Greenwich Park will not be damaged during London 2012
The London 2012 equestrian manager, Tim Hadaway, is confident that London’s oldest Royal Park, Greenwich Park, will not be damaged during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The iconic park, which dates back to 1433, will host the Olympic equestrian and modern pentathlon events in July and August 2012 as well as the Paralympic dressage competitions the following September.
A temporary main arena for 23,000 spectators will be built within the grounds of the National Maritime Museum but Hadaway insists that such structures, which are vital for the success of the competition, will cause no long term damage.
Hadaway said that Greenwich Park will be closed to the public for as little time as possible following concern from residents.
“We have listened to people’s concerns and have reduced the time of full closure for the park from six to four weeks, from approximately July 6th to August 3rd, 2012,” he said. “Our intention is to re-open sections of the park as soon as possible following completion of the eventing competition.”
In addition, certain areas will remain closed between August 29th and September 9th for the Paralympic Games but a lot of the park will still be accessible to the public.
All of the structures being put in for the Games are temporary and will be removed fromt eh sventy-five hectare site after the games.
Hadaway claimed test events, which are taking place at Greenwich Park later this year, will cause minimum disruption to residents. The first is an invitational event for equestrian from July 4th -6th, while the second is the modern pentathlon World Cup final from July 9-10 which offers London 2012 qualification spots.
This does beg the question, what will the Olympic Legacy be, for the sport of equestrianism?
The Legacy for London Advisory Group says this:
Although the facilities at Greenwich will be temporary, they will be constructed to the highest standards and equine specific equipment purchased for the London Games should be stored or distributed for use where needed in the future. The “Legacy for London Advisory Group” has been set up to ensure that the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games leave a lasting UK wide legacy in terms of participation, facilities and general interest in equestrianism.