You would think London might be a little dull after the lights have shut off, people have gone home, and the 2012 Olympic games have finished. Well, think again! Summer 2013 was full of excitement for COBA in England. During June, 31 students traveled to Oxford, England to study abroad with COBA. Eleven of these students had the opportunity to tour the London Olympic Park and work hand in hand with some of the top overseers of the London Olympic games, including the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the London Legacy Development Corporation, the head of Olympic protest groups, the London School of Economics, architects and urban planning consultants, and a world champion athlete.
Accompanied by Dr. Monty Lynn, students worked on a project to present to Matt Wood, COBA alum and Chairman and CEO of Dallas 2024. The goal of the project was to learn from the organizers of the 2012 London games and apply those principles to the Dallas 2024 Olympic bid as Dallas is one of the final 10 cities vying for the 2024 Olympic games. Dr. Lynn explained how no one realizes how much work, time, resources, and money goes into preparing for the Olympic games. Dr. Lynn stated, “Each Game is unique. Unlike many other Olympic games, London put thought into what would become of the facilities after the games.” Cities like Athens and even Beijing now have billions of dollars worth of abandoned buildings around the city. London wanted a different vision, a vision that would impact east London and truly make the summer 2012 games one to remember.
London is currently in the process of transforming the Olympic park into Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, a place that will connect local communities, create new business opportunities and developments, and provide new and modern living options in the park. The London planners were proactive in preparing for the future and planning for future economic growth in a socially deprived area of the city. After speaking with the different London games authorities, the COBA project team shared these principles with Dallas 2024.
The team included Hannah Bruce, Mary Beth Carter, Katy Doughty, Zach Guerra, Whitney Herrington, Emily Hill, Teddie Johnson, Cassie Powers, Evan Webb, Megan Wixon, and Matt Sanderson. Along with Dr. Monty Lynn, the team presented their project to Matt Wood and the Dallas 2024 board on Friday, August 6 in Dallas. COBA students are contributing to one of the most uniting and compelling events in the entire world, passing on the torch of excellence. We’re excited about what the future holds!