US sprinter Manteo Mitchell revealed he broke his leg half way round the track but still managed to finish the men’s 4×400 meter Olympic relay final.
Manteo Mitchell, a 25-year-old 200 and 400 meter runner, ran the first leg of America’s heat on a blazing hot day inside London’s Olympic stadium and although he finished with a limp there was no obvious sign of the pain he was feeling.
“I got out pretty slow, but I picked it up and when I got to the 100-metre mark it felt weird. As soon as I took the first step past the 200-meter mark, I felt it break. I heard it.
“I even put out a little war cry, but the crowd was so loud you couldn’t hear it,” Manteo Mitchell said.
“I knew if I finished strong we could still get it (the baton) around. I saw Josh Mance motioning me in for me to hand it off to him, which lifted me.
“I didn’t want to let those three guys down, or the team down, so I just ran on it. It hurt so bad.”
Manteo Mitchell revealed he broke his leg half way round the track but still managed to finish the men's 4x400 meter Olympic relay final
Manteo Mitchell’s decision to go through the pain barrier allowed his U.S. team mates to sprint to a joint finish with the Bahamas in identical times of 2 minutes 58.87 seconds, the fastest ever run in the first round of the relay at the Olympic Games.
Manteo Mitchell, who ran his leg in 46.1 seconds, said that he had slipped on a stairway this week in the Olympic village but had completed workouts since, including a warm-up for Thursday’s race.
After the race an x-ray revealed he had broken his left fibula bone.
The U.S. team was already without 2008 Olympic 400m champion LaShawn Merritt, whose title defense lasted only moments last Saturday when he pulled up with hamstring problems.
The U.S., one of the favorites for gold, will name their final line-up on Friday.
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.”
Spectators who attended a preview of the Olympic Games opening ceremony have been urged to keep the details secret and not spoil the surprise for others.
Thousands of people who attended a rehearsal on Monday were asked not to circulate images or videos.
Danny Boyle, the ceremony’s artistic director, reportedly addressed the audience to “save the surprise”.
About 62,000 are set to attend the opening ceremony at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, east London, on Friday.
The event is expected to be watched by an audience of billions worldwide.
Spectators who attended a preview of the Olympic Games opening ceremony have been urged to keep the details secret and not spoil the surprise for others
Olympic organizers LOCOG said the technical rehearsal for the opening ceremony “went very well”.
“The reaction from the attendees has been overwhelmingly positive on social media and crucially they are still helping us to save the surprise for the rest of the nation on Friday,” it said.
People who attended the rehearsal reported that the hashtag “#savethesurprise” was emblazoned on giant screens inside the Olympic Stadium.
It later trended globally on micro-blogging website Twitter.
In other developments:
• Transport for London has apologized after people leaving the rehearsal were delayed getting home because the Central Line, which serves Stratford, was partly suspended
• The British Olympic Association says it has asked triple jumper Phillips Idowu to supply details about his injury ahead of the Games after the 2008 Olympics silver medallist pulled out of the Great Britain athletics team’s training camp
• On Tuesday, Heathrow is set for its busiest day for Olympics so far as it prepares to handle about 217,000 passengers, including some 1,200 athletes and coaches and more than 3,000 other Games-related arrivals
• Motorists have faced long queues on routes where pre-Olympics modifications have been made to road layouts
• And the Olympic torch is travelling from Kingston, in south west London, to Ealing, west London, as it continues its tour of the host city’s 33 boroughs.
Most people who attended the rehearsal appeared to obey the appeal for secrecy, although there have been reports of some images being posted on the internet before being removed shortly after.
Many took to Twitter to show their support after the rehearsal.
“I am now sitting on my seat in the Olympic Stadium. But I shall #savethesurprise and not tweet details of the ceremony. Sorry,” tweeted Dan McNeil.
And many gave positive reviews of the ceremony on the website.
One person who was in the audience, Pete Hendrick, tweeted: “If you’ve got plans Friday night, cancel them. Opening ceremony is out of this world. Danny Boyle, I salute you.”
