The Lee Valley White Water Centre, which will host Canoe Slalom during the London 2012 Games, has been completed 18 months before the Games begin.
The Centre, built near Waltham Cross in Hertfordshire, was unveiled yesterday by HRH The Princess Royal.
The centre has a 300m competition course for Olympic Canoe Slalom events and a 160m intermediate course. The shorter course will be used by athletes for training and warm-up during the Games and help to ensure the Centre offers an inclusive and comprehensive sports facility after the Games for canoeists of all ages and abilities.
Before and after 2012, the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA) will own and operate the venue as a sporting and leisure facility for canoeing and white water rafting, as well as a major competition and training venue. The Centre will open to the public for rafting and canoeing in April 2011, bringing benefits more than a year before the Games.
HRH The Princess Royal was joined by London 2012 Organising Committee Chair Seb Coe, ODA Chairman John Armitt, Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson and LVRPA Chairman Derrick Ashley. A number of Team GB canoeists also attended the event and tried out the Olympic competition course for the first time.
Armitt said the completion of the White Water Centre on budget and over 18 months before the Games was a huge milestone.
“As the first brand new 2012 venue we have finished, it is a clear sign of the early legacy the Games are already delivering,” he said. “Seeing canoeists and rafters use the courses for the first time gives us a glimpse of the excitement we can expect here in 2012 and the world-class new facilities that people of all ages and abilities will be able to use for many years to come.”