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Olympians take over London Underground

29 March 2012

Hop on the London Underground at Jesse Owens station. After one stop change at Carl Lewis. And then ride the Tube all the way to Michael Phelps. That will get you from central London out to the Olympic Stadium. 

The London Underground has taken on a new look with Transport for London's Olympic Legends Map. Instead of Piccadilly Circus, Baker Street and Knightsbridge, the map has changed the names of 361 stations to celebrate Olympians.

If you're in London's west end, get on at Kieren Perkins station, or the neighbouring Murray Rose or Grant Hackett stations, and stay on the same train all the way to the stadium, also passing through Pieter van den Hoogenband and Ryan Lochte stations.

Leisel Jones, Stephanie Rice, Shane Gould and Dawn Fraser are also on the central line alongside rivals of the past and present Inge de Brujin, Rebecca Adlington and Kirsty Coventry.

Ian Thorpe is the new name for the Oxford Circus station at the heart of London's west end. Gold medallists Emma Snowsill and Anna Meares are just a stop apart on the Jubilee line, with Britain's own cycling stars Victoria Pendelton and Chris Hoy on the same line. Triple gold-medal-winning hockey player Rechelle Hawkes has a place on the London overground.

The new map brings in famous Olympians from a variety of sports, including 2008 men's tennis singles gold medallist Rafael Nadal a stop away from Roger Federer, gymnastics great Nadia Comaneci, five-time Tour de France champion Miguel Indurain and 1992 Dream Team players Michael Jordan and Larry Bird.

"There were heated debates and a few late changes of heart, but we are happy with the result: dozens of nations represented, all 2012 Olympic sports accounted for, and Ali and Phelps, two of the greatest Olympians of all time, guarding the Stratford gateways to the games," map designers Alex Trickett and David Brooks said in a joint statement.

Phelps, who won a record eight gold medals in swimming at the 2008 Beijing Games and has 14 overall, gets the honour of being the main Olympic stop, which is usually known as Stratford.

The nearby Stratford International station on the Docklands Light Railway is named Cassius Clay, the original moniker of boxing great Muhammad Ali, winner of the light heavyweight gold at the 1960 Rome Olympics.

Track stars make up a good part of the map, running from west to east and all around the centre of the city. Cathy Freeman, Herb Elliott, Ron Clarke and Betty Cuthbert are among the all-time greats represented.

Basketball and tennis players run from north to south. After passing through Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant stations, heading to Wimbledon you will pass through the Woodies stations- Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge who won gold and silver doubles medals in 1996 and 2000 respectively, before cruising through Agassi, Graf and the Williams sisters’ stations.

Baker Street is renamed Daley Thompson for the two-time decathlon gold medallist, while Leicester Square is LeBron James and Knightsbridge is Steve Redgrave.

Full map available here


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