Run-up to the Olympics – Part 2

Here’s what’s been happening over here since my last Olympic update.

Thursday, July 19th’s paper:

The torch is taking the tube! This coming Thursday, the torch will ride in an open-top double decker bus down Oxford Street and on the front of a tube train in an overground section of the Underground. The exact line and location is shrouded in secrecy, so as to prevent crowds going insane and trying to find it I guess, although they have said it won’t be the Jubilee line since it’s so unpredictable.

As of this past Saturday, the torch is taking a seven day tour of all 33 London boroughs. It arrived at London Bridge by military helicopter and commando abseiling on Friday evening. It headed out east on Saturday, then on to the southwest including Wimbledon while being carried onto center court by Andy Murray on Monday. On Wednesday it will be up north then head into central London. On this coming Thursday, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace and Downing Street will all the featured. Then on Friday, it will be carried by boat on the Thames from Hampton Court Palace to the opening ceremony at 9 pm.

Also as you can see. Kate Middleton got around getting sued for displaying any unofficial Olympic memorabilia by wearing a necklace of five rings separated apart from one another. Very clever ūüôāIn other news,¬†Olympic workers get to stay on a cruise ships moored on the Thames. Comes complete with swimming pool, gym, maid service, and a theatre. Like.

And then this happened.

Friday, July 20th’s paper:

I am a Denver native and was horrified when I saw this. As you can see, it’s made the front page and two-page inside spread in the largest evening newspaper in London. My heart truly goes out to all the victims and their families from 5000 miles away.¬†Mayfair is under lockdown thanks to a bunch of very important persons arriving on Friday. The IOC’s president Jacques Rogge came into town and headed straight to the five-star Hilton Park Lane. I have been there many times to the restaurant at the top called Galvin at Windows. The views are amazing of the city, and the cocktails are to die for. However, the food is much too overpriced for the quality in my opinion. Anyway, I bet the hotel was thrilled it was chosen. Also cool to see that today the Queen is hosting the IOC at Buckingham Palace before they move on to the Royal Opera House.

Friday, July 20th’s Evening Standard Magazine:

GB Dressage champ Laura Bechtolsheimer was featured with her horse Alf (Mistral Hojris). I figured I would post about this here mostly because 1. I like the picture, and 2. because she is wearing leather leggings worth¬†¬£1,147. I’ve never, ever seen a rider wear leather leggings to ride in. New in-thing?

Monday, July 23rd’s paper:

This is my favorite article so far. There are some seriously cool parties going on in association with the Games. The first one was last night at the Royal Opera House complete with ballerinas. Britain’s richest man and steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal also hosted a lavish reception at the Serpentine Gallery in¬†Kensington Gardens for Indian athletes. Brazil is having a party at Somerset House, the Dutch at Alexandra Palace, and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are having a UK-themed, black-tie charity dinner on Wednesday at the Victoria and Albert Museum at the tiny price of¬†¬£60,000. Apparently Rihanna, David and Victoria Beckham, Prince Harry, Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Formula 1 star Lewis Hamilton are attending. It is being held in honor of Muhammad Ali and includes giant black chandeliers, walls covered in black chiffon, and guests are being served traditional British classics like fish and chips and Beef Wellington, obviously. After the party is finished, they are having an afterparty at their¬†¬£20 million rented townhouse, which I last heard was in Richmond.¬†Nicole Kidman is also expected to attend Micheal Phelps at a cocktail reception and garden party hosted by Omega at its Soho HQ for the next three weeks.

Out east, the Docklands area has been turned into a ‘billionaire’s playground’, complete with its own private beach and helipads. Super-yachts have been moored in Canary Wharf and are hosting members-only parties for the world’s VIPs. In fact, Roman Abromovich is apparently on his way to London in his 557-foot Eclipse, the world’s largest private yacht.¬†In this next article, it mentions just a few of the hundreds of people that travel around the world with the Olympics every two years who are specialists in things like crisis management, ticketing, and PR. What caught my eye is the first guy, called The Banker, who is from Boulder, Colorado (just down the road from where I grew up)! His name is Scot Smythe and he is Head of London 2012 Operations at Lloyds Banking Group. He moves to every location the Olympics is in and only sees his wife once every six weeks. They have been married 33 years but have only seen each other for six consecutively, which blows my mind. He’s currently living in the Fitzrovia area of London, but has also lived in Nagano, Sydney, Athens, and Beijing for those Games.

He says London is going to be the best yet. I can’t wait to find out ūüôā

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