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Olympic polyclinic: Building site or work in progress?


20 June 2012

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When I received the invitation to go on a tour around the Olympic polyclinic, I was excited. Extremely so.

To be honest this overexcitement was probably down to me being one of the unlucky majority who has failed to get tickets to the biggest sporting event in the world.

But I’m not bitter.

A coach that looked identical to the one that took me and my classmates to Devon on a school trip in 1998 picked us media folk up outside Stratford tube station to take us to the Olympic Park.

When I received the invitation to go on a tour around the Olympic polyclinic, I was excited. Extremely so.

To be honest this overexcitement was probably down to me being one of the unlucky majority who has failed to get tickets to the biggest sporting event in the world.

But I’m not bitter.

A coach that looked identical to the one that took me and my classmates to Devon on a school trip in 1998 picked us media folk up outside Stratford tube station to take us to the Olympic Park.

All of us were brimming with excitement – an occurrence that that only happens twice a year to us hacks.

And what were we greeted with? A building site.

Perhaps I’m being unfair but with just over a MONTH away until the Olympic Games begin and LESS than a month until the athletes arrive, I’m worried.

The polyclinic’s building looks very crisp and modern, with neutral colours and glass panelling displayed throughout. but its shell is the only real thing that is finished.

Medical volunteers led us to what looked like portacabins in the front of the main building to show us the state-of-the-art MRI and CT scanning equipment.

However, it is all very well having great equipment but when one has to hang on to a rail for dear life while trying to climb the tricky steps to actually get in, I suspect you may encounter problems.

"The stairs will be replaced by ramps," says Colin Hughes, Sales Manager at Olympic sponsor GE Healthcare.

"Hmmm," said I, as I concentrated this time on descending the troublesome stairs.

Throughout the afternoon we were led from room to room, where some areas such as ophthalmology proved impressive with staff simply bursting at the seams to show off their latest gadgets and technology.

But others were disappointing. The pharmacy was empty and nowhere near finished, we were asked to imagine where the emergency consulting rooms would go, and the physiotherapy area was exactly that – a vast, open area with one lone piece of equipment (with its protective packaging hanging listlessly) sitting self-consciously in the middle of the space.

Aren’t you worried it all won’t be finished in time?

"No," came the reply. "Not at all."

Oh. Guess it's just me then.

 

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