UK Olympics sculpture to become world's tallest and longest slide

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The slide will weave around the ArcelorMittal Orbit and will get visitors to the bottom in just 40 seconds(Credit: ArcelorMittal Orbit)

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In an inspired piece of Olympics legacy development, a sculpture that was created for the 2012 Games in London is to become "the world's tallest and longest slide." Visitors will be able to descend from the top of the ArcelorMittal Orbit. The sculpture already welcomes visitors as an observation tower.

Designed as an icon for the 2012 Games by Turner Prize-winning artist Sir Anish Kapoor and structural designer Cecil Balmond, the 114.5-m (376-ft) ArcelorMittal Orbit is Britain's tallest sculpture and symbolizes the effort of Olympians. Its red looping steelwork is wrapped around a central trunk that houses its stairs, lifts and two viewing platforms.

According to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, where the ArcelorMittal Orbit is located, it is the only observation tower that looks from the east of London back into the city center. On a clear day, its two viewing platforms give visitors views of up to 20 mi (32 km) in all directions, as well as a bird’s eye view of the Olympic Park.

Following the approval of planning permission, visitors to the viewing platforms will no longer need to descend the tower via the elevators or stairs, the latter of which takes around 12 minutes. The newly-installed slide will weave around the tower and will get visitors to the bottom in just 40 seconds. During the descent, visitors are expected to hit speeds of up to 15 mph (24 km/h) and will be able to take in the surrounding views through transparent panels.

The installation of the slide is expected to be completed at some point between March and May 2016. It is expected to cost visitors a reasonable £5 (US$8) per ride on top of the £10 ($16) entrance fee to the ArcelorMittal Orbit itself.

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