Olympic athletes have cleared out of London, but in their place are thousands of bargain hunters looking for deals on all of the Olympics equipment for sale on the streets throughout the city.
"Hosting the Olympics usually loses money for the host city and country," said London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe. "So we hit on the idea of having a yard sale to get rid of all this random sports equipment we have no use for anymore. I'm hoping we can raise maybe as much as $2,000. It would make a nice dent in our bills."
Throughout downtown London and outside each Olympic venue, tables and blankets are now filled with sports equipment. While mainstream items like basketballs and tennis balls are available, shoppers are also picking through rhythmic gymnastics balls, ribbons and hoops, water polo goals, handball balls, synchronized swimming makeup and whatever those weird, bendy swords are that they use in the one fencing event.
"If you want equipment for sports that almost no one plays at a great price, you have to get to London," said Coe. "Look at this … umm … thing over here here for two pounds. It's maybe a water polo helmet or something. I don't know. It might make a nice planter. What do you say? One pound. Take the whole box."
Representatives of several nations that had disappointing showings in the Games were spotted shopping at numerous locations. A Canadian staff member was spotted buying a basketball — "We probably should have gotten one of these before" — while an Australian sports executive purchased a gym bag full of Table Tennis paddles. "These canoeing oars will make us great at canoeing for Rio 2016," he said.
Other shoppers are waiting for prices to fall.
"I know how yard sales work — things get cheaper the longer they don't sell," said a Greek representative. "At end of the day, what's left gets put into the trash. That's when I plan to strike, because I only have 30 pence to spend."