“London is ready.” That’s the declaration from an East End native and Olympics guide as well as a member of the Olympics Development Authority. Week One of BU’s Covering the London Olympics program kicked off with students visiting the major venues, including a “stingray” aquatics center, the Olympics Village and stadium.
Security personnel are everywhere, and Master Builder David Fison later explained to the students, “Beijing was not a terrorist target, the U.K. and the U.S. unfortunately are.”, raising the price of security at the Games. Fison is a British construction CEO and a member of the Olympics Development Authority. Seven years in the planning and building, Fison is proud that 75% of the Olympic venues will be re-used, one of the key factors in London winning the hosting bid.
The Games, starting July 27th, will depend on public transportation to the formerly run-down East End; only the Queen and members of the media are expected to use the rare parking lots. So far, Fison said, the construction budget is coming in a billion pounds (about $1.5 billion USD) under budget, with the 2008 financial crisis actually helping by making labor and materials cheaper.
See more of BU students’ coverage.