Cardiff gears up for first Olympic events

July 24, 2012 No Comments »

The 80ft picture of Team GB diver Tom Daley on Cardiff’s John Lewis building.

It’s hard to escape Olympic fever in Cardiff, especially when there’s an 80ft Tom Daley standing over shoppers in the city centre.

The special banner, which shows the 18-year-old Commonwealth gold medal winning diver, has been installed on the side of John Lewis’ department store.

Chris Earnshaw managing director of John Lewis, Cardiff, said: “London 2012 is the greatest sporting event of the year and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for John Lewis, Adidas and the people of Cardiff to get behind Team GB and show our support for these inspirational athletes.

“This banner is a truly unique way for us to celebrate and wish them the best of luck.”

John Lewis is the official department store partner of the London 2012 games and worked with fellow sponsor adidas to celebrate the start of the games.

Mr Earnshaw said hosting the debut events of the London 2012 Olympic Games, Cardiff could prove it’s worth as a world-class event destination.

He said: “It’s fantastic and it’s exceeded expectations about how it was going to look.

“There’s a real buzz in the city centre. It’s great that we are part of it.”

The first two sporting events of the Games will take place in Cardiff tomorrow, Wednesday July 25, with women’s football matches for Team GB v New Zealand and Cameroon v Brazil. Olympics celebrations will kick-off in the city from 11am with eight hours of free entertainment across the city.

On Your Marks! will feature live music, games and sport-themed street artists between 11am and 7pm including:

  • De Ramos Acrobats: Marvel at the action packed acrobatics and supple somersaulting from this flexible family.
  • The Sports Guides: They are bursting with knowledge about some strange sports.
  • John Hicks: Speed painting with style, dexterity and attitude.
  • The Sputknicker Sisters: Pre-Glasnost gymnasts who will cause a revolution on the street with Soviet silliness and communist comedy.
  • Sports Day: Eighties gym teachers Mr Stretch and Mr Armstrong are on a mission to get the nation fit for 2012, armed with their enthusiasm and a musical pommel horse.
  • Team Bee Gee: This tribute to one of the UK’s greatest ever groups has already been selected to “get a message to you”, which is You Win Again.
  • GB Olympians: These springy, super fit athletes would be certain to lift several Gold medals on the bounce as they hop step and jump round the streets of Cardiff.
  • Splish Splash Splosh: The Welsh international canoe team, who are so good they can even compete on dry land.
  • The Olympiads: These super tall Gods have come all the way from Ancient Greece, to see the first event of 2012 in Cardiff.

The bandstand on St Mary Street will feature folk and acoustic musicians all day, and you can also try out sports including netball, hockey and table tennis in venues throughout the city centre. For full details, visit Cardiff Council’s website.

See details of road closures around the Millennium Stadium during Olympic football matches, which will be played from tomorrow until August 10, here.

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