Olympic fever

We’re almost there, only 16 days and counting until the Olympic Games starts in London. People are beginning to get excited and nervous as the big event draws ever nearer. Next week, the Olympic torch relay comes to London and will be passing right outside The London School of English. We’re going to be talking a lot about the Olympics over the next few weeks and this week we’re looking at the preparations thus far.

The Venues

Much has been made of the location of the Olympic Park.  It is situated in East London in the borough of Hackney which has traditionally been one of the most deprived parts of London.  One of the key parts of London’s bid was the regeneration of the area and the sustainability of the venues.  The games have definitely done the former – of course we’ll have to wait and see about the latter.

The British games

Although the host city is London, events will be taking place all over the UK.  For example, the sailing events take place on the south coast of England and the Olympic football tournament has games not only in London but also in other English cities such as Manchester and Coventry, and as far afield as Cardiff and Glasgow. 

The Mascots

There are two Olympic mascotsThe first one is Wenlock, who is named after Much Wenlock in Shropshire where the Wenlock Olympian Society held its first Olympian Games in 1850. His Paralympics mascot equivalent, Mandeville, got his name from Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury, which held the Stoke Mandeville Games from 1948 and was the inspiration for the Paralympics.

The reception

Public opinion is split on the games.  On the one hand, there are many of us who are very excited that such a huge event is coming to our city.  On the other hand, many people have been grumbling about the cost of the tickets and the inevitable disruption the games will cause.  Many of us are holding our breath to see if London can pull it off and deliver a successful games.  Only time will tell.

In next week’s post, the torch relay.  Thanks for reading.

By Andy  

Image from www.telegraph.co.uk


thus far - (adv.) up to the present, so far

make much of sth - (idiom) to treat something with great importance

deprived - (adj.) to not have enough of something, in this case money

bid - (n.) an offer or attempt to do something, in this case to stage the Olympic Games

regeneration - (n.) the rebuilding of and reinvestment in an area which is deprived (see above)

sustainability - (n.) the ability of something to support itself financially

afield - (adv.) away from home

mascot - (n.) an animal, person or thing adopted by a group as its representative symbol

equivalent - (adj.) in an equal or similar position

public opinion - (adv.+n.) the general feeling of the people in a place

split - (adj.) divided

grumbling - (v.) complaining

inevitable - (adj.) sure to happen

to hold your breath - (idiom) to wait excitedly

to pull sth off - (phr.v.) to do sth successfully

time will tell - (idiom) to only see how something truly is in the future

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