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maandag, mei 14, 2012

Kids star at Olympic opening

Nine-year-old schoolgirl Niamh Clarke-Willis makes history as she presses the button to officially open the Olympic stadium along with London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe. They were joined on stage by TV presenters Gabby Logan and Vernon Kay. Nine-year-old schoolgirl Niamh Clarke-Willis makes history as she presses the button to officially open the Olympic stadium along with London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe. They were joined on stage by TV presenters Gabby Logan and Vernon Kay.
Paralympic gold medalist archer Danielle Brown also took part in the ceremony. The opening weekend included the British Universities and Colleges Sports Outdoor Championships, the first athletics meeting at the 80,000-seater stadium. Paralympic gold medalist archer Danielle Brown also took part in the ceremony. The opening weekend included the British Universities and Colleges Sports Outdoor Championships, the first athletics meeting at the 80,000-seater stadium.
Brown fired arrows into a spinning target, covered with the names of 100 children in the crowd -- and Clarke-Willis was the lucky winner. <br/><br/>Brown fired arrows into a spinning target, covered with the names of 100 children in the crowd -- and Clarke-Willis was the lucky winner.
Logan looks on as her husband Kenny, a former rugby union international, competes in a celebrity tug-of-war. About 40,000 spectators watched entertainers including impressionist Jon Culshaw, actor Hugh Bonneville, former Spice Girl Melanie C, rapper Chipmunk and comedian Jack Whitehall. <br/><br/><br/><br/>Logan looks on as her husband Kenny, a former rugby union international, competes in a celebrity tug-of-war. About 40,000 spectators watched entertainers including impressionist Jon Culshaw, actor Hugh Bonneville, former Spice Girl Melanie C, rapper Chipmunk and comedian Jack Whitehall.
Wet weather didn't stop thousands of visitors turning up. The venue was built using 10,000 tons of steel, considerably less than other Olympic stadiums organizers say, and with an emphasis on sustainability. Construction began in May 2008 and was completed in March 2011.<br/><br/><br/><br/>Wet weather didn't stop thousands of visitors turning up. The venue was built using 10,000 tons of steel, considerably less than other Olympic stadiums organizers say, and with an emphasis on sustainability. Construction began in May 2008 and was completed in March 2011.
James Ellington, left, celebrates winning the men's 100 meters final during the weekend's BUCS VISA Athletics Championships, one of the Olympic test events.James Ellington, left, celebrates winning the men's 100 meters final during the weekend's BUCS VISA Athletics Championships, one of the Olympic test events.
Katy Sealy throws in the javelin event. The track and field competition was watched by a reported crowd of around 6,000 during the day before numbers swelled for the evening show.Katy Sealy throws in the javelin event. The track and field competition was watched by a reported crowd of around 6,000 during the day before numbers swelled for the evening show.
It was the first time many visitors had walked around the Olympic grounds, including the new aquatics center. They appeared cautiously optimistic about the site, with one family telling CNN the seats were comfortable but there was a lack of rubbish bins.<br/><br/><br/><br/>It was the first time many visitors had walked around the Olympic grounds, including the new aquatics center. They appeared cautiously optimistic about the site, with one family telling CNN the seats were comfortable but there was a lack of rubbish bins.
A sculpture by Turner Prize-winning artist Anish Kapoor looms over the Olympic Park. The 115-meter ArcelorMittal Orbit includes two viewing platforms for spectators to view the site.
A sculpture by Turner Prize-winning artist Anish Kapoor looms over the Olympic Park. The 115-meter ArcelorMittal Orbit includes two viewing platforms for spectators to view the site.
Visitors had to queue for events as they passed through airport-style checks. Security was high at the event, with police helicopters fyling overhead and armed officers patrolling the grounds.Visitors had to queue for events as they passed through airport-style checks. Security was high at the event, with police helicopters fyling overhead and armed officers patrolling the grounds.
  • Nine-year-old schoolgirl Niamh Clarke-Williams officially opens Olympic Stadium
  • Joins Seb Coe on stage to press button and release 1,000 white balloons into sky
  • Followed variety show hosted by TV presenters Gabby Logan and Vernon Kay
  • More than 40,000 spectators watched ceremony and test events in final Games rehearsal

(CNN) -- When it comes to Olympic ceremonies, London is keen to make sure its schoolchildren play a starring role.

Nine-year-old Niamh Clarke-Willis became the latest youngster to take center stage when she pressed the button for the official opening of the Olympic Stadium on Saturday.

