Flats for Olympic athletes unveiled

15 March 2012 / 12:57

The first furnished apartments at the Olympic Village, which will be home to the athletes during the London 2012 Games, were unveiled on Thursday.

Boldly-coloured London 2012 branding features on the duvets and soft furnishings which will be used by around 17,000 Olympic and 6,000 Paralympic athletes as well as officials from 204 nations.

Jonathan Edwards, the 2000 Olympic triple-jump champion and chair of London 2012's athletes committee which has advised on the internal fit-out, said he felt a "great sense of responsibility" about trying to get it right.

"A track is a track and a swimming pool is a swimming pool but this is where the athletes will spend most of their time. It has the greatest possibility to impact their experience of the Games," he said.

The "nitty-gritty detail" of how the 2,818 apartments on the north-east boundary of the Olympic Park in Stratford will look has been explored by London 2012's athletes committee. It also counts 11-time Paralympic athletics champion Baroness Grey-Thompson as deputy chairman.

Edwards said: "Perhaps the most memorable athletes committee (meeting) was when we brought in eight different mattresses and we tested them all one by one and then ranked them so that we could get the right mattresses.

"Another simple but basic thing for the athletes is that we have looked at the design of the beds so the athletes can put their suitcases underneath.

"Just little things like that are things that matter to athletes. We are not looking for a five-star resort experience. We are actually looking for the basics to be taken care of to make sure they can do their very best."

Top of the athletes' shopping list were things that would help them get a good night's sleep. Extendable beds for some of the very tall athletes, such as the basketball players, and black-out curtains that go right to the floor "and really work" have been installed, Edwards noted.

There are pegs to hang kit and sports accessories in the bedrooms, under-bed storage for sports gear and suitcases plus movable rails inside the wardrobes which are particularly set to be useful when the venue becomes a Paralympic village.

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