London has Olympic fever.
Ahead of this summer’s games, the various subway stations in downtown London have been renamed to honor some of the greatest Olympians in history, and there’s no shortage of swimmers on the list.
Though he didn’t make the 2012 Australian Olympic Team, Ian Thorpe will be present in spirit with a station of his own. In fact, most of the stations on the central line are named after aquatic athletes, with Mark Spitz, Kieran Perkins, and Alex Popov all getting their own spots. They even honored a big one of their own -1972 British Olympic gold medalist David Wilke.
But the Brits haven’t specifically hemmed-and-hawed on the historic. Japanese breaststroker Kosuke Kitajima who (if he qualifies) could have two shots at becoming the first man to three-peat in an Olympic event when he takes on the breaststroker races got a stop.
But the biggest stop of them all was given to the biggest Olympic draw in history: Michael Phelps. The Stratford station, that will serve the main Olympic venue, was named after the 14-time Olympic champion, who by 5 medals is the winningest athlete in Olympic history (and with three medals in London, will become the most decorated Olympian in history.
Other modern-day, big-name Olympic swimmers to receive the honor of a station include Rebecca Adlington, Park Tae-Hwan, Aaron Peirsol, Ryan Lochte, Leisel Jones, Natalie Coughlin, and Stephanie Rice.
With 361 stations, all of the great ones earned a nod. Cassius Clay (who would later become legendary boxer Muhammad Ali) holds the honor of the Stranford International station nearby Phelps, as the other major gateway to the games. Track stars like Babe Didrikson, Jesse Owens, and Carl Lewis run east-to-west, with the world’s fastest man ever Usain Bolt thrown in for some flavor.. Basketball players Lebron James and Michael Jordan are joined on the same schedule for the first time in history. In fact, the entire USA Dream Teams from the 1990’s are lined up in order, with names like Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, John Stockton, and Clyde Drexler.
The honorees span a huge variety of countries, and include representatives from each of the 26 sports on the current Olympic schedule.
The full map can be seen here.
You can purchase a full poster-sized map of the stations from this website, and for just under £4, this is one of the cheaper souvenirs you can grab from London.