The wet weather didn't stop more than 40,000 people attending the ceremony, dubbed "2012 Hours to Go," at the Olympic Park in east London.

Local schoolgirl Niamh was picked to take part in the historic event after Paralympic archer Danielle Brown fired arrows into a spinning target, covered with the names of 100 children in the crowd.

London prepares for the Olympics
Is the UK ready for the Olympics?
Britain's Ministry of Defence is to place ground-to-air missiles on an apartment block in Bow, East London. The building was formerly the Bryant and May match factory.Britain's Ministry of Defence is to place ground-to-air missiles on an apartment block in Bow, East London. The building was formerly the Bryant and May match factory.
The building's former water tower was chosen as the possible site for a missile battery during the 2012 Olympic Games because of its location close to, and view over, the Olympic Park.The building's former water tower was chosen as the possible site for a missile battery during the 2012 Olympic Games because of its location close to, and view over, the Olympic Park.
Match girls at the factory walked out on strike in 1888, in protest at the terrible working conditions which made many of them ill, and the system of fines that left them very poorly paid.Match girls at the factory walked out on strike in 1888, in protest at the terrible working conditions which made many of them ill, and the system of fines that left them very poorly paid.
The strike was inspired by journalist and campaigner Annie Besant, whose article "White Slavery in London" provoked outrage at Bryant and May's treatment of its workers.
The strike was inspired by journalist and campaigner Annie Besant, whose article "White Slavery in London" provoked outrage at Bryant and May's treatment of its workers.
The strike led to a boycott of Bryant and May's matches, and forced the company to improve pay and conditions for the match girls, who went on to set up their own union -- the first of its kind for women workers.
The strike led to a boycott of Bryant and May's matches, and forced the company to improve pay and conditions for the match girls, who went on to set up their own union -- the first of its kind for women workers.
Louise Raw, a historian who has written a book about the match girls' strike, called on residents of the apartment block to follow their example and protest at the decision to place missiles so close to their homes.Louise Raw, a historian who has written a book about the match girls' strike, called on residents of the apartment block to follow their example and protest at the decision to place missiles so close to their homes.
Row over London's Olympic missile plans
Row over London's Olympic missile plans
Row over London's Olympic missile plans
Row over London's Olympic missile plans
Row over London's Olympic missile plans
Row over London's Olympic missile plans
Row over London's Olympic missile plansRow over London's Olympic missile plans
More than 250 Guardsmen mark 100 days until the London 2012 Olympics starts on on July 27. They are at Horse Guards Parade in central London, which will host beach volleyball.More than 250 Guardsmen mark 100 days until the London 2012 Olympics starts on on July 27. They are at Horse Guards Parade in central London, which will host beach volleyball.
China, which hosted the previous Olympics in 2008, also marked the milestone as athletes performed outside the Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing.China, which hosted the previous Olympics in 2008, also marked the milestone as athletes performed outside the Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing.
Melissa Wu, a diving silver medallist four years ago, poses with Australia's Boxing Kangaroo Olympic mascot as the 100-day landmark is celebrated in Sydney.Melissa Wu, a diving silver medallist four years ago, poses with Australia's Boxing Kangaroo Olympic mascot as the 100-day landmark is celebrated in Sydney.
The future of London's new Olympic stadium is one of the unresolved issues surrounding the Games' legacy.The future of London's new Olympic stadium is one of the unresolved issues surrounding the Games' legacy.
Olympic mascots Wenlock and Mandeville strike a pose outside the London 2012 store at Heathrow Airport.Olympic mascots Wenlock and Mandeville strike a pose outside the London 2012 store at Heathrow Airport.
Giant Olympic rings are towed on the River Thames in front of the city's iconic Tower of London on February 28, 2012.Giant Olympic rings are towed on the River Thames in front of the city's iconic Tower of London on February 28, 2012.
The Arcelor Mittal Orbit viewing platform seen next to the Olympic stadium. World-renowned sculptor Anish Kapoor designed the skyscraping sculpture that stands at 115 meters high. The Arcelor Mittal Orbit viewing platform seen next to the Olympic stadium. World-renowned sculptor Anish Kapoor designed the skyscraping sculpture that stands at 115 meters high.
London 2012 Olympic Torchbearers Dinah Gould and Dominic John MacGowan pose with Mayor of London Boris Johnson on March 19, 2012.London 2012 Olympic Torchbearers Dinah Gould and Dominic John MacGowan pose with Mayor of London Boris Johnson on March 19, 2012.
The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, meets Great Britain's Hockey Team at London's Olympic Park on March 15, 2012.The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, meets Great Britain's Hockey Team at London's Olympic Park on March 15, 2012.
Members of the emergency services take part in a London Olympics security drill entitled Exercise Forward Defensive on February 22, 2012. The exercise was to test responses to a possible terrorist incident during the Games. Members of the emergency services take part in a London Olympics security drill entitled Exercise Forward Defensive on February 22, 2012. The exercise was to test responses to a possible terrorist incident during the Games.
British rowing legend Matthew Pinsent helps lift in the first of 16,000 beds to be installed in London's Olympic Village on January 26, 2012.British rowing legend Matthew Pinsent helps lift in the first of 16,000 beds to be installed in London's Olympic Village on January 26, 2012.
Analyst Jignasha Patel prepares a sample for testing in the anti-doping laboratory which will test athletes' samples from the London 2012 Games on January 19, 2012.Analyst Jignasha Patel prepares a sample for testing in the anti-doping laboratory which will test athletes' samples from the London 2012 Games on January 19, 2012.
Workers carry out the installation of artist Monica Bonvicini's "RUN'"sculpture in the plaza of the London 2012 Handball Arena at the Olympic Park on January 12, 2012.Workers carry out the installation of artist Monica Bonvicini's "RUN'"sculpture in the plaza of the London 2012 Handball Arena at the Olympic Park on January 12, 2012.
Models wear the Volunteers Uniform for London 2012 at a photocall at the Olympic Park on November 22, 2011.Models wear the Volunteers Uniform for London 2012 at a photocall at the Olympic Park on November 22, 2011.
Organizers expect 80% of the eight million ticket-holders to use the various rail systems, including the tube, during the Games. There will also be an Olympic Route Network where road traffic will be shut off to allow 55,000 athletes, officials and media to get to venues each day.Organizers expect 80% of the eight million ticket-holders to use the various rail systems, including the tube, during the Games. There will also be an Olympic Route Network where road traffic will be shut off to allow 55,000 athletes, officials and media to get to venues each day.
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London 2012 Olympics: 100 days to goLondon 2012 Olympics: 100 days to go

