Mon, September 23, 2013

5,000 toilet brushes on Olympics shopping list

By Martyn Herman, Reuters


The London 2012 Olympic Village next to the Basketball Arena is seen in this February 8, 2011 aerial photograph, received in London on February 21, 2011. REUTERS/Anthony Charlton/Olympic Delivery Authority/Handout

As shopping lists go, the one compiled by the London 2012 Olympics organizing committee (LOCOG) for the furnishing and stocking of its newly-acquired Olympic Village is a lengthy one.

LOCOG were handed the keys for the 2,800 apartments on Friday and now have six months to fit them out before 16,000 athletes descend on an area of east London that has been transformed from a weed-strewn industrial wilderness into what will become a new trendy suburb of the capital.

In the coming months 16,000 beds will be delivered along with 9,000 wardrobes, 170,000 coat hangers 11,000 sofas and 5,000 toilet brushes.

Each apartment will also be equipped with a television and have Wi-Fi internet facilities.

Work began on the Village in June 2008 and as well as the residential blocks that will provide home from homes for the world's top sportsmen and women, the site will include a cinema, an Olympic Village Plaza, shops, parks and 24-hour dining facilities serving up 60,000 meals each day of the Games.

To handle what LOCOG describes as "the largest peacetime catering operation in the world" it will source 25,000 loaves of bread, 232 tons of potatoes, 330 tons of fruit and vegetables and 75,000 liters of milk.

Organizers have tapped into the knowledge of former British Olympic gold medalists such as triple jump world record holder Jonathan Edwards in the planning of the Village which LOCOG chief Sebastian Coe believes will be one of the best ever.

"Athletes are at the heart of the London 2012 Games and our plans for the Olympic Village will provide them with a home-from-home as they prepare for the biggest sporting moments of their lives," he said in a statement.

"With the Village now handed over we are starting the huge process to install essential facilities and services ready to welcome competitors around the world in six months."

After the Games the Village, which cost 1.1 billion pounds ($1.73 billion) of public funds to build, will form a new community known as East Village with half the homes designated for social housing. The other 1,439 dwellings have been sold off privately for 557 million pounds to a consortium of UK developer Delancy and the Qatari Diar real estate company.

There will also be a range of community facilities including the Chobham Academy - a new education campus with places for 1,800 students which will open in 2013.