Gearing up for the Games!
22 June 2012
With just five weeks to go until the Olympics, Imperial is stepping up its preparations for the biggest games in the world.
Commercial Services is entering one of their busiest periods – hosting two Olympic teams and providing facilities for another seven.
The two teams which Imperial will host – Japan and Switzerland – have booked 330 beds between them and the vacation staff who will be working in the accommodation halls over the summer have received additional training to ensure each team’s stay is as comfortable as possible.
“We have been training our staff to go out of their way to help and be able to deal with the unexpected,” said Assistant Director of Commercial Services and Head of Sport Imperial Neil Mosley. “Essentially we want to ensure the teams aren’t distracted from the reason they are at the College – to train,” he added.
To help prepare for the arrival of the Japanese Olympic team the Department of Humanities has been teaching Commercial Services staff basic Japanese (such as directions and welcoming phrases), as well as translating an information booklet for team members to receive when they arrive which contains details about London including public transport, sights to see and places to visit.
Sport Imperial has also invested in new fencing pistes for the Olympic athletes, and new lane ropes for the Ethos swimming pool to prevent waves. Staff have also stocked up on pool chemicals, bottled water and energy drinks, in case there are any delivery problems during the Games.
Throughout the Olympics Commercial Services plans to screen events on TVs in Eastside and the Queen’s Tower Rooms.
To bring the Olympics even closer to home, the news that Imperial medic Melanie Wilson has been picked for the Olympic rowing team (interviewed in issue 243) caused much celebration in the College and in particular in Commercial Services, who have been involved in Melanie’s progression since she started at the College in 2009.
“We are absolutely delighted Melanie is in the squad and so proud to see Imperial represented in our home games,” confirmed Neil. “It is particularly exciting for us to have a rower selected for Team GB because of our history and tradition of rowing. We can’t wait to support her during the competition.”
Imperial’s Olympic history includes three Imperial College Boat Club rowers, who went on to be a part of the British Men’s Olympic Rowing Team for their gold medal-winning performance at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. They were the first British Men’s 8 team to win gold since 1912 in Sweden.
— Emily Ross-Joannou, Communications and Development