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An Olympic 'I do'

The Olympic Stadium Credit: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

Couples could soon be able to marry with the Olympic Park as their backdrop. Legacy bosses have applied for a licence to hold civil marriage and partnership ceremonies on top of the "Orbit" - the 260-foot high tower which overlooks the entire park.


Young Poet Laureate required!

The London Legacy Development Corporation is looking for 6 young poets Credit: Stephen Pond/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The search has begun to find a young poet who will perform in and around the Olympic Park.

Aged between 18 and 25 and from London, they will become the London Legacy Development Corporation's Young Poet Laureate for a year and take part in several events.

This would include some big and little moments within the life of the area in Stratford, east London, as the Park reopens in phases a year after the London 2012 Games.

The work of the young poet should reflect "the changing capital" city, the LLDC said.

LLDC chief executive Dennis Hone said: "This programme is part of ambitious plans for arts and culture in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the surrounding area. It is our vision for east London to be a thriving cultural district, and the Park will play a key part in that transformation."

Applications are invited to become one of six young poets who will take part in events and workshops over the summer before the overall winner is named.

More information on the Young Poet Laureate for London can be found online at

Applications close on June 24.

  1. Simon Harris

Gordon Brown to blame for Olympic budget ballooning

Former Mayor Ken Livingstone blames Gordon Brown for increase in Olympic budget Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Former London Mayor Ken Livingstone hasblamed Labour Chancellor Gordon Brown for the dramatic increase in the budgetfor the London Olympics.

The estimated cost of staging the games rose from £2.2bn in 2005 to £9.3bn in 2007. Mr Livingstone, as Mayor of London was one of the leading figures in Britain's bid, was giving evidence today to the House of Lords Olympic and Paralympic Legacy Committee.

He said:

"We had huge problems with Gordon Brown. No Olympics has ever been told to pay VAT before, so that added another £836m, a completely non-sensical decision to have made.

Also, and this was driven very much by the Treasury and Gordon Brown, he insisted on a much larger budget for emergencies and cost over-runs and I was hostile to this."

Pride in our Games Makers

File photo of Games Makers in the Olympic Park, London Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

A third of people wish they had volunteered to help out at last year's Olympics following the success of the so-called Games Makers, according to a study. A similar number said the Games Makers positively changed the way they viewed volunteering, a survey of more than 2,000 adults found.

An estimated 873,600 volunteering hours have been put back into communities by the Games Makers since September, said the report by Olympic legacy charity Join In.


OBE will be "pride of place" for Christiansen

Triple gold-medal winning paralympic equestrian Sophie Christiansen has been awarded her OBE by Prince Charles. She said the award would take pride of place with her gold medals.

"I like to look at my medals and for them to be out for everyone to see, particularly young kids," she said. "I have found that for people to be able to touch and see a Paralympic gold medal is a really special thing so I make sure that I take it in to schools for children to see.

"The slogan for the Games was to inspire a generation and trying to do that is an important part of the legacy."Christiansen said she was not nervous when collecting her latest award because being involved in sport has made her more and more confident over the years.

Royal honour for 2012 stars

Cyclist Laura Trott receives her OBE medal from the Prince of Wales Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Prince Charles recognised Laura Trott as he presented the 21 year old with her OBE, saying the athletes had done "really good" work at the London 2012 Games. He asked her if she had to watch what she ate. Trott, still smiling, replied: "No I ate Maltesers."

Cyclist Laura Trott with members of the Yeoman of the Guard Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

She said she was nervous but excited about the day, "there is no pressure in this and I got to see my mum Glenda getting ready to go to Buckingham Palace which is not the sort of thing that happens every day." Laura began cycling with her mother, who took up the sport to lose weight.

Cyclist Laura Trott after receiving her OBE medal Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

Trott, 21, made a stunning Olympic debut at the London 2012 Games where she rode away to gold in the omnium and team pursuit.

The dominance of the world-beating trio of Trott, Dani King and Joanna Rowsell, has seen them break the record six consecutive times in the team pursuit.

Trott: "All I do is ride a bike"

Great Britain's Laura Trott celebrates winning the gold medal in the Women's Omnium Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

A nervous but excited Laura Trott collected her OBE at Buckingham Palace today and said "I do not really feel I should be here. All I do is ride a bike."

After picking up her award from the Prince of Wales, the double Olympic cycling champion said: "I was talking to a soldier who was being honoured and thought maybe I do not deserve this because all I do is ride a bike - that is my day job. I love it but this is so amazing.

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