She joined London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe on stage to press the giant blue button, releasing 1,000 white balloons into the stormy sky.

Is London ready for the 2012 Olympics?

Niamh followed in the footsteps of nine-year-old Tayyiba Dudhwala, who played a starring role in the Beijing to London handover ceremony in 2008.

Millions around the world watched as Tayyiba handed David Beckham a football which he kicked into the crowd from atop a double-decker bus at the closing ceremony.

Four years on and London has again turned to its children, with plans to also feature hundreds of pupils in the opening ceremony, directed by Oscar-winning "Slumdog Millionaire" filmmaker Danny Boyle.

The official opening of the stadium followed a variety show hosted by British TV presenters Gabby Logan and Vernon Kay. Celebrities and athletes took part in a series of stunts, games and competitions, including a bicycle relay challenge and "zorbing," where people roll around inside giant transparent plastic balls

Two of Britain's most celebrated Olympians, rower Steve Redgrave and swimmer Mark Foster, were among those present to mark the venue's official opening.

Spectators also watched about 90 minutes of an athletics championship for British university students, a test event held at the stadium.

Coe, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the 1980s, said it was an important milestone with the Games now less than three months away.

"The whole purpose of the test is to go away, sit down, review what we understand and make sure that it's even better when it's finally tested at the Olympic grounds," he told CNN.

There were reported queues as spectators arriving at the four entrances to the Olympic Park passed through airport-style security, with metal detectors and bag scanners in operation.

Police helicopters kept watch over the grounds while officers carrying guns patrolled the site.

However, visitors appeared cautiously positive about the stadium facilities, with one family telling CNN the seating was comfortable but there was a lack of rubbish bins.

The stadium will host the four opening and closing ceremonies for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as the track and field events.

With waterways on three sides, spectators will access the 80,000-capacity stadium via five bridges.

The structure was built using 10,000 tons of steel, considerably less than for other Olympic stadiums, the organizers say, and with an emphasis on sustainability.

Source: http://rss.cnn.com/~r/rss/edition_sport/~3/1XsqmzrxR0k/index.html

interesting photography wired bbc