Posts Tagged ‘Olympics’

The Bergiselschanze

A spectacular landmark in the Austrian city of Innsbruck is the Bergiselschanze ski jump on the Bergisel Hill. The huge concrete and glass structure was built in 2001 and the current form was designed by Iraqi architect, Zaha Hadid at a cost of €15 million. The actual Bergiselschanze dates back to the 1930’s. There is a cafe at the top which offers amazing views of Innsbruck and the surrounding villages on a clear day. The jump hosts the annual prestigious Four Hills Tournament’ third leg and the mountain has played host to two Winter Olympic Games, the 1964 games and the 1976 games. The Bergisel can be easily reached by the Stubaitalbahn from Innsbruck.

Vancouver’s Olympic Cauldron

Last year the Canadian city of Vancouver hosted the Winter Olympic Games and had a pretty impressive Olympic  Cauldron which held the flame. Ten metre high flame was made of steel and glass resembled huge ice pillars. After the games the city decided to put the beautiful sculpture on display in the city for all to see as a legacy of a fine Winter Olympics.    The cauldron has been installed in downtown Vancouver at Jack Poole Plaza not far from the convention centre and international cruise liner terminal, so it is in very easy reach of tourists wanting a photo.

Stade Olympique Montreal

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The Stade Olympique or Montreal Olympic Stadium was built for the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games and still today is the worlds tallest inclined tower measuring 175 metres. The tower is recognised as one of the World Federation of Great Towers which includes some of the world’s most impressive buildings.  The structure today is used for special events, concerts and the odd sporting event.   The stadium has had a fairly chequered life, with a huge blow out in original cost . It was expected the stadium would cost in the vicinity of $770 million Canadian to pay off but some much needed modifications and repairs took the final cost to nearly 1.5 billion dollars, and took over 30 years to repay.  The stadium holds around 55000 people depending on the event and the configuration. The attendance record dates back to 1977 when Pink Floyd rocked the stadium in front of over 78000 fans, even Pope John Paul II couldn’t break that record when he visited in 1884 with around 55000 worshippers.  The stadium was planned to be roofed fro the Olympics but time and money.  After some construction problems and a fire the roof was finally put in place in 1987. The roof was retractable but had continual problems with the weight of snow and tearing. The stadium is well worth a look when visiting Montreal- for the history and interesting architecture alone, and there is a pretty good view of the surrounding city from the lookout in the tower.

Rapid Beijing-Tianjin for the Olympics

All ready for the this weeks Olympic celebrations, the Beijing – Tianjin high speed railway has just opened in China. The train will take passengers from Beijing to the soccer facilities at Tianjin. The train will travel at speeds up to 350 km per hour and cost about $10 for first class and a little less for second class, and the trip will take about 30 minutes. The train is believed to be the fastest intercity train in the world and in it’s first few days of operation has been a huge hit. The system has taken three years to build and over 2o billion yuan (3 billion US dollars) has been spent on construction with nearly 90 percent of its 100km line elevated because of bad soil. Over 26 million people travel the route each year and it is expected with this new service 32 million will now be able to travel making it one of the busiest lines in the world.

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Fatso the Fat Arsed Wombat

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During the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games Fatso the Fat Arsed Wombat became the unofficial Olympic mascot and was caused quiet a stir doing it. The official mascots were Syd, Ollie and Mille they were a Platypus, an echidna and Kookaburra but they got overshaddowed by Fatso. Fatso was the creation of a Sydney cartoonist and featured on Sport’s comedians Roy & HG’s nightly show The Dream he overshaddowed the real mascots to the point the Australian Olympic Committe tried to ban him or stop their athletes getting seen with him.. Fatso survived and won the day he even ended up standing on the dias during a medal presentation. Fatso eventually got auctioned for charty reaching over $80,000, now living in a glass box in a TV executives office. But Fatso lives on and has been imortalised right outside the Sydney Olympic Stadium where a lifesize model of the fat arsed wombat appears on a pole showing all his glory. A must for anyone visiting the home of the best Olympics Games ever.

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Central Lenin Stadium


YouTube direct

Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow was originally known as Central Lenin Stadium and was the main arena of the 1980 Moscow Olympics. The Stadium is part of the Luzhniki Olympic Complex comprising of 4 arena’s and a swimming pool. Capacity of the arena during the Olympics as show in the video above was around 103000 people today capacity is just under 85000 people. Luzhniki Stadium has been chosen to host the 2008 UEFA Champions League Final and will be Moscow’s first time hosting the European Cup final. Read the rest of this entry »

The Olympic Birdsnest


YouTube direct

This time next year the 2008 Olympic Games will be a memory. The Olympic flame will burn brightly over the Beijing National Stadium with its amazing bird nest like architecture. Designed by Herzog & De Meuron from Switzerland the stadium is 330 metres long and 220 metres wide. The structure’s 69 metre high walls house over 36km of steel. The stadium will hold about 100000 people during each session of the Olympics including the main track and field, opening and closing ceremonies. This weeks You Tube of the week shows some fantastic computer animations of the stadium.

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See you at the G

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The Melbourne Cricket Ground or MCG or even more familiar the G is Australia’s favorite sporting arena. It has served as a home for the 1956 Olympic Games, 2006 Commonwealth Games, Its seen the Pope and huge music artists including Madonna, The Rolling Stones and U2 play there but it is best known for its sport in particular Cricket and Australian rules football (AFL). Known as the peoples ground, the arena has recently been upgraded with state of the art facilities and can hold close to 100,000 fans and has one of the world’s largest playing surfaces measuring 174 x 149 metres. There are 6 massive light towers with 884 computer controlled lights to eliminate any shadow in night games. Two huge LCD screens and some of the worlds best corporate and hospitality facilities. The MCG is also home to a great sports museum where many Australian sporting treasures live and the centre also offers tours of the ground when it isn’t game day. But to experience the MCG at its best catch a game of Aussie Rules Footy or some international cricket.

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Munich’s Olympiaturm

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The Olympic tower or Olympiaturm rises 290m into the Munich’s sky and offers magnificent views of the Olympia parklands and surrounding city on a clear day you can even see the Alps. Built primarily as a communications to support the 1972 Olympic Games the tower houses a gourmet revolving restaurant with a 360 degree trip taking 49 minutes. The tower does have observation deck with fantastic inside and outside views but it is a little hard to find the entrance. The complex seems to promote the attraction as the world’s highest rock and roll museum. Which it is not quiet, there’s a heap of tickets and posters and the odd item on show from some of the big names who have played the stadium over the 30 odd years

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The weird 2008 Olympic Mascots


YouTube direct

The 2008 Beijing Olympic Games are just over a year away with the opening ceremony being held on the 8th of August next year. We have found this amazing animated display of the funny little characters they have for mascots. The characters somehow represent a fish, a panda, a Tibetan antelope and a swallow- and the one on fire is meant to be an Olympic flame. We are going to see a lot more of these special little guys over the next few months and my guess is every child will want all five. Read the rest of this entry »