V Krishnaswamy, a senior journalist has more than 30 years of experience of covering five Olympics, seven Asian Games, five Commonwealth, scores of World Championships and Majors in different sports, including chess and golf. He is also the author of the recently published “Sachin – Hundred hundreds Now”
London and Stratford get ready for an electrifying Games. The world comes together, the rubbish is cleaned and the shops are shut early and the Indian boxers get their last free day before competition. And to see all that ‘Robert the Engine’ returns to Stratford before the Games.
Clockwise from top left:
1. The Stratford Centre outside the Stratford Station promises an 'Electrifying Games,' and the centre has been buzzing since.
2. A whole world brought together… message for the Games with goosebumps, gasps, pounding hearts, tears of joy, records smashed, strangers hugged, or a whole world brought together.
3. Two days before the actual opening, the crowds got taste of what was in store: no water bottles or anything resembling that. Net result was overflowing rubbish cans.
4. Advance notice of shops being closed at 3 pm on the day of the Opening Ceremony to ensure better crowd control.
5. The Indian Olympic boxing team at the Westfield City, near the Stratford Centre.
6. Robert the Engine. The 80-year-old steam locomotive which was sent to the East Anglian Railway Museum for a makeover for the Games returned to the front of Stratford station just before the Games. Robert, with a new coating of crimson, is shinning after years of experiencing pigeon droppings, rain, heat and wind.
The 38-tonne saddle tank locomotive is a landmark at Stratford and was built by the Avonside Engine Company of Bristol to work the Lamport Ironstone mines railway near Brixworth, Northamptonshire.