London took impressive, unprecedented measures to inject a healthy dose of sustainability into the 2012 Summer Games including, but not limited to, erecting a recyclable basketball stadium (the temporary steel structure will be dissembled and shipped elsewhere for further use, possibly to Rio for the 2016 Olympics), repurposing the water used to clean swimming pool filters in Zaha Hadid’s stunning Aquatics Centre for toilet flushing, launching an ambitious recycling scheme for all those millions of spent crisp packets, and resurrecting Trackpants Spice and Co. from the dead for the Closing Ceremonies.
And for those wondering what will become of the Olympic Village that housed about 17,000 athletes and officials from around the globe — those buildings will be transformed into East Village, a park-heavy East London district with 2,818 new housing units (1,379 of them will be affordable) for sale and rent. In each of the units, temporary partitions installed for the games will be removed and kitchens will be installed to make way for proper apartments and townhouses.
Sounds fantastic but what about all that brand new furniture and all those fixtures and fittings installed throughout the Olympic Village that only got about two week’s worth of use? Chances are that it’s up for grabs at Remains of the Games, a giant online fire sale dedicated to unloading all the stuff — 100 percent authentic stuff ranging from bookcases, beanbag chairs and Usain Bolt-sized beds — found in the Olympic Village apartments and, yes, used by the athletes themselves.
You’re probably wondering if you can actually buy the exact same mirror that Aliya Mustafina applied her super-fierce eye makeup in front of each morning, the same sofa that James Magnussen collapsed onto after a long day in the pool, the same locker where Tom Daley stashed his Speedo, or the same bedside LED lamp that Gabby Douglas turned off before calling it a night. The short answer? No, you can’t, but that’s part of the fun of it all (more on that below).
You’re also probably wondering if this is all legit. Yep, it sure is as Remains of the Games is an “autonomous trading division” run by Ramler Furniture, the Australia-based company that provided the Olympics with a majority of its F, F and E (fixtures, fittings and equipment). Plus, each and every item sold through the website sports a label of authenticity proclaiming that “This product was proudly made and supplied to the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games.” And due to the items' secondhand nature, Remains of the Games makes it clear that "small blemishes or tiny scratches are expected during their two weeks of use."
Ramler marketing executive Paul Levin tells the Telegraph: "Who actually used each item? Their new owners will never know. But there is definitely a fun factor in speculating who slept on the bed, or which athlete pressed the switch on their lamp as they turned off the light the night before the most important day of their life.”
Remains of the Games is easy to navigate, although you have to hunt around for some of the more unusual swag including Jeeves bowler hat lamps, bathroom rubbish bins and translucent pink dining chairs. And although the holidays are months away, it’s never too early to buy the diehard Olympics-watcher in your life a gently used wooden bathmat, wall clock or striped deck chair. And don't forget that back-to-school season is in full-swing — dorm-dwelling students can never have enough wooden clothes hangers or power strips. Or perhaps you'd like to send them off to college with their personal, hotel-style safe? And yep, the items can be shipped internationally (they'll ship in late October).
Adds Levin: "There has been a huge emphasis on accessibility and value-for-money during the games and we want to make sure that anybody will be able to buy something that, for a short time and in its own small way, played a part of the biggest sporting event on the planet."
Lots more — the website has been up for a while now and many items are selling quick — over at Remains of the Games. Anything special that catches your eye?
And if you didn’t happen to catch this clip the first time around, please do watch it. It’s seriously the most mesmerizing, impossible-seeming feat that I caught during the Olympics (aside from the Spice Girls reunion).
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