London Spy

  • The 115m-tall spiralling Olympic tower designed by award-winning artist Anish Kapoor has been completed and you can see how it came to life with the time lapse video below.

    The structure, named the ArcelorMittal Orbit, cost £22.7m and is located in between the Olympic Stadium and the Aquatics Centre.

    For naming rights reasons, the tower, which features the five-Olympic rings in a steel lattice, will be known as simply the Orbit during the London 2012 Games.

    It's the tallest sculpture in the UK and stands 22 metres taller than the Statue of Liberty.

    The cost of the tower increased from £19.6m

    Read More »from Watch the Olympic Orbit come to life
  • Idowu at the 2011 Worlds in Daegu

    Phillips Idowu has won everything there is to win in athletics except a gold medal at the Olympics.

    The 33-year-old has amassed an outstanding array of major indoor and outdoor triple jump gold medals in his career so far.

    His first came at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and he proved his pedigree again by winning the European indoor title in 2007.

    That was soon followed by world indoor gold in Spain in 2008, although later that year he had to settle for silver at the Beijing Olympics.

    Idowu learned from the experience and bounced back to produce a personal best jump on his

    Read More »from British medal hopes: Phillips Idowu (athletics)
  • Venue guide: Hampton Court

    Where is it?: East Molesey, Surrey.

    Find it on the map: Here

    How do you get there?: Bus or train are probably your best options. Car is also possible of course, as the palace is on the A308, around 12 miles south-west of central London, and is well signposted, but parking is limited. As regards buses, the 111, 216, 411, 461, R68, 267 and 513 routes pass next to the palace; for rail, South-West Trains run a service direct to Hampton Court, which takes around 35 minutes from London's Waterloo station. The palace is then 200 metres from the station.

    What events will be held there and when?: Road

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  • Sport guide: Sailing

    Ainslie celebrates Finn gold in Beijing


    Like rowing, sailing was cancelled at the 1896 Games because of bad weather. It was also dropped from the 1904 Games but resumed in 1908 and has been included in the programme ever since.

    The London Games will feature six events for men and four for women. The 470, Laser and RS:X are for both genders. The 470 is a light and manoeuvrable 470cm long dinghy with two crew members. The Laser is the most popular one-person sailing boat in the world although women will race the Laser Radial which has a reduced sail area and a shorter mast. The RS:X is a windsurfing board.

    Only men

    Read More »from Sport guide: Sailing
  • Stevenson with Beijing bronze

    It is testament to Sarah Stevenson's character that, amidst a horrific year of personal loss, she was able to claim gold at the 2011 World Taekwondo Championships in South Korea.

    Both of Stevenson's parents were diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses just weeks before her triumph in the welterweight division at the world championships in May. In October, Stevenson's mother passed away, just three months after her father died.

    She has made no secret of her desire to win gold at the Olympics in memory of her parents, and the top of the podium is within the reach of the Doncaster talent, who

    Read More »from British medal hopes: Sarah Stevenson (taekwondo)
  • Sport guide: Rowing


    Five successive rowing gold medals cemented the status of Steve Redgrave — now Sir Steve — as Great Britain's most successful Olympian. He is also the most successful man in the history of the sport at the Games. Only Elisabeta Lipă has achieved more.

    Redgrave's success began with victory in the coxed fours in 1984 and continued with successive gold medals for the coxless pairs in Seoul, Barcelona and Atlanta, after which he famously announced his retirement. But in 2000 he returned to win gold again, this time in the coxless fours.

    A bronze from the coxed pairs in 1988

    Read More »from Sport guide: Rowing
  • Brownlee after taking 2011 Worlds sprint gold in Lausanne

    The success of Jonathan Brownlee's older brother, Alistair, has proved to be both a help and a hindrance to the career of this gutsy young athlete.

    Being two years younger and physically smaller, Jonathan has had to settle for playing the role of support act to Alistair over the past couple of years.

    However, Alistair is not only a double world champion — he is also a world-class training partner and a barometer of success for Jonathan. And the younger Brownlee's track record suggests he may soon emulate or even surpass the astonishing achievements of his brother.

    Not only has Jonathan

    Read More »from British medal hopes: Jonathan Brownlee (triathlon)
  • Sport guide: Modern Pentathlon

    Shooting at the women's event in Beijing 2008


    Olympic folklore has it that Baron de Coubertin introduced the modern pentathlon around the skills required of a 19th-century soldier — riding, shooting, fencing, running and swimming.

    The competition was added to the Games schedule in 1912 and has since been condensed into a challenging single day of action.

    It begins with épée, as each athlete fences each of the others. The second discipline is swimming, freestyle over 200 metres, and then comes riding, over a course of 12 jumps.

    The total scores are then converted into a time handicap which is used to set the starting

    Read More »from Sport guide: Modern Pentathlon
  • Underground users can expect delays

    Olympics organisers have revealed the 'hot spots' that people should try and avoid in the city during the Olympic Games.

    Up to three million extra trips are expected daily while the Games are going on, which means there will be an estimated 15 million journeys being made each day from July 27, when the Games begin, to their end on August 12.

    A modified London Tube map highlighting the hot spots during the Games pinpoints 23 Tube stations that will be 'exceptionally busy' during the Olympics, while many more stations have been classified as 'busier than usual'.

    Among the tube stations that

    Read More »from How will the Olympics affect your travel?
  • Louis Smith: I’m in the mix for gold

    British gymnast Louis Smith believes he is capable of mixing with the best at the 2012 Olympics in London as he looks to improve on his Beijing bronze.

    In an interview conducted exclusively for Eurosport, UPS London 2012 ambassador Smith told Steve Rider that anything is possible in his sport.

    Smith, who created history with his bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, is confident that he can at least control his own performance, but is very anxious to prove what he is capable of doing on the world's biggest stage.

    Smith admits that it is tough to balance all of his training, but is

    Read More »from Louis Smith: I’m in the mix for gold