Monday, 7 November 2011

Gold Challange Olympic Stadium Event

Being injured is no fun at all. There is the niggling pain that never leaves you alone, there is the frustration of not being allowed to do much ("some swimming" said the physio "but nothing that could be considered training"), then there is the boredom of having long weekends with nothing exiting happening.

One of the reasons I was enjoying my Gold Challenge was that it gave me the chance to get out more, do new and exiting things, meet friendly and interesting people and just generally be active. Recovering from an injury is hard work, it's depressingly slow and terribly demotivating, my heart goes out to all those athletes who injure themselves close to big events. It's gut wrenching.

But lately the lovely people behind Gold Challenge have come up with something to cheer me up to no end. I was invited to a media call to publicise the launch of a new Gold Challenge initiative at the Olympic Park!
On the windy top of a temporary media centre overlooking the Olympic stadium, I was among a small group of Gold Challenge participants promoting the latest Gold Challenge opportunity: called The Gold Challenge Olympic Stadium Event, it’s the chance of a lifetime to run 100m in the Olympic Stadium watched by friends, family and a cheering crowd of 20,000. The event will take place next year on April 1st, as part of the Olympic Stadium Testing Series and legacy programmes.

Just sign up for the Gold Challenge and raise loads of money for your chosen charity to be in for a chance to run on the 100m track next April.

Lord Coe and Sally Gunnell kindly joined in on the photo call and helped launch the initiative. It was great to meet briefly such inspiring people. Lord Coe remarked that taking part in sports and raising money for charity is a fitting way to show how the Games inspire us all.


The actual photoshoot took place inside the Olympic Park, so I had a chance to have a peek at the massive operation behind getting the Olympic Park up and ready for next year Olympics. The buildings look absolutely amazing, from start to finish they look awe-inspiring, especially the velodrome (affectionately known as “the pringle”) and the aquatics centre. Everything is coming along at breathtaking speed, and despite the park being mostly at building site stage, you can start to see what the final product will be like.

And seeing it like this, with all the building equipment, the cables, the trucks, the cranes, the portakabins and the workmen in fluorescent jackets really brings home what a massive undertaking it's been, and such a great job  LOCOG and Olympic Delivery Authority have done to organise and deliver everything on time, with remarkable aplomb and typical British organisation. Small things can speak volumes, and what really impressed me was the focus on organisation and health and safety, with over 10,000 workers on the site and over 2 years of building and engineering, there hasn’t been a single building accident (something that has marred previous Olympics).

I have total faith that the Olympic Park will be delivered beautifully, smack on schedule, ready to amaze the world!

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