10 things worth knowing about the Games

2012-08-03 06:56

There is more to the Olympics than the on-the-field action. Daniel Mothowagae lists 10 things that’s caught his eye since arriving in London to cover the Games.

» Cheers!
Sealed beer at the Games is sold in plastic bottles for £4.20 (about R51.84).

» Vuvuzela-less: There is no vuvuzela in sight – it is listed as one of the prohibited items at London 2012.

Olympic shopping: The Olympic Park precinct has its own mall, Westfield. The three-storey structure, which houses 250 shops, is on the athletes’ doorsteps as it’s adjacent to the Athletes Village.

Screened: Everyone goes through an airport-style security screening when entering an event venue.

#NoSponsor: Athletes are banned from mentioning their personal sponsors on social media platforms. The International Olympic Committee Rule 40 prohibits athletes from mentioning or promoting any sponsor during the Games unless that sponsor is an official Olympic sponsor.

» Pin-heads:
Lapel-pin trading is a common activity around the Games with about five in 10 people asking for “your country’s pin”. Main Olympic sponsors Coca-Cola has erected a trading hall inside Olympic Park.

Cheap labour: The Games “makers” do it for free. Stewards are paid £8.30 per hour (about R110), bus drivers £13 and security personnel get a £8.50 hourly rate.

» Walk in the park:
The Riverbank Arena (hockey venue) and the Velodrome (cycling and BMX) are a 30-minute walk from the entrance to Olympic Park.

Taped up: Buses that shuttle inside Olympic Park have every compartment that opens sealed with “LOCOG” (Local Organising Committee of the Games) adhesive tape for security purposes.

Special lane: There is a special Olympic lane and any unauthorised driver caught driving there faces a penalty of £130 (R1 684).

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