Olympian feat revealed from air

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TRANSFORMING east London was promised by the organisers of the London Olympics – and now this aerial photograph of Olympic Park has revealed the results – just days before events get under way.

One bird’s eye view across the Olympic Stadium also showed preparations for the opening ceremony were progressing – with a meandering replica Thames running through the set.

Around that, construction workers were yesterday still busy building film director Danny Boyle’s vision for the £27m curtain-raiser on July 27.

The Oscar-winner has announced that the opening scene will be a “green and pleasant land” complete with farm animals.

However, the aerial images showed an urban landscape sprawling across most of the Olympic Stadium.

Strips of fabric that will make up the controversial wrap were visible around the outside of the venue, while the sloping roof of the Aquatics Centre could be seen nearby.

Views to rival those in the pictures can be seen from the red helterskelter-like ArcelorMittal Orbit tower between the stadiums. The Anish Kapoor-designed structure, standing 376ft (114.5m) tall will give visitors a panoramic vantage point across the park for a £15 fee.

Officials insisted yesterday that all the Olympic venues will open on schedule on Monday, but a scramble is expected over the weekend to erect huge TV screens and finish media seating at the aquatics centre.

Wiring was yesterday still being tested at the Velodrome where workers were reportedly behind schedule.

Some of London’s most famous landmarks have also been transformed.

Olympic rings more than 80ft wide and nearly 40ft tall now hang from Tower Bridge.

The emblem, which weighs three tonnes, cost £259,817 to produce and about £53,000 to install.

Another hangs from a bridge across the River Tyne in Newcastle, where Olympics football matches will take place.

Horse Guards Parade – where the pageantry of Trooping The Colour was seen last month – is now ready to host the beach volleyball tournament.

More than 2,000 tonnes of sand has been brought in for the main court and practice areas, and seating for more than 15,000 spectators has been erected.

The first officials have now unpacked their bags at the athletes’ village in the Olympic Park. More of the 17,000 athletes and officials are expected to start arriving on Monday.

A further 6,000 athletes and officials will make it their base for the Paralympic events later in August.

The village is said to be the most compact in recent Games history, with teams from 203 nations living in 2,818 apartments in 11 blocks.

LOCOG chief Lord Coe said: ‘We’ve worked hard to ensure everyone who stays in the Olympic Village has all the comfort and convenience they need to prepare for the biggest moment in their sporting careers.”

Greeting athletes when they arrive will be a group of dignitaries led by the Olympic Village mayor Sir Charles Allen. Shadow Olympics Minister Dame Tessa Jowell, Olympic swimming gold medalist Duncan Goodhew and cultural Olympiad chairman Tony Hall are deputy Olympic Village mayors.

Others in the mayoral team include youth representatives from across the UK – Ozzie Clarke-Binns, Ashley Mitchell, Abraham Male, Dilly Newton, Julie Steen and Jodi McGinty.

Other Olympic and Paralympic representatives have been lined up assist with ceremonies to welcome the teams.

Sir Charles said: “The arrival of team officials marks the beginning of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games for the Village.

“The announcement of the Village mayoral team today is another step towards welcoming athletes on Monday and a fantastic London 2012 experience for all those staying at the Village.”

Many apartments will be sold as affordable homes in an area being called East Village after the Games.

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