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London 2012: first glimpse of Olympic site

By Channel 4 News

Updated on 27 July 2009

A ceremony kicks off the countdown to the 2012 Olympic Games as concerns grow over what will happen to the complex after the event.

Diver Tom Daley at the Olympic stadium (Getty)

Keen to avoid a repeat of the £1bn Dome fiasco, the Olympics Minister, Tessa Jowell suggested selling tickets to visitors to tour the £500 million stadium. But, industry experts called the plan 'a hard sell'.

Britain's athletes got their first glimpse of where they will compete as the Olympic Stadium was unveiled this morning.

Following a trip on the javelin train from central London, which will take visitors to the Olympic park, they were led on a tour of the site by the Games chairman Lord Coe.

He was keen to point out that despite the deepening recession, preparations are ahead of schedule.

The Olympic delivery authority has set 10 goals to deliver by 27 July 2010.

ITN spoke to diver Tom Daley, who was visiting the site after winning gold in the World Championships in Rome last week.

"It's crazy to be here at the Olympic site," he said.

"(In 2012) I'm going to have a lot of pressure, but then I can use the home crowd and the adrenalin rush that I'm going to get from that to use in my benefit."

"Beijing was incredible, and for it to happen here, in your home country, will be insane."

"The aquatics centre looks really, really cool, actually. The roof on it is quite a funky shape - people say it looks like a singray or a wave. It looks really cool, so I'm really looking forward to seeing what the diving boards look like."

Channel 4 News winds the clock back to 2005 to see how five British gold medal heroes prepared for Beijing 2008.

Rebecca Adlington - swimming

In August 2005 Rebecca Adlington was a 16-year-old recovering from a year blighted by glandular fever.

She missed out on selection for both the 2005 world championships and the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

Adlington only finished third in the 800 metres freestyle at the England National Championships in 2005, the event in which she would later break the world record in Beijing.

She was only 15th in the 400 metres freestyle, the other event that would earn her Olympic gold three years later.

Christine Ohuruogu - athletics

Christine Ohuruogu won a silver medal in the 400 metres at the European under-23 championships in 2005 and another silver medal in the 4x400 metres relay.

She reached the semifinal at the world championships in the same year and won a bronze medal in the 4x400 metres relay.

But in November she missed a random drugs test, the first of three that earned her a one-year ban from competition and a lifetime ban from representing Great Britain at the Olympics.

The Olympic ban was later overturned after a lengthy appeal.

Rebecca Romero - cycling

In 2005 Rebecca Romero had not even taken up serious cycling.

She was part of the Great Britain rowing crew that won gold in the quadruple sculls at the world championships.

She had already won an Olympic silver medal in the quadruple sculls in Athens in 2004 but in 2006 she quit rowing due to a back injury.

By the end of 2006 she had won a silver medal in a cycling World Cup event in Moscow and went on to become the first British woman to compete in two different sports at the summer Olympics when she took part in the cycling event in Beijing.

By winning gold in the individual pursuit she became the second woman in the history of the Olympics to wins medals in two different Olympic disciplines.

Romero has said she would like to compete in a third sport at the London Olympics, but insists she will not quit cycling unless she is confident she can win another gold medal.

Sir Chris Hoy - cycling

In June 2005 the reigning Olympic one kilometre time trial champion, Sir Chris was told that event would not be included in Beijing. So he had to learn a new race, the keirin.

The decision was taken to make room for BMX events in 2008, and Sir Chris was critical at the time, claiming the remaining events were similar.

But it may have helped him become the first Briton in 100 years to win three gold medals at a single Olympics - in the sprint, team sprint and keirin.

At the 2005 cycling world championships in Los Angeles, Sir Chris claimed a gold medal in the team sprint and a bronze in the one kilometre time trial.

Ben Ainslie - sailing

In early 2005 Ben Ainslie, who had already won gold medals at the two previous Olympics, was working as a tactician for Team New Zealand as they tried to qualify for the America's Cup.

The Olympics were not his main priority, although he said he was confident he could prepare sufficiently if he got back in a dinghy 12 months before the Games.

Later in the year he stepped down from Team New Zealand and in August he won the Finn European championships for the fourth time in a row, claiming victory in five out of seven races in Kalmar, Sweden.

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