Whereas the tennis world was focused on stormy US Open, I was enjoying a few days in sunny London during the Paralympics.
Wandering round London, it was nearly impossible to avoid the Paralympics.
The Olympic Park
East London has undergone major development in the last few years to transform it into the centrepiece of London 2012.
Most Olympic and Paralympic events took place at the ground-breaking 2.5 square km Olympic Park in Stratford. The most distinctive venues in the Olympic Park are the Olympic Stadium, that played host to the Olympic and the Paralympic Athletics as well as all the opening and closing ceremonies, Zaha Hadid’s Aquatics Centre and the Velodrome, nicknamed the Pringle.
The Olympic Park has now closed its doors and will remain shut for at least a year while venues are dismantled.
While the fate of the Olympic Stadium remains uncertain, three of the eight sports venues (the temporary basketball, water polo and Riverbank arenas) will disappear.
As for the four remaining venues:
- Zaha Hadid’s Aquatics Centre will shed its wings, reducing the seating capacity from 17500 to 2500. It will host training and competitions and will be open to the public.
- the Velodrome will be the heart of the new Lee Valley Velopark, including the Olympic BMX track and new bike trails, café and hire and workshop facilities.
- the Copper Box, the multi-use arena, will host a myriad of sports as well as concerts and corporate events upon reopening, with a gym, exercise studio and café.
- Eton Manor, that hosted the Wheelchair tennis competition will become a permanent home for the Lee Valley Hockey Centre and the Lee Valley Tennis Centre, and is scheduled to host the European Hockey Championships in 2015.
The site will reopen as the Queen Elizabeth II Olympic Park in 2014.
The Games Makers
The purple Games Makers uniforms have become synonymous with the London 2012 Games: thousands of volunteers took to the streets to inform and guide the athletes, officials and fans:
evian celebrates 27 years as the official water of the US Open with Behind-the-Scenes Instawalk on evianday (this Thursday, August 30th).
Follow three of the most popular New York Instagrammers, Liz @newyorkcity, Anthony @takinyerphoto and Brian @Bridif as they uncover what you haven’t seen before at the US Open.
The instagrammers will each take turns posting on evian’s Instagram account, along with multiple photos to their own accounts through hashtag #evianday
With the support of USO and USTA, fans at the stadium will also be encouraged to participate by uploading photos showing what they love about US Open, while tagging the photo on the day with #evianday.
Evian has sponsored the US Open for 27 years, and each of the event’s title sponsor get one day to activate campaigns on-site, which explains the hashtag.
Follow Evian @evianwater
25 year-old Maria Sharapova launched her new candy line Sugarpova at high-end retailer Henri Bendel in New York, August 20.
Sharapova has stepped into the candy business with an array of hot colors, funky names and yummy packaging. Sugarpova offers a range of 12 gummy delicacies, each bearing a specific name and description.
Already available in the US, the colorful Sugarpova candies can also be ordered online via the site Sugarpova.
With the 2012 U.S. Open set for next week, adidas Tennis put on a twitter Q&A with Ana Ivanovic and Fernando Verdasco, live from the NYC adidas Sport Performance store.
On Wednesday 22nd August in New York City, adidas brought some of the city’s biggest tennis fans together for an experience they will never forget. The day started off at the Manhattan Plaza Racquet Club where a gift for each of them was waiting when they opened their lockers.
They were then met on court by one of the worlds leading coaches in Mats Merkel. Mats is part of the adidas Player Development programme and has coached some of leading players including Jo Tsonga. He was aided by US rising star and 2011 US Open Mixed Doubles Champion Jack Sock as the kids showed off their skills on court.
The next part of their surprise was a trip to the Manhattan adidas Performance Store where they were greeted by an expectant crowd. All anyone knew was that there was some filming taking place and that the kids were part of a new video by the brand.
As they were waiting little did they know that some of the sports biggest stars were waiting for them in the wings. Fernando Verdasco, the world number 26, came out first dressed as a ‘Team adidas’ staff member to measure their feet as the final part of the surprise came to life.
Fernando Verdasco enjoyed his time in staff uniform; “It was such a fun day to be part of. I have not worked in a store and it was a very different experience. When I spoke to the kids they were so happy to see us and had a great day. There were smiles all round!”
Next up was Ana Ivanovic. The Serbian star brought out new adiZero Feather II shoes for them to try on and spent some time chatting to the star struck youngsters. To top it off, French star Gilles Simon walked up and give them a hand picking out new clothing for them to take home from the latest tennis line.
Follow adidas Tennis on Twitter at @adidastennis