Though the dawning of the day is still a long way off, we have another summer and winter to get through first, it is nonetheless there in our consciousness, not fully formed maybe, but there just visible on the horizon of all our expectations. The greatest show on earth, the grand international juggernaut of sporting events, the Olympic Games, will open for business on 27th July 2012. London will then become the first city to host the modern games three times. Since the city won the bid in 2005, Londoners are beginning to perceive the reality of hosting this globally watched event. A large clock in Trafalgar Square began counting down the 500 days last month to coincide with tickets for all the events becoming available to the public for the first time. More tangibly perhaps, we can now see for ourselves the largely fully formed structures, within the Olympic park, that have slowly been taking shape over the years, in what is the largest construction site in Europe. The 80,000 seat Olympic stadium itself is now a familiar outline on a once blighted and featureless urban landscape in the poorest part of the capital.I chose to photograph the stadium alongside the Lee Navigation which marks the western border of the site. It gives the picture a sense of scale and place and sets the new construction against the old working canal system. Barges ply up and down, to and from the Limehouse Basin and the river Thames; and it is a popular place to walk and cycle away from the traffic congested roads.
This shiny new stadium has become a symbol of expectation not only in a sporting sense but also in the sense of anticipation for the future. London won the bid to stage the Olympics based on the unconditional promisethat its legacy would be the complete social and commercial regeneration of the area. However exciting and entertaining the Games turn out to be, the long term success of the event, must surely rest on the fulfilment of this grand ambition. The nearly nine and a half billion pound price tag cannot be justified in anyother way.