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Next stop Michael Phelps: London tube map given Olympic makeover

  • @simonrice

Many visitors pouring into London this summer for the Olympics will arrive at Nadia Comaneci. They'll need to travel by tube to Simon Whitfield (via Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal) before changing there and heading to Michael Phelps (via Carl Lewis).

That is one of the most direct routes to the Olympic Park in Stratford if one arrives at King's Cross and changes at Bank, at least according to a new Tube map.

Click HERE to view the map as a pdf

Transport for London today unveiled their Olympic Legends Map. The names of all 361 stations on the iconic multi-coloured London tube map have been altered to the names of Olympic heroes - past and present.

Oxford Circus has become Australian swimming legend Ian Thorpe, Covent Garden is now British sailing hope Ben Ainslie and Paddington is reigning World Footballer of the Year Lionel Messi.

"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 (Stratford International station) 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.

Other notable inclusions are Jesse Owens (Aldgate), Usain Bolt (Victoria) and Steve Redgrave (Knightsbridge). Phelps, who won eight golds at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing takes the coveted Stratford stop, the closest station to the Olympic Park.

"The map not only celebrates multiple gold medal winning athletes but also features other extraordinary athletes who may not have won an Olympic gold medal but are recognized for their abilities or in some cases, famous defeats," TFL said.

With some notable exclusions, including Zola Budd and Mary Decker, the runners who got tangled in the 3,000-meter final at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, the designers of the map concede not everyone will be happy.

"These things always divide opinion," Trickett and Brooks said of their selections for the map, "so we are happy to discuss (and defend) any of our choices."