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521 days and counting....

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Carrie Carrie | 15:58 UK time, Monday, 21 February 2011

Hi everyone,

Well, it was a bit too easy wasn't it? Yes, as of today there are only 521 days left until the opening of the London 2012 Olympics. If you've read any of my previous blogs you'll know that I'm a big fan of the London Olympics.

A couple of weeks ago, I thought it was time I went and had a look at the Oympic site. Having been to see it, I could have kicked myself for not having gone sooner. I would really have liked to see the site grow and develop. Too late now, though.

It's very easy to see the Olympic site, if you happen to be visiting London. The Docklands Light Railway, goes right past - you don't even have to get off the train! However, if you do get off, it's only a short walk up to a building called the "View Tube":

The View Tube

It's built out of old shipping containers - what a great bit of recycling! Inside there is a cafe and an education centre. From the balcony there are great views of the main stadium and the building site. The main site is almost complete, as you can see from these photos.

This is the Aquatic Centre:

The Aquatic Centre

And here's the main stadium:

The Olympic Stadium

Today, the first venue was officially opened - the velodrome, where all the cycling will take place. Now, you know what I'm like - I get easily sidetracked - so I thought I'd tell you a story about something that happened at a velodrome in Manchester last weekend. If you're squeamish, don't read the next paragraph!

Last weekend there was a cycling competition for cyclists from all over the world. One of the final races was on Saturday. British rider Sir Chris Hoy was in the lead. Just before he crossed the finish line, the other riders were involved in a dramatic crash - 4 of the 5 of them came off their bikes. It was an important race because the points for the winners counted toward Olympic qualification: so everyone was anxious to cross the finish line. Some of the riders started to run, pushing their bikes. One rider from New Zealand crossed the line and then collapsed with his shirt torn from his back. But the prize for the most dramatic injury? Well, Malaysian rider Azizulhasni Awang got back on his bike and cycled across the line - it was then discovered that he had a 20cm splinter of wood stuck right through his leg. In one side and out the other! He was taken to hospital, but they couldn't operate until the next day - imagine spending the night with a long piece of wood sticking through your leg! Yuck. You can see the film here.

So, my question to you is: what Olympic sport would you like to compete in? And would you go to the same lengths as Awang to complete a race? I'm pretty sure I wouldn't!

Take care


to kick yourself: to be really annoyed with yourself
to be sidetracked : to forget what you are supposed to be doing and start doing something else
squeamish: easily upset by unpleasant sights or situations
a splinter: a thin, sharp piece of wood
to go to the same/great lengths : to try very hard or to do extreme things to achieve something


  • Comment number 1.

    Hi Carrie,
    What a story - I mean the one with the cyclist. I could just about bear to read the thing but I instantly decided against watching the film. Squeamish after all, aren't I? Well, I hope that poor leg has been stitched together and is healing alright by now. As to your question what we would like to compete in: The first thing that came to my mind was ballroom dancing - but alas, that isn't even an olympic discipline, is it, and if it were, I would never ever go the same lengths to make sure I qualify. (I am sure the judges wouldn't appreciate a splinter of wood sticking out of my leg anyway.)
    I'll have to tell my younger daughter though to watch out for the olympic sites. She is going to London with her class next week, staying somewhere in the south-east of the city. Unfortunately, there is no excursion to the BBC on their schedule. (I am sure you would have loved to give a noisy group of 49 sixteen-year-olds a guided tour...)
    Take care - and check your ambition when using the bike,
    Elisabeth (Austria)

  • Comment number 2.

    Hi Carrie.The cyclist,he is so brave that I really admire and appreciate him.As you kown,the last Olympic was held in my hometown,Beijing.And it was the biggest sports event that China has ever held.Olympic Games are really wonderful and exdraordinary,I hope I can go to London to watch the games in 2012.But it seem impossible because it will cost much and I'm still a student,What a pity!As to what olympic sports I would like to compete in,it is basketball.I've been fond of basketball for several years since I was in senior school.It was always with great plesure to play basketball with that croud of boys.I love them!

  • Comment number 3.

    Hello Carrie,

    At the moment, I am just curious to see 'View Tube' from inside and this mish mash of excitement and curiosity comes from the lines you wrote that it was built out of old shipping containers.

    If I were to participate in the Olympic games, I would choose running but wouldn't go to the same lengths as the Malaysian ride did.

    Fantastic shots and the post as always.


  • Comment number 4.

    Dear Carrie,

    I am also a big fan of the Olympic Games, both Summer and Winter Olympics, so I have read your blog with great interest. Well, of today there are only 514 days left …

    I am really squeamish and cannot stand the sight of blood so I have decided not to watch the film.

    If I were in the Olympics I would like to participate and compete in badminton. I think I would try very hard but I would not go through fire and water.

    Looking forward to hearing from you and to some new news about the Games. Take care,

    Anita from Slovakia

  • Comment number 5.

    Dear Carrie,

    Your post is very interesting! I'm sure London Olympic Games will be a success, and I'm very anxious to watch it. But, aswering your question, if I were to compete in a sport, it would be volleyball. I played in the team of my city for some years, and I really miss the adrenalina of the competitions. That's awesome! So, play volleyball in the Olympic Games, representing my country, Brazil, would be amazing! But I wouldn't do what the Malaysian did, despite I admire him for his spirit. It's too much for me!

    Waiting for your next posts,
    my best wishes, Lorena.

  • Comment number 6.

    Hi There,
    Thank you for you nice blog.
    I think everyone who visited London wish to hear about this great event
    By the way i wish i could become your friend.
    i like your writing style.
    you can send an email to me at :
    What i hope that you keep writing about this topic.
    And please use as much of Olimpic Idioms And Slangs as you can and you hear.
    Best Wishes.
    Warm and Sincere Regards.
    Abdulghani 2011. [Personal details removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 7.

    Hi all together!
    Very interesting topic! London and sports are my favourites hobbies!!!
    I was in London two years ago: I see that many things are changing and I hope to be there after Olympic Games, that I'll watch on TV!!!

    Best wishes!!!

  • Comment number 8.

    Dear carrie
    thanks for your post.As konwn,Olympic is the biggest sport event over the world. To win a golden medal must be competitors' honor that could remember forever.It's inspired for AWANG to finish that race.Hoping he can recover as soon as possible.
    My answer to your qustion is:swimming.I really like it,though i swim very slowly.
    Looking forward to your next post,since i can post my comment again!
    Best regards!

  • Comment number 9.

    Hi Carrie, I didn't write before because I was on holiday.
    Very nice of you to share these pics with us. One of my friends visited London 20 days ago and he told me about the Olympic preparations he saw.
    I'm really looking forward to this great sport event that will be held in your country :-)
    I don't know if I could do what Awang did to win the race. I'm not very competitive but I can quite understand what the sportmen/women feel when they are in a competition.
    Have a nice day.


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