London Wants a Green Medal

Here’s an interesting story from “Only a Game” about London 2012’s environmental aspirations:

To environmental expert Dan Epstein, the 2012 Summer Olympics will be more than a showcase for world-class athletic prowess. During his almost three years as Head of Sustainability for the upcoming London Games, Epstein had the task of living up to the promise of “the most sustainable Olympics ever.”

“Going green” has been an Olympic mantra since the 1990s. The 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver drew particular notice for its high environmental standards in building the Olympic Village, but as Epstein drove around the majestic venues on the 500-acre Olympic site in East London, he noted that just getting started here raised the degree of difficulty.

Turns out a lot of junk can pile up over 100 years in a grand old city, like mustard gas containers.  Anyway, the London Games is pioneering a new kind of stadium that can be dismantled and shipped to a new city, a sort of pre-fab Olympics, I guess:

“[The stadium is] designed in a very unique way to be the first stadium that can be de-mountable,” he said. “So 55,000 seats plus the whole roof structure are literally designed to be taken down after the Games and to be reused elsewhere or to be recycled. So we’ve designed a stadium that will leave a 25,000 seat athletic structure – which is what we need, we don’t have one of those in the city – as a legacy. But we don’t want any white elephants.”

Before the 2016 Summer Olympics were awarded to Rio de Janeiro, London’s Olympic committee had serious discussions with Olympic organizers in Chicago, which also bid for the 2016 games, about transporting the massive stadium to the Windy City.

It’s too bad the President wasn’t able to work his charms with the IOC because that might have been neat to see.


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