Athletes Village: Organizers show off apartments
The beds can handle both the very tall and the very small, the
sofas are electric aqua with hot pink cushions and every suite gets
Olympic organizers unveiled the first furnished apartments in
London’s Athletes Village on Thursday, featuring beds that can be
extended and mattresses that were tested by former athletes to make
sure they were neither too hard nor too soft.
The beds also had duvets decorated with squares featuring all
the Olympic sports.
”A track is a track and a swimming pool is a swimming pool but
this is where the athletes will spend most of their time,” said
Jonathan Edwards, the 2000 Olympic triple-jump champion and chair
of London 2012’s athletes committee.
Edwards said the committee focused on ”nitty-gritty detail” to
make the 2,818 apartments on the northeast edge of Olympic Park
homey and comfortable. They made sure suitcases could fit under the
bed, hooks were around to hang things on, bedside lamps actually
”Little things like that are things that matter to athletes,”
said Edwards. ”We are not looking for a five-star resort
experience. We are actually looking for the basics to be taken care
of to make sure they can do their very best.”
That includes blackout curtains in every room so competitors can
get a good night’s sleep.
Outside, workers were busy rolling out grass turf. Trees with
big bags around their roots were ready to be planted.
Beyond the home decor tour, which featured dozens of journalists
packed into a very small space, the village’s general manager Tom
Sainsbury tried to answer anything and everything about the whole
Olympic Village experience.
Holiday Inn personnel from around the world will help athletes
who lose keys. There will be a bank, cash machines, a hairdresser
and a general store. There will be no curfews. No alcohol will be
sold. The swimmers have promised to behave (good luck with that
”The athletes will respect each other,” Sainsbury
And if they don’t want to behave, London and all its loud, often
obnoxious charms lies just outside the village’s doorstep.
Organizers say blocs of rooms have been awarded to national
Olympic committees who get to decide who rooms with whom. No effort
will be made to separate athletes from countries in conflict.
At the village, there will be peace, organizers declared – and
if that doesn’t work, there is fiber-optic broadband to keep
athletes busy and out of trouble.