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London unveiled its plans for hosting the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics today.

While the focal point will be a brand new Olympic Park in East London, the capital’s competitive bid features some of the best-known sporting venues in Britain such as Wembley, Wimbledon and Lord’s. Historic landmarks and locations including Hyde Park and Horseguards Parade could provide spectacular backdrops for events staged in the city centre.

Bid organisers are keen to stress that their plans offer the most compact venue ever proposed to the International Olympic Committee, and while many of the 28 sports will be within 15 minutes of the athlete’s village, the proposed site for the equestrian disciplines is Greenwich Park, with stabling and an Olympic sub-village for the riders nearby.

Other venues originally mooted for the equestrian competition included various Royal parks around London, and while Greenwich Park is less central than, for instance, Hyde Park, it falls in line with the IOC’s desire to couple new state-of-the-art modern sporting venues with highly attractive existing sites.

Traditionalists will be bemused to hear that the Horseguards Parade, home to the quintessentially English ceremony of the Trooping of the Colour has been proposed as a venue for that most un-English, un-military and un-equestrian sport, beach volleyball.

  • Don’t miss Horse & Hound’s full review of how the equestrian sports will be hosted by London if it is successful in its bid for the 2012 Olympic Games, in next Thursday’s issue (22 January).