Chris Golds, another audience member, said the event was “breathtaking” and “awe inspiring”.
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”.
The Olympic Stadium will be transformed “into the British countryside” for the opening ceremony of the Games on 27 July, which has a £27 million ($43.2 million) budget.
A cast of 10,000 volunteers will help recreate country scenes, against a backdrop featuring farmyard animals and landmarks like Glastonbury Tor.
The opening scene will be called Green and Pleasant, artistic director Danny Boyle revealed.
He added the ceremony would create “a picture of ourselves as a nation.”
The Olympic Stadium will be transformed "into the British countryside" for the opening ceremony of the Games on 27 July
“The best way to tell that story is through working with real people,” said Danny Boyle, who has reserved a role for NHS nurses in proceedings.
There have already been 157 cast rehearsals and Danny Boyle added: “I’ve been astounded by the selfless dedication of the volunteers, they are the pure embodiment of the Olympic spirit and represent the best of who we are as a nation.”
Europe’s largest bell will ring inside the stadium to start the Shakespeare-inspired spectacle, featuring 900 children.
One billion people are expected to watch the opening ceremony.
Danny Boyle, best known for directing Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire and Trainspotting, said the show was inspired by The Tempest and would be about a land recovering from its industrial legacy.
The Stadium’s 27-ton bell was cast at London’s Whitechapel Foundry, where 13.5-ton Big Ben was cast in 1856, and is inscribed with a quote from The Tempest’s Caliban: “Be not afeard, the isle is full of noises.”
It will hang at one end of the stadium, and Danny Boyle said he wanted people to hear it “for hundreds of years”.
A full dress rehearsal will be held for a capacity crowd of 80,000 in the Olympic Stadium, which will be fitted with a million-watt sound system.
2012 Olympics stadium has been officially opened by nine-year-old Niamh Clarke-Willis at a ceremony in east London.
Niamh Clarke-Willis joined LOCOG head Lord Sebastian Coe to hit a button which launched balloons into the sky above the venue for this summer’s Games.
Around 40,000 members of the public were at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford to witness the opening, which included a laser light show.
The “2,012 hours to go” event tested the park’s management and security.
Lord Sebastian Coe said: “It’s a fantastic feeling. The seven years have just flown by. Tonight is only the start of the story.
“We want thousands of young people to be inspired to take up sport. We hope that for a few of them it will be the start of their journey.
“I’m grateful to everyone who came here tonight to celebrate this moment in history.”
Niamh Clarke-Willis joined LOCOG head Lord Sebastian Coe to hit a button which launched balloons into the sky above London Olympic Stadium for this summer's Games
Spectators had to queue to enter the venue after airport-style security checks.
Simon Levy, who came to the Olympic Park for the first time on Saturday, said: “It’s not a problem, really. It’s much quicker than the airport and it’s good to be checked because now we know we’re safe.”
Police helicopters flew over the park and armed police patrolled the area.
Adrian Casy, a security guard at the Olympic Stadium, said Saturday’s events were among the main rehearsals for the games, particularly in moving and managing the crowds of spectators from the park and from one venue to another.
“Honestly, so far, so good, although we’re still trying hard to make it run smoother,” said Adrian Casy, adding that some spectators were wearing “insufficient clothing” to cope with the weather conditions.
TV presenters Vernon Kay and Gabby Logan hosted the event which saw entertainment from impressionist Jon Culshaw, actor Hugh Bonneville, singer and former Spice Girl Melanie C, rapper Chipmunk and comedian Jack Whitehall.
Some 140,000 people are expected at the Olympic site over six days.
The celebrations are part of the British Universities and Colleges Sport Outdoor Athletics Championships and the Visa London Disability Grand Prix which are test events for the venue.
London 2012 hopefuls Perri Shakes-Drayton and Holly Bleasdale are competing at the BUCS event which runs from 4-7 May.
Later in the week, the Olympic Stadium will also play host to the Sainsbury’s 2012 School Games, for 1,600 school-aged elite athletes.
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