Will London Olympics Leave A Golden Legacy?
When you look at pictures of the Olympic Park on television, what do you see? A big waste of money perhaps, or maybe a brilliant and worthwhile investment?
Your answer might have even changed over the last few weeks. But what about in 20, 30, 40 years' time - what then?
Put another way, what will the legacy of the Games be for you - for all of us?
If you didn't compete at the Games, could not get a ticket to the Games, then can there be a better way of enjoying the Games than by working at them?
Philomena Asumang, from Hackney in east London, has been doing exactly that - serving coffees, sandwiches and fish and chips to the many hundreds of thousands of Olympic spectators.
I met up with her after her shift outside the Olympic Park. Together we got the train to Dalston, Philomena's home.
Three stops along the line, barely 10 minutes away and still in the same borough, and if not quite in sight of the Olympic Park then the airship buzzing above the stadium, visible from her local market, is at least a reminder of how close the Games are.
But here there's not a sponsor to be seen, and no obvious sign of financial injection.
But it is not about physical signs of the Olympics she tells me, it's about what the Games have done for the local mindset. She's been inspired by the Games, so too have her friends and family.
This part of London will always be remembered for hosting the Olympics she insists, and that is why she's proud.
Designing the Velodrome was a dream commission for architect Mike Taylor, even if it did give him the odd sleepless night.
His brief was to deliver an arena to last well beyond the Games - a new piece of world class infrastructure for east London.
"We wanted to make the fastest velodrome in the world, for the Games," he tells me when I speak to him beside balsa wood models in his offices.
"Afterwards we thought of it rather like the Games being a housewarming party, and so not to concentrate all our efforts on those two weeks, and the two weeks of the Paralympics, but to really think about the next 50 to 100 years and what we can give back to London."
And so they worked backwards - legacy first, Games second.
If the last few weeks was all about the athletes, then the next 50 years or so is all about the people, the fans, the wannabes, the inspired.
After the Olympics and Paralympics is over the Velodrome will be transformed, again.
A cafe and bike shop will be opened inside the arena. Paths and grass outside will be ripped up and replaced by a permanent BMX track and a road track, making this a major hub for all forms of cycling.
It will be open to the public - youngsters wanting to emulate their new heroes, will be able to practice their cycling in the Olympic Park.
The athletes' village could be the Games stand out legacy. The rooms that have housed some of the greatest athletes in the world for the past few weeks will now be converted into flats and sold off - some privately, some as shared-ownership, some under controlled rental conditions.
The Olympic Games is the greatest of sporting challenges but creating a legacy out of it is something altogether quite different, but in time it is on this that the Games will be judged.
what do you think?
Negative thinkers see the difficulty in every opportunity. Positive thinkers see the opportunity in every difficulty. The Olympicis have been brilliant !
I must admit to being one of the nay-sayers before the games started, my opinion has changed somewhat. I still don't think that the country will recoup all the money spent on them and I'm still not too sure about what will happen to all the venues but the games themselves have been well worth watching (not just the British golds). On that note......WELL DONE TEAM G.B !
No just another big bill to pay and just like the melenium dome we will never get to know the full cost and just like the dome it will be sold off for pence at a massive loss .once again the tax payer paying