________________ CM . . . . Volume XIX Number 1. . . .September 7, 2012


London 2012: Olympic Venues. (The Olympic Sports).

James Nixon.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2012.
32 pp., pbk. & hc., $10.95 (pbk.), $20.76 (RLB.).
ISBN 978-0-7787-4009-4 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-7787-4008-7 (RLB.).

Subject Headings:
Olympic Games (30th: 2012: London, England)-Juvenile literature.
Paralympics (14th: 2012: London, England)-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-5 / Ages 8-10.

Review by Gail Hamilton.

**½ /4



The design of the Velodrome reflects the shapes and curves of the racetrack inside. It has been nicknamed "The Pringle" by some because of its similarity to the potato chip. The foundations for the stadium had to be driven up to 85 feet (26 m) into the ground to provide stability because the venue is built on top of a 100-year-old landfill site.

The Velodrome is the most sustainable in the Olympic Park. The wood has been sourced from sustainable forests. Skylights reduce the need for electric lighting. The ventilation system is also completely natural, removing the need for air conditioning. The cable net roof structure is more than twice as light as the Beijing Velodrome's.


Touted as a quick reference and a preview of the 30th Olympiad, to be held in London, England, in the summer of 2012, this book, a new title in "The Olympic Sports" series, briefly examines the various venues- some of them newly constructed- at which the events will take place. Each of the venues is discussed in terms of its method of construction, design, materials, dimensions, capacity, future use, and the length of time it took to build. Special features, such as the building's environmentally friendly elements, are also mentioned. One interesting fact is that for the first time in Olympic history, field hockey and Paralympic soccer will be played on a blue surface instead of the traditional green.

     Competition will take place in London and its surrounding areas. The newly constructed Olympic Park will contain many sporting venues and will house all of the athletes, while the ExCel Centre will stage more events than any other venue. Hyde Park will be the scene of the triathlon, and Hampton House Palace, former home of King Henry VIII, will be the site of road cycling time trials. Other venues include the Olympic Stadium (opening and closing ceremonies and track and field events), the Aquatic Centre (swimming, diving and synchronized swimming), the Copper Box (handball), the Riverbank Arena (field hockey and Paralympic soccer), the Velopark (track cycling), Greenwich Park (equestrian events), North Greenwich Arena (gymnastics), Wimbledon (tennis), and Wembley Stadium (soccer finals).

      Text boxes provide additional trivia throughout the book. Readers will find some of the facts quite interesting, examples of which are that there are 17,320 bedrooms in the Olympic Village; 10,000 newts had to be relocated to a nature preserve from the area where Olympic Park was built; and a hawk named Willow flies around Olympic Stadium to prevent pigeons from nesting there. Some of the historical facts relate to the topics in each of the 15 chapters, but a few are superfluous. A table of contents, a glossary, an index and a brief list of four web sites related to the London 2012 Olympics are provided. There is also a schedule of the Olympic and Paralympic Games listing the event competition dates and the number of gold medals to be awarded in each event. Illustrations consist of colour photographs of both the venues for the upcoming games and some of the competition action from former Olympiads.

      Though timely, this title will date quickly and has limited appeal as most readers in the target age group will not be interested in the venues themselves, and many of the facts presented in the book will likely be mentioned in the television commentary during the broadcasts of the Olympic Games.

Recommended with reservations.

Gail Hamilton is a former teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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ISSN 1201-9364
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