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London’s Olympic Stadium will welcome the athletics events later in the day, ensuring the Olympic Park’s busiest day since the Games opened a week ago.
More than 200,000 people will be at the park, prompting warnings for those not attending the Games to avoid the area.
The Central Line, which serves the Olympic Park in Stratford, is suspended from Liverpool Street to Leytonstone.
It follows a signal failure at Bethnal Green station, London Underground said. Tickets are being accepted on National Rail services in the area.
Friday’s events at the 80,000-capacity Olympic stadium will bring thousands more people pouring into the east London park and mean access to the neighboring Westfield shopping centre will be restricted for the next two days.
London's Olympic Stadium will welcome the athletics events later in the day
Only staff and Olympic ticket holders will be able to go into the centre between 10:30 BST and 17:00 as organizers seek to minimize congestion.
Transport for London (TFL) said public transport services and roads to the Olympic Park would be exceptionally busy on Friday and urged anyone not going to the site to avoid the area.
The Docklands Light Railway, Jubilee and Central lines are expected to be busier than usual, especially in the morning, evening and late-evening peaks and driving in central London should be avoided where possible, TFL said.
London’s transport commissioner Peter Hendy said: “This Friday and Saturday will be the busiest days of the Games so far as the Olympic Stadium opens its doors and sporting events continue to take place across the capital.
“Westfield Stratford City may not be open to shoppers without a ticket during these times but London has a rich and vast array of other attractions to offer during the Games.”
A cyclist has been killed in a crash with what police are describing as an “Olympic bus” on the border of the Olympic Park in Hackney, eastern London.
The man, believed to be aged 30, was injured just before 19:45 BST at the junction of Ruckholt Road and East Cross Road, Hackney.
Police and an air ambulance attended but the man was pronounced dead at the scene about half an hour later.
The crash involved a media bus.
Olympic bus crash kills cyclist in Hackney
No arrests have been made in connection with the incident.
The crash happened close to the Olympic hockey centre, velodrome and Paralympic tennis arena.
The victim has not yet been identified, but an International Olympic Committee official said the dead man was not an athlete.
Following the collision no buses were allowed to arrive or depart from the Media Transport Mall’s multi-story car park.
The Olympic Park internal shuttle remains operational.
The incident is being investigated by the Met’s Traffic Investigation Unit.
LOCOG has said it will provide updates as they become available.
Thousands of people awaits the spectacular opening of the London Games, as a fly-past by the Red Arrows marked the start of the pre-show.
The nine RAF jets flew over the Olympic Stadium at the symbolic time of 20:12 BST, amid cheers.
The three-hour spectacle will be viewed by a TV audience of one billion people.
Details of the ceremony remain a closely-guarded secret. Its artistic director, Danny Boyle, has dedicated it to the 15,000 volunteers taking part.
Danny Boyle has spoken of his “excitement” for the ceremony, which is named the Isles of Wonder, as well as feeling “nervousness” for all the volunteers.
Thousands of people awaits the spectacular opening of the London Games, as a fly-past by the Red Arrows marked the start of the pre-show
The Oscar-winning film director said the ceremony “might surprise people… it’s spectacular, but also inclusive – it has a warmth”.
The chairman of London 2012, Lord Sebastian Coe, said he was “as excited as hell”.
Crowds of people, many of them dressed up in their nation’s colors, are gathering in large numbers at the Olympic Park.
Transport to the stadium appears to be running smoothly and the crowds are moving quickly through security.
Rain has started to fall over the stadium, despite forecasters predicting dry weather ahead of the ceremony.
The day of celebration began at 08:12 BST with a mass bell ringing. Big Ben rang for three minutes for the first time since King George VI’s funeral in 1952.
The biggest McDonald’s restaurant on the planet has been built in London, right in the middle of the Olympic park.
The vast two-storey restaurant will serve up to 1,200 customers an hour and sell $5 million of fast food during Olympic Games.
At 3,000 sq ft the building, next to the Olympic Stadium, is bigger than the current largest McDonald’s, in Moscow.
The Russian restaurant will regain its title on September 9, however, when the London branch is bulldozed after the Paralympics closing ceremony.
Yesterday McDonald’s gave the media a preview of its flagship store, which includes 20 till points and 1,500 seats.
It is one of four branches in the park, including two open to the public, one for the athletes and officials in the Olympic Village and one at the press centre.
Altogether they will serve 1.75 million meals in 29 days, with Britons accounting for an estimated 85% of customers.
The biggest McDonald’s restaurant on the planet has been built in London, right in the middle of the Olympic park
The main restaurant will offer some of the best views across the Olympic Park from its first-floor balcony, which can seat 150 customers.
It will be staffed by 500 of its top-performing employees from 85,000 in the UK, with 200 on a shift at any one time.
The global sponsor has been linked to the Olympics since 1968, when the company airlifted hamburgers to US athletes in Grenoble, France, after it was reported they were missing McDonald’s food.
But McDonald’s has been criticized for promoting the consumption of fast food at a time when people should be celebrating sports participation and healthy living.
It is estimated one in ten meals eaten at Olympic Games venues will be from McDonald’s.
Last week, members of the London Assembly said firms which sold junk food should not be linked to the Olympic Games. Cadbury and Coca-Cola are also sponsors.
Jenny Jones, a Green Party assembly member, said: “London won the right to host the 2012 Games with the promise to deliver a legacy of more active, healthier children across the world.
“Yet the same International Olympic Committee that awarded the Games to London persists in maintaining sponsorship deals with the purveyors of high calorie junk that contributes to the threat of an obesity epidemic.
“The advertising of foods high in fat, salt and sugar is already restricted on children’s television.
“These Games will subvert those regulations by providing a glut of sponsored messages for high calorie food and drink that are at odds with the Olympian athletic ideal.”
