August 8 - Sharp-eyed visitors to London 2012 Games, or viewers following the action on television, may have spied some a triumvirate of – literally – mini cars athletically zipping around the Olympic Stadium.
The specially designed radio-controlled Mini MINIs have been provided by brand owner BMW to ferry all sorts of sporting equipment on behalf of track and field event competitors and officials.
What is particularly eye-catching about the sustainable battery-powered electric vehicles supplied by London 2012's Official Automotive Partner is that they are approximately one-quarter size of the actual road-going versions (pictured top).
Among the athletics gear the Mini MINIs are fetching and carrying from the field to the throwing areas are javelins, discuses, hammers and shots – so saving valuable time during competition.
Upto eight kilograms of equipment can be placed inside each London 2012-liveried car before it scuttles across the field; the cargo is later being easily lifted out through its specially adapted sunroof.
Each vehicle – operated by an official Games Maker – is putting in a daily four-hour shift across nine days of Olympic competition and is also geared up for a similar amount of action during the following Paralympic Games, which starts of August 29.
Like its larger siblings, the Mini MINI has been created by MINI Plant Oxford in collaboration with London 2012.
"The MINI team was thrilled to be given this challenge to develop a vehicle with such an important and high-profile role during the Olympic and Paralympic Games," said Dr Juergen Hedrich, managing director of MINI Plant Oxford.
On the road, BMW's 200-strong fully-electric fleet of 1 Series ActiveE and MINI E models is being used for many Games duties, including shuttling athletes and officials within the Olympic Park and surrounding sites.
It also supported elements of the Olympic Torch Relay around the country and will do the same for the Paralympic version.
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