Olympic rowing rated “the Golden venue” by spectators
03/08/2012 - 17:36:00
According to the official Olympic customer satisfaction survey of all Olympic sites, Eton Dorney has consistently come out on top at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
With a 97 per cent approval rating, the rowing and sprint canoe lake has been nicknamed “the Golden venue.” "The Stadium Inspector", Alan Lee, also ranked Eton Dorney the best venue of the Games so far for British newspaper The Times, beating Wimbledon by two points to score 39 out of 50.
Lee, was initially irritated that Henley-on-Thames, the Olympic Venue in the 1948 Games, was not chosen to host the regatta, "I set off for this other place, a lake somewhere off the far loop of Windsor racecourse... I was up for a scrap, ready and willing to express my dislike of such an upstart venue," expressed Lee, "I came away cowed and converted."
What is it that makes the lake one of the most favourite venues of the Games? World Rowing went to speak to the spectators to find out.
If you are one of the people that have been to Eton Dorney before the Olympics then you probably agree with Peter Moorby who says: “Seeing how the venue has been transformed is pretty special. I have been here before and I can’t believe it’s the same place. The grandstands have been packed, even from day one, but despite the huge numbers, everything has run smoothly and the transportation has been exceptionally well organised.”
According to spectator Sarah Langslow, who took part in the Opening Ceremony as a suffragette, it is the spectacular crowd that creates such the amazing atmosphere. The “wall of noise” made by spectators can even be heard by athletes waiting at the start line. Rowers have commented on being surprised by the level of cheering when they row through the final 500m. New Zealand single sculler, Mahe Drysdale commented that he could not believe the level of cheering even for the heats.
“Right from the first race everyone has got their flags out and as a spectator you felt part of a bigger thing,” explains Moorby.
The team of volunteers have also impressed at Eton Dorney. “The volunteers have been most helpful and prepared for accessibility issues and related crowd control,” says spectator Nathalie Walker.
The Olympic rowing venue has helped to create a positive and powerful memory of the London 2012 Olympic Games. As Walker sums it all up: “This whole thing makes me incredibly proud to be British and proud to be part of something so massive.”