News

The lessons London teaches us
The opening ceremony from the London games.

There are some lessons already learned from the Olympic Games after the spectacular opening ceremony which London’s eccentric mayor Boris Johnson claimed “knocked the spots off Beijing”.

It seems Boris will never lose his stripes. Modesty has never been his strong suit.

I’ll start with a few Games observations out of competition.

First, for the sake of your health don’t choose a restaurant close to a train station. As a rule of thumb, the quality gets better the further away from the station.

People appear to have been scared away from staying in the city during the Games. Every inch of accommodation space supposedly was taken up.

That’s a myth. Around our hotel near St Pancras and King’s Cross stations there are rooms available at smart budget hotels.

Poms love a drink, and they love a big one. Everybody drinks pints. If the Brits do win the anticipated 20 gold medals, the locals will have had their fill by the end of the Games if they toast them all.

Touch wood, the Games transport system is as good as I’ve experienced in six Olympics, from buses that run to Eton Dorney for the rowing to the Javelin train which travels in six minutes from St Pancras to Olympic Park.

The venues at Olympic Park, from the stadium to the pool are as sophisticated, comfortable and classy as any in recent times.

On the field, it continually amazes me why tennis is played at the Games. The game has four huge moments in the sun through the year, and while the players will say they would cherish an Olympic gold medal, you can bet they’d want any of the four majors a lot more. And, heaven forbid, we've got golf included in Rio de Janeiro.

The AOC must wish that John Steffensen runs away. He’s a talented athlete but it’s a bad look to have an athlete continually potting his national Olympics outfit.

Finally, John Coates was the unflappable Australian chef de mission for six Games and Nick Green has seamlessly slotted into the role.

Popular videos

Compare & Save

Our Picks

Latest

Compare & Save

Partners