The historic Modern Pentathlon to be split between Greenwich and Olympic Park
THE MODERN PENTATHLON, which consists of five events, will be split between the historic Greenwich Park and the new Olympic Park.
Greenwich Park is London’s oldest enclosed Royal Park is located just a few miles to the south of the Olympic Park and was therefore the obvious choice to stage the show jumping during the modern pentathlon. Shooting will be held at a temporary site at Woolwich Artillery Barracks in Greenwich (pictured) - which will only add to the sense of history as the modern pentathlon is a sport that owes its roots to the military.
The event is said to reflect the experiences of an unfortunate Swedish soldier, who had to fight with pistol and sword after being dismounted from his horse, before he swam across a river and ran to safety.
Indeed, there will be few more Olympic venues dripping in history than Greenwich Park, which covers 183 acres between Blackheath and the River Thames, and is situated on a hilltop with impressive views across the River to Canary Wharf, Docklands and the City of London.
The Observatory, which stands at zero longitude and is seen as the historical home of time, has already been identified by United States television executives as a perfect backdrop for their coverage.
Greenwich Park provides a setting for several other historic buildings, including the Royal Naval College, the National Maritime Museum and the Queen’s House.
Zaha Hadid, rated among the world's leading architects, has designed the 20,000-seat venue that will stage the aquatics events and the swimming leg of the modern pentathlon and is set to become one of the London Olympics most iconic venues.
The winning design, which will form part of London's Olympic Park in Carpenters Road, Stratford, has a spectacular, sinuous S-shaped roof inspired by the flow of water prevalent on the building's riverside location, that is certain to make it a London landmark.
Fencing will be staged in one of four multi-sport arenas to be built within the Olympic Park, the 500-acre site that lies at the heart of London’s plans for 2012.
The site in Stratford is located just seven minutes from the centre of London and will also contain an aquatics centre, velodrome, a hockey centre, media facilities and the Olympic Village, in which 17,800 athletes and officials will be housed.
It will be set in a huge new Olympic Park, the largest created in Europe since the 19th century, a network of cleaned up and revitalised canals and the River Lea will wind through the Park, providing a magnificent setting for the Games in the East London borough of Newham.
The cross country run, meanwhile, the last of the five disciplines, will be held on a specially designed course around Olympic Park.