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

a balcony.

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.