The Games of the XXX Olympiad

In England by Eller Student

As our trip begins to near it’s end, London’s summer is just beginning!  The clouds and rain have surrendered to sunshine and warmth.  The anticipation for the Olympic Games has turned into a buzz of excitement tangible throughout the city.  The eyes of the world have turned towards London, and the Brits couldn’t have been more prepared.

Over the past seven weeks we’ve been able to observe this nation’s last minute preparation push.  The roads transitioned into Olympic Lanes reserved for athletes, coaches, and officials while the side walks are filling with the ever growing number of tourists coming to this great city to cheer on their homelands.  London is expecting an average of 1 million visitors EVERY DAY during the Games, and in order to cope with this mass travel, huge measures have been taken.

The world’s first underground train system, the Tube, is expected to take the hardest hit from use by Olympic viewers over the next two weeks.  Already stretched to the limit with over 4 million riders per day, this additional 1 million is expected to make journeys quite difficult.  In an attempt to help offset this overcrowding, the Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games is working closely with Transport for London to keep users well informed.  Daily emails are sent out to remind Londoners of which lines and stations to avoid during the games.  Employers are allowing staff to work from home or in shifts to try and avoid the rush on the tube.  The result of all this preparation? Today’s commute to work, my first during the Games, was on one of the most deserted Tube trains of our seven weeks in London.  The city is responding very well to the expected and anticipated influx of tourists.

With liabilities such as transportation and security out of the way (The UK military has its largest presence in London since WWII), it is time to sit back and enjoy the games.  Surprisingly, tickets are becoming available on a daily bases, and the prices have been fairly reasonable.  Nearly all Eller students on this trip have tickets to an event, ranging from volleyball to basketball, and table tennis to athletics (or track and field as we call it in America).  We are, like the whole of the United Kingdom, embracing the Games as a once in a lifetime opportunity to live in such a vital location within the world’s view.  We welcome all travellers and athletes to this wonderful city, converging to represent and support nations from all across the globe.  Even as early as March and April, London was named as the city to visit this summer.  Now that the Olympic Games are under way, it is easy to see why.

London is filled with Olympians!