Olympic Village Opens as First Athletes Arrive
With the London Olympics just over a week away athletes have started to arrive in London and move into the Olympic Village.
Amongst the first to move in were 135 Britons a number of whom, particularly the swim team, got straight down to work at the Aquatics Centre. The Australian team also moved into their accommodation which was proudly decorated in green and gold and a large banner saying “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie”.
Each area of the village has been given a different name with Team GB’s section called ‘Seaside’. This is very much in keeping with the holiday-camp feel that was about as the athletes tweeted pictures of their new homes. The men’s and women’s football teams stayed the night before going for warm-up matches against Brazil and Sweden. All of them found soft toys on their beds, the 2012 mascots Mandeville and Wenlock, as well as a number of other goodies such as a branded toothbrush holder and a Team GB dressing gown.
However, not everyone enjoyed their first day at the Olympic Village. The two time world 400m hurdles champion Kerron Clement said that his bus took four hours to reach the Village after landing at Heathrow. The American tweeted that the “athletes are sleepy, hungry and need to pee”. Another bus, carrying members of the media from Russell Square to Olympic Park also got lost, after thirty minutes the driver apologised, pulled out a map and did a quick U-turn.
There are also hundreds of “Game Makers” deployed around London to help tourists. However, in expectation of some typically British weather over the next few weeks they have all been issued with a waterproof jacket and an umbrella.
However, despite the weather and poor navigational skills of some bus drivers, everything is shaping up and it should be an excellent two weeks of sport.