First London 2012 Olympic venue opens

First London 2012 Olympic venue opens

Lee Valley White Water Centre has become the first London 2012 Olympic venue to be completed, with the Princess Royal officially unveiling it today.

Costing some £31 million, the project was completed on schedule and will host the 2012 Olympic slalom canoe course.

Pictured: The course took 18 months to complete

Ahead of the games – which are scheduled to begin on July 27th 2012 - the venue will open to the public from April 2011.

Before then the British canoe team will have exclusive access to the course.

At present the team trains at Nottingham’s Holme Pierrepont course, but will relocate with the aim of securing home advantage.

World bronze medalist Richard Hounslow explained: “To train here day in, day out, will be so good for us.”

Lee Valley Regional Park Authority

The venue will be operated by the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority.

Situated near Waltham Cross, it took 18 months to complete and will offer rafting and canoeing facilities on both the main 300 metre Olympic course and a separate 160 metre intermediate run.

Temporary stands will allow up to 12,000 spectators to watch the Olympic events in 2012.

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“The completion of the White Water Centre - on budget and over 18 months before the Games - is a huge milestone,” said John Armitt, chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority.

“As the first brand new 2012 venue we have finished, it is a clear sign of the early legacy the Games are already delivering.”

Olympic organisers expect the velodrome to be the next completed venue, early in 2011, followed by the Olympic Stadium.