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Olympic Stadium

Head here for Athletics and the opening and closing ceremonies

Olympic Stadium
Photograph: Anthony Charlton Olympic Stadium

Olympic Park, London, E20 2ST

The focal venue in the Olympic Park - host to the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, as well as both the Olympic and the Paralympic Athletics - looks like a kind of giant mechanical lotus flower.

RECOMMENDED: See our full list of London 2012 Olympic venues

It sits on an island between three rivers, crossed by a total of five bridges. When the stadium is complete, its top layer will be covered by material stretched over a cable-net roof to provide perfect conditions for the competitors and shelter for two-thirds of the 80,000 spectators in the stands.

Within the Stadium, there are 700 rooms (medical facilities, changing rooms, toilets) and a 60m warm-up track, but most of the normal stadium functions have been moved outside: refreshments, merchandising and information desks are to be stationed in a 'village' around the perimeter, giving the Park a festival feel.

The division of seating into 25,000 permanent seats below temporary stands for a further 55,000 spectators - has allowed the weight of materials to be kept low, reducing the carbon footprint created by their manufacture and transport.

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