Watching the Olympic Games from the comfort of your own lounge is fun, but nothing quite compares to cheering on the athletes with a like-minded crowd. And, short of actually being there at the stadia, the BT London Live Sites are an excellent place to catch all the action, with a fun festival atmosphere and some cool art to boot.
Victoria Park Livesite on â€œSuper Sundayâ€ of the Games was just warming up when I arrived around noon. By the time I left at 5pm, just after Murray’s triumphant tennis gold, the site was buzzing with fans. Luckily the space is huge so you could still stake out a spot, although I imagine by Bolt’s 100m sprint final at 9.50pm it was pretty packed.
During the day, people were zipping down the zip line, lining up for the Ferris wheel, bouncing high on bungee trampolines and playing Ping Pong. Kids enjoyed the free sport-themed entertainments of sumo suits, mechanical horseriding, fixed cycles that plot your speed, hockey, water zorbing and child-sized bungee trampolines.
As well as all this, the Victoria Park Live Site hosts four of the Mayor of London’s Wonders – free interactive art installations – that are really worth looking out for. First I spotted Aurora, a gently lit hoop canopy reminiscent of Olympic rings. Next was Bloom, a fantastic hot pink structure-in-progress. With three â€œcellsâ€ of pink backbones laid out and piles of chunky plastic bits to slot in wherever and whenever you wish, this was a fun art-as-play meccano set for people of any age to enjoy. Next to Bloom was Drip - There Is An Island, which grows stalactites and creepers using a clever water flow system. Down near the largest big screen was the Universal Tea Machine, which works on binary mathematics to create the perfect cup of tea. The artworks are part of the Mayor of London’s Summer Like No Other programme.
If you’re keen to visit Victoria Park livesite, you’ll find a good mix between families with youngsters and buggies spending a relatively uncrowded morning/afternoon and more of a party atmosphere as it gets towards evening. My tip would be arrive early to avoid the worst queues (especially if you’re coming with kids) and enjoy!
Have you watched the Olympics at one of the BT London livesites or on another big screen in London? Tell us about it in the comments below.