The restaurant will be McDonald’s first sustainable outlet and 75% of the building and fittings will be recycled or reused.
It is part of London 2012’s bid to be “the greenest Games ever”.
While the restaurants serve fast food to the hungry public, McDonald’s executives will be enjoying some of the top events from their corporate seats.
Yesterday, the firm admitted that global chief executive Jim Skinner and UK chief executive Jill McDonald, along with dozens of others, will enjoy corporate tickets to events such as the opening and closing ceremonies, athletics and swimming.
The restaurant will start trading on July 28, one day after the opening ceremony.
It will not open for the ceremony itself, which many VIP guests and heads of state are expected to attend, for “security reasons”.
Olympic Orbit, the looping red tower that looms over London’s Olympic Stadium, is being officially unveiled today.
The completed steel sculpture – known as ArcelorMittal Orbit – stands at the heart of the Olympic Park.
It was designed by Turner Prize-winning artist Anish Kapoor and structural designer Cecil Balmond.
From the end of July, visitors will be able to climb on the £22.7 million ($36 million) structure to take in panoramic views across London’s skyline.
Tickets will cost £15 ($24) and £7 ($12) for children. Anish Kapoor described the charges as “a hell of a lot of money”
“This thing has to be paid for, but there’s a push to keep that cost as low as possible,” he said.
The completed steel sculpture, known as ArcelorMittal Orbit, stands at the heart of the Olympic Park
After the Olympics, the public won’t be able to access the Orbit until Easter 2014 – when the South Plaza is opened up.
Ticket prices have not been announced for the full opening from 2014.
Members of the media were given a sneak preview of the experience on Friday morning.
At 114.5 metres (376 ft), the Orbit is the tallest sculpture in the UK – twice the height of Nelson’s Column.
The tangled steel lattice – 63% of which is recycled steel – incorporates the five Olympic rings.
“We wanted to make something that was kind of a deconstruction of the tower,” said Anish Kapoor.
“Towers are almost always symmetrical,” he continued, saying the Orbit’s twisted loops were “the refusal of a singular image”.
It is hoped the tower will help to attract 1 million visitors a year to Stratford’s Olympic Park.
Aerial shoot: Olympic Park
London Olympics 2012
This summer millions of people will visit London and the UK for the 2012 Olympic Games which promise to be an unforgettable experience. London is a vibrant and exciting city but this summer there will be lots more to enjoy including many free fun and interesting events being held because the Olympics is taking place in and around the city.
World-class sporting action will be taking place not only in London but also in other venues across the UK as part of both the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Visitors will be able to enjoy the sporting action not only t the venues but in some streets and roads in and around the capital where trials in some events will be taking place such as cycling.
The Olympic Games start on 27 July and run until 12 August 2012.
The Paralympic Games begin on 29 August 20012 and close on 9 September 2012.
During the London 2012 Olympic Games top sportsmen and women from across the world will be competing in 26 sports which break down into 39 disciplines. There are 20 sports in the Paralympic schedule in the London 2012 Games. An Olympic Park has been created on 2.5sq km of land in east London from former industrial land that has been rapidly transformed over the last few years in preparation for the Games.
The new parkland contains thousands of trees and plants and is where the main Olympic Stadium has been built. The stadium which has a capacity of 80,000 for the Games is located in the south of the Olympic Park on an ‘island’ site surrounded by waterways on three sides. Spectators reach the venue via five bridges that link the site to the surrounding area.
Sports taking place in the Olympic Park include Athletics, Basketball, Cycling and Hockey. Other sports such as gymnastics, football and beach volleyball will take place in venues around the capital. Some of the venues in London are located near some of the capital’s most famous tourist attractions such as on the Mall opposite Buckingham Palace and on Horse Guards Parade.
Some trials will take place on the roads of stunning landmarks. For example the cycling trials will take place on the roads around the stunning Hampton Court Palace, formerly home to many famous monarchs. There will also be other sports such as football taking place at venues elsewhere in the UK.
There is a wide range of services and facilities in the Park, around the Olympic Stadium including plenty of cafes, food and drink stands, toilets and baby-changing facilities.
Aerial shoot: Olympic Park
It is very unlikely that you can get a ticket for the Olympics on arrival in the City as they will all have been sold prior to the big even but there may be a kiosk set up outside the stadium for ticket re-sales although that has not been confirmed at the moment. And beware of scams and unauthorized websites fraudulently pretending to sell official tickets
There will be huge screens set up in several major parks in the city such as Hyde Park where visitors will be able to watch the Olympics live, for free. The trials for some events will be taking place on the capitals roads so you are likely to be able to action some of the world class action just from being in the right place at the right time.
Traveling to the venues
If you are one of the lucky ticket holders make sure you plan your travel well in advance of the event you are going to watch. Often the organizers are asking people to arrive up to two and a half hours before their session starts especially if it’s at the Olympic stadium so that they will have plenty of time to get through security which will be similar to that at airports. At other venues such as at Horse Guards Parade, 90 minutes in advance.
One soft-sided bag is allowed per person – for example, a medium-sized handbag or small backpack (maximum 25 liters). The bag should be small enough to fit under your seat or on your lap. There is no place to store your luggage.
Like any other major city, London has a vast range of accommodation to cater all budgets, from luxury hotels to budget rooms. For some visitors their accommodation is secondary to the place and the purpose of their visit for others they love home furnishings and home accessories, but it is important to book your accommodation sooner rather than later because hundreds of thousands of people will be visiting the capital during the Games.
There will also be what’s called the London Festival held throughout the summer for ever visitor to enjoy, ticket holders and those who just want to soak up the atmosphere. The Festival will be packed with entertaining events, from theater performances, comedy and music both pop and classical to kids and family events as well as carnivals to get you into the party spirit