EXACTLY one year ahead of London 2012 Games, the Aquatics Centre is now complete, the last of the six main Olympic Park venues to finish construction.
The Aquatics Centre was officially unveiled with British Olympic
hopeful Tom Daley making the first dive into the pool.
Double Commonwealth Gold medallist and 2012 hopeful Tom
Daley said: “Marking the one year to go, by diving in the Aquatics
Centre is an incredible honour.
“Only a few years ago, this was a distant dream. The fact that I
qualified at the weekend and am taking the first dive is a complete privilege. I can’t wait for next year and the honour of representing Team GB.”
ODA Chairman John Armitt said: ‘The Aquatics Centre will be a
fantastic gateway to the Games in 2012 and a much-needed new
community and elite sporting venue for the capital afterwards. Five years ago, in July 2006, we published a delivery timetable which set
out the ambitious target to complete the main venues a year before
the Games. Today, with the completion of the sixth main permanent
venue, I am proud to say that we have delivered on that commitment.
‘The completion of the Aquatics Centre is the latest chapter in a
British success story where tens of thousands of workers and business
from across the UK have demonstrated the ability of this country to
successfully deliver major projects.’
Construction started on the Zaha Hadid-designed Aquatics Centre
just over three years ago in June 2008 and has been completed on
time and with an exemplary safety record.
Over 3630 people have worked on the construction of the venue
and over 370 UK businesses have won contracts including the steel
for the roof from Wales, pool lights from Scotland, pumps from
Bedfordshire, under-floor heating by a company from Newcastleupon-
Tyne and water testing done by a Flintshire-based business.
In total, over 40,000 people have worked on the Park since
April 2008 and over 1500 direct contracts worth £6bn have been
distributed to thousands of companies across the UK.
The Aquatics Centre will have a capacity of 17,500 during the
Games, hosting swimming, diving, synchronised swimming, and the
swimming element of the Modern Pentathlon.
After the Games, the venue is reduced to a maximum of 2,500, with
the ability to add 1,000 for major events, and provides two 50m
swimming pools with moveable floors and separation booms, a diving
pool and dry diving area for a full range of community and elite use.
The sweeping roof, which is 160m long and 90m at its widest point,
is an innovative steel structure weighing over 3000 tonnes with a
striking and robust aluminium covering, half of which is recycled,
resting on three supports.
LOCOG Chair Sebastian Coe said: “With construction now complete
on the Aquatics Centre, we are another step closer to the spectacular
Olympic Park which will be host to world class sport in 2012. And
after the Games, the venue will become a much-needed swimming
facility for London with community use at its heart, epitomising the
spirit of London’s bid – a Games which would bring lasting change
and encourage people to choose sport. Everyone involved can be very
proud of this venue and the progress of the Olympic Park as a whole. I
congratulate the ODA and their teams who have done a fantastic job.”