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A maior parte dos 18 mil militares mobilizados para a segurança dos Jogos Olímpicos estão de olho neste bairro, junto à estação ferroviária de Strattford. É lá que estão os homens e mulheres que vão ganhar medalhas nos próximos dias. VEJA AS FOTOS

2012 World Press Photo of the year by Samuel Aranda, Spain, for The New York Times
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2012 World Press Photo of the year by Samuel Aranda, Spain, for The New York Times

2nd prize Arts and Entertainment Singles category by Vincent Boisot, France, Riva Press for Le Figaro Magazine
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2nd prize Arts and Entertainment Singles category by Vincent Boisot, France, Riva Press for Le Figaro Magazine

1st prize Arts and Entertainment Stories category by Rob Hornstra, The Netherlands shows the Sochi Project
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1st prize Arts and Entertainment Stories category by Rob Hornstra, The Netherlands shows the Sochi Project

1st prize Contemporary Issues Singles category by Brent Stirton, South Africa, Reportage by Getty Images for Kiev Independent
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1st prize Contemporary Issues Singles category by Brent Stirton, South Africa, Reportage by Getty Images for Kiev Independent

1st prize Daily Life Singles category by Damir Sagolj, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Reuters
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1st prize Daily Life Singles category by Damir Sagolj, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Reuters

1st prize Daily Life Stories by Alejandro Kirchuk, Argentina "Never Let You Go"
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1st prize Daily Life Stories by Alejandro Kirchuk, Argentina "Never Let You Go"

1st prize Nature Singles category by Jenny E. Ross, USA. Novaya Zemlya
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1st prize Nature Singles category by Jenny E. Ross, USA. Novaya Zemlya

1st prize Nature Stories category by Brent Stirton, South Africa, Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic
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1st prize Nature Stories category by Brent Stirton, South Africa, Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic

1st prize General News Singles category by Alex Majoli, Italy, Magnum Photos for Newsweek
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1st prize General News Singles category by Alex Majoli, Italy, Magnum Photos for Newsweek

1st prize General News Singles category by Alex Majoli, Italy, Magnum Photos for Newsweek
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1st prize General News Singles category by Alex Majoli, Italy, Magnum Photos for Newsweek

1st prize General News Singles category by Alex Majoli, Italy, Magnum Photos for Newsweek
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1st prize General News Singles category by Alex Majoli, Italy, Magnum Photos for Newsweek

1st prize General News Singles category by Alex Majoli, Italy, Magnum Photos for Newsweek
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1st prize General News Singles category by Alex Majoli, Italy, Magnum Photos for Newsweek

1st prize General News Singles category by Alex Majoli, Italy, Magnum Photos for Newsweek
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1st prize General News Singles category by Alex Majoli, Italy, Magnum Photos for Newsweek

1st prize General News Singles category by Alex Majoli, Italy, Magnum Photos for Newsweek
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1st prize General News Singles category by Alex Majoli, Italy, Magnum Photos for Newsweek

1st prize General News Singles category by Alex Majoli, Italy, Magnum Photos for Newsweek
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1st prize General News Singles category by Alex Majoli, Italy, Magnum Photos for Newsweek

1st prize General News Singles category by Alex Majoli, Italy, Magnum Photos for Newsweek
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1st prize General News Singles category by Alex Majoli, Italy, Magnum Photos for Newsweek

1st prize General News Singles category by Alex Majoli, Italy, Magnum Photos for Newsweek
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1st prize General News Singles category by Alex Majoli, Italy, Magnum Photos for Newsweek

1st prize General News Singles category by Alex Majoli, Italy, Magnum Photos for Newsweek
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1st prize General News Singles category by Alex Majoli, Italy, Magnum Photos for Newsweek

1st prize General News Singles category by Alex Majoli, Italy, Magnum Photos for Newsweek
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1st prize General News Singles category by Alex Majoli, Italy, Magnum Photos for Newsweek

1st prize General News Singles category by Alex Majoli, Italy, Magnum Photos for Newsweek
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1st prize General News Singles category by Alex Majoli, Italy, Magnum Photos for Newsweek

Por fora parece, às vezes, um campo de concentração, mas por dentro a Aldeia Olímpica é um bairro com uma harmonia e bom gosto capaz de causar inveja a muitos mortais. Os prédios foram desenhados por diferentes arquitetos, mas respeitam todos as linhas orientadoras do local, acabando por criar blocos uniformes e agradáveis.

Como os prédios têm sempre à volta de 10 pisos, são raras as delegações que conseguem ocupar um edifício por inteiro. Assim, é já dentro de cada bloco que se vai estabelecendo o convívio entre atletas de várias nações, raças, credos e convicções.

Portugal, por exemplo, que trouxe uma delegação de 77 atletas - embora a vela e a canoagem fiquem alojados próximos dos seus locais de competição - apenas ocupa três pisos de um edifício. Nos restantes, estão delegações do Ruanda, Sri Lanka, Guiné-Bissau, Bangladesh e Albânia.

Num prédio em frente, separado por um jardim, aloja-se a delegação da Nova Zelândia, que tem dado um espetáculo suplementar, todos os dias, aos portugueses: sempre que chega um novo elemento à missão, os outros reúnem-se no relvado e fazem a receção com o tradicional Haka, a dança com que os All Blacks costumam iniciar os jogos de râguebi.