
velodrome (noun): a place with a racetrack for cycling
Is the cycling team training at the velodrome tonight?
house (verb): to give someone a place to stay, or to provide space for something
The government should spend more money on housing the poor.
zone (noun): one of several areas a place is divided into
How much is a train ticket for zones 1 and 2?
equestrian (adjective): related to riding horses
My daughter loves horses, so she wants to see the equestrian events.
barracks (noun): buildings in which soldiers live
The main army barracks are near the centre of the city.
academy (noun): a school or college that teaches a particular subject or skill
Do you really want to apply for a place in the police academy?
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