I can't believe it has been exactly 1 year since we visited London's Olympic Park! It seems like a lifetime ago that we were in the thick of the London 2012 Olympics, enjoying the Olympics-themed food, the souvenirs, the sports, the exhibits.
To commemorate the 1-year anniversary of the London Games, the northern section of Olympic Park reopened to the public this weekend. So what does the park look like now? USA Today reports that Olympic Park is undergoing quite a big change. Here's what has happened (or what is going to happen) to some of the major buildings inside Olympic Park (along with photos of the buildings that I took on July 28, 2012):
The Olympic Stadium is set to be the future home for English Premiere League soccer club West Ham. Work is being done to turn the stadium into a football pitch, and the Hammers are expected to move in for the 2016 season.
Only the center portion of the aquatics center remains. The 2 "wings" on either side, which were necessary to accommodate more spectators, have been removed. The aquatics center will reopen to the public as a public swim center.
The world's largest McDonald's restaurant, which was located inside Olympic Park, has been dismantled (it was designed to be dismantled, and every item has been reused or recycled).
The quilted basketball arena has also been dismantled.
The Athlete's Village will be turned into housing units.
The ArcelorMittal Orbit is still standing, and it will reopen to visitors in 2014!
We're scheduled to visit the UK again in 2014, and I think it would be interesting to revisit Olympic Park to see how it has changed. Maybe this time we might actually get to visit the Orbit and climb up to the top!
One thing's for sure.... the next time we visit Olympic Park (or any other place in the UK).... we probably won't be seeing the Queen!