Coley and Jarvo enjoy Park visit

Carlton Cole and Matt Jarvis believe West Ham United fans will join the millions of visitors who head for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which will open fully to the public on Saturday.

The Hammers pair were given a guided tour of the south end of the Stratford park by West Ham Season Ticket Holder and London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) Executive Director of Regeneration and Community Dr Paul Brickell.

Dr Brickell showed the players inside the futuristic Aquatic Centre, where the likes of Michael Phelps and Missy Franklin won Olympic Gold in 2012. The Centre is now open to the public, including four-times Surrey county schoolboy swimming champion Jarvis.

"It's a fantastic arena and it's incredible to think what happened here not all that long ago," said the winger. "I quite enjoy swimming and used to do a lot of it when I was younger. Breaststroke was my event and I was quite good at it. I used to win the Surrey County Championships over 50 metres, but I was at a disadvantage after that because I stopped growing!"


From there, it was across the Stratford Walk bridge and into Orbit Circus - just yards from the Olympic Stadium, which will be the Club's new home from summer 2016.

After a round of media interviews, Cole and Jarvis were welcomed to the iconic ArcelorMittal Orbit by West Ham fan and visitor experience host Krishan Sagoo. The lifelong Hammers fan, whose family moved to east London from India in the 1960s, explained the dynamics of the 114.5 metre tall Orbit before the players boarded a lift to the viewing gallery at the top.

From there, the players were shown the sights of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, including the landscaped South Plaza gardens, the Copper Box Arena, Lee Valley VeloPark, the Westfield Stratford City complex and, of course, the Olympic Stadium.

Olympic Park

Paul Brickell shares the view with Matt Jarvis and Carlton Cole

Cole was certainly impressed by the outstanding view.

"It's a really exciting time for the Olympic Park," the No24 confirmed. "The fact that it is opening to the public is a great thing for London and it's a new adventure for the people who live in London as well.

"In the summer, it will be booming over here and I'm looking forward to it."

Both players are planning to bring their families to the newly-opened Olympic Park to take advantage of the huge variety of facilities on offer - facilities that will be available to West Ham fans on matchdays in the near future.

"I will definitely be back," confirmed Jarvis. "If you look around at all the different arenas, with us in the Olympic Stadium, people will be able to bring their kids and it's going to be a fantastic day out for all the family.

"They will be able to come along and have a look at all the different facilities around here, go for something to eat and spend the whole day here. It's just fantastic to be walking around and seeing what is on offer.

"As a youngster, you want to be playing and training in the same facilities where world-class athletes have been there and done it and they can use the Olympic Park and it will be a great boost for them."

Olympic Park

The players met two Hammers fans at the ArcelorMittal Orbit

"Of course I'll be bringing my kids here," Cole added. "It is a big part of history, what happened in this Park and this Stadium in 2012, so the fact they are building more stuff around it and making it a community place is a brilliant idea. It's great for the kids, as we can come here and have a nice walk in the park.

"The Park will be brilliant around our matches, with food, drink and easy access in terms of getting to and from the Stadium. The fans are going to enjoy it and they are going to be spoilt, actually, because you don't at any other clubs in England.

"There's loads going on around the Stadium and it's great for West Ham United to be involved in this. Paul told me this whole place was derelict before the Olympics and 15 years ago they made a decision to try to get the Olympics over here and they started building this. I'm just happy that we're going to be going in there and getting some great use out of it."


While the Park opening is another important landmark in the ongoing legacy of the London 2012 Olympic Games, the development of the Stadium itself is uppermost in the minds of the players.

With the Club's move to Stratford moving ever closer, Cole and Jarvis are both naturally excited about the prospect of running out at West Ham's 54,000-capacity UEFA Category 4 new home.

"It's definitely going to be something special," Jarvis confirmed. "As a player, you want to be playing in the best stadia and we're really looking forward to getting in there and making it home. It will be a fantastic facility and every player wants to play in the best stadiums, and this will definitely be one of them."

"You want to be playing in a great stadium," Cole added. "West Ham have got great fans anyway and the Club is in London, with great things around the Stadium as well like Westfield with its restaurants, shops and pubs, which I know the West Ham fans like!

"It's great for West Ham United and it couldn't be any better for them."

To find out more about the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, click here.