Official opening of the Olympic Village
Thousands of athletes and officials are expected in the coming days.
With the arrival of the first athletes, the London 2012 Olympic Village has officially opened. An influx of thousands of athletes and executives from the different teams is expected in the next few days: it has been estimated that, during peak times, the village will host up to 16,000 people. The teams will be accommodated in the 2,818 apartments, divided into eleven residential units, each built around a courtyard to provide athletes with private areas to relax in. "We have been working hard to provide the Olympic Village guests with all the comfort they need in order to ensure the best possible preparation for the most important moment in their sporting career”, said Seb Coe, President of the 2012 London Olympic Games Organizing Committee. Although it is the most compact Olympic Village in the Games' recent history, the feeling of open space is ensured by the presence of a park inside as well as its proximity to the Olympic Park. “The athletes coming to the London Games have spent years training for this competition. We now welcome them to a village that is safe, comfortable and well equipped, so that they can focus only on their performance on the big day. And, after the athletes have returned to their home countries, Londoners will take over and enjoy, for generations to come, the extraordinary houses a stone's throw away from the new London park”, remarked Boris Johnson, mayor of London. At the end of the Games, all 'Olympic' accessories will be removed from the apartments and new kitchens will be fitted in to create those new houses that will form the new East Village residential complex. The residents of the new neighborhood will be able to take advantage of the new parks and squares and of the excellent transportation links to the center of London, thanks to Stratford International station, right next to the Olympic Village.