Let the Names/Games Begin

Recognize this iconic map?

Take a closer look. Transport for London (TfL) has changed the names of its 361 tube stations into the names of Olympic athletes from all different countries and sports to celebrate the Summer Olympics in London beginning next week.

The map groups athletes along different tube lines according to their sport. Distinctions are given for:

  •  Athletes with five or more medals (e.g. swimmers Michael Phelps and Mark Spitz, track athlete Carl Lewis, gymnast Nadia Comaneci)
  •  Renowned athletes who haven’t won a gold medal (e.g. track athletes Zola Budd and Frankie Fredericks)

    Namibia sprinter Frankie Fredericks

  •  Renowned athletes famous for not winning a medal (boxer Roy Jones Jr, long-distance runner Paula Radcliffe)
  •  Athletes who have starred or featured in films (runners Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams in Chariots of Fire, boxer Cassius Clay, aka Muhammad Ali in Ali)
  • Athletes without a symbol means they have won at least one gold medal (the majority of names on the map)

Simon Whitfield. Photo by John Ulan.

Canada’s flag-bearer and favourite triathlete Simon Whitfield has a presence on the map. Situated at the top of the teal-coloured Waterloo & City line (formerly “Bank” stop), you’ll find “Simon Whitfield.” This Victoria resident won gold in Sydney 2000 (the first time his sport was featured in the Games) and silver in Beijing 2008. Side note: his come-from behind race in Beijing to capture the silver still gives me goosebumps. I secretly hoped I would run into him (get it?) when I lived in Victoria, but alas, our paths never crossed.

Michael Phelps and Muhammad Ali share the highest honour as marking the two entrances to the Games at Stratford and Stratford International.

So if you’re in London for the Olympics (lucky you), you’ll no doubt find yourself hopping on a name to get to the Games.

And because I love the Olympics and have to show my Canadian pride just a bit,


2 thoughts on “Let the Names/Games Begin

  1. Hehe on your comment on hoping to bump to bump into Simon Whitfield. With less than a week before the opening ceremony, him and Paula Findlay were in Toronto promoting the first year of the Toronto Triathlon Festival, the only race which offers Olympic distance in Toronto. Even though they started in a wave 15 mins before my start, I never ended up seeing them and only saw the photos afterwards. Regardless, it was fun knowing I was at the same ra e as them 🙂

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