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Saturday 28 July 2012

The best of London was on show to the entire world today as five of the Royal Parks hosted Olympic events on the first day of the London 2012 Games.

The Beach Volleyball competition began at iconic Horse Guards Parade Ground in St James’s Park, the Equestrian Eventing started at Greenwich Park - the oldest enclosed Royal Park - and the 250km Men’s Road Cycling Race passed through four parks - starting and finishing on The Mall in St James’s Park, travelling through Constitution Hill in Green Park, and looping out to Richmond Park and Bushy Park.

The Royal Parks Chief Executive, Linda Lennon CBE said the parks were in pristine condition for the eyes of the world.

“Today, it all began and The Royal Parks is so very proud to have hosted three sports on the first day of the London 2012 Games,” she said.

“I believe Greenwich Park is one of the most beautiful sporting venues ever seen and that the impressive views across the River Thames, Docklands and City of London will leave a lasting impression on visitors as they watch the finest horses and riders from around the globe compete.”

Ms Lennon said that there could not be a more iconic site for the Beach Volleyball than Horse Guards Parade Ground in St James’s Park.

“Horse Guards Parade Ground is no stranger to high profile sports. While we will host almost two weeks of Beach Volleyball competitions this year, in the time of Henry VIII one jousting tournament at Horse Guards Parade Ground lasted a full year,” she said.

Ms Lennon also said that The Royal Parks was honoured to have four parks feature on the 250km Men’s Road Cycling course today.

“We’re absolutely thrilled that the Men’s Road Cycling Race took in so many of the Royal Parks along its route. The lush and green landscape of Richmond Park provided a stunning backdrop for a key section of the course and brought to mind Danny Boyle’s wonderful depiction of unspoilt rural Britain - and all in the heart of London.”

The Royal Parks is hosting, 11 Olympic and Paralympic events across six parks throughout the London 2012 Games.

Ends

For further information about The Royal Parks, please contact the London 2012 Communications Team on 0300 061 2082 or 0300 061 2148 or 2012press@royalparks.gsi.gov.uk.

Notes for Editors

About The Royal Parks and the 2012 Olympics

The Royal Parks, which manages eight Royal Parks including Hyde Park, will play a central role in helping to deliver a successful London 2012 Games. In addition to hosting BT London Live Hyde Park, the largest Live Site in London, 11 Olympic and Paralympic events will take place across six Royal Parks. These events include the Triathlon and Marathon Swimming competitions in Hyde Park, the Equestrian and Modern Pentathlon events in Greenwich Park and within St James’ Park, the Beach Volleyball competition on Horse Guards Parade and the Road Race events on The Mall.

Almost 40 million Londoners and tourists visit the eight Royal Parks each year. The 5,000 acres of historic parkland provide unparalleled opportunities for enjoyment, exploration and healthy living in the heart of London. The Royal Parks are: Bushy Park, The Green Park, Greenwich Park, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, The Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill, Richmond Park and St James's Park. For further information please visit: www.royalparks.org.uk or sign up at www.facebook.com/TheRoyalParksLondon.

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