First sign of Olympic Fever: British Airways give-away Business Life magazine devotes the cover story to what Olympians can teach us about winning at work. Best advice comes from Ben Hunt-Davis, gold medallist in men’s coxed eight at Sydney. Their success happened because every action was predicated on “Will it make the boat go faster?”
At Heathrow, things are low key. On sign telling Olympic families to go to exit 5, a few ads – you can flow faster with VISA – and Olympic Rings at the entrance. Otherwise things are normal, no machine guns or security in sight. Customs is a breeze. Our inspector questioned how we got 8 tickets although that was out of astonishment. he tells us that people are still upset by Romney’s remarks and in his opinion Mitt is the type who should never be allowed to leave the country.
Traffic flows smoothly and there is a special lane reserved for Official Olympic vehicles.
Our hotel is in the Ibis Styles in Bankside, close to London Bridge. Our travel company has completely booked it and the Novatel next door. There is a “Casa Cartan” next door with snacks, beverages, TVs and computers for us.
After a thorough briefing on the London tubes from Cartan hosts, we set off for the Jubilee line with a transfer to the Circle line, to pick up our tickets from Co-Sport. We make it with minimal wandering around down incorrect corridors. Once we are out in the open, we realize that even though it is English, it might not be quite our English. The nice subway guy, tells us to walk under the flower box then turn left. As I’m looking for an exceptional floral display, I see a Fly Over, what I would call an overpass. We walk under it and are on the right track.
In the line of jet-lagged people clutching their passports and print-outs of their ticket purchase confirmations, I learn that because of the empty seat problem, sponsors are turning in unused tickets and these are offered for sale daily. The three guys from LA have gotten soccer tickets and could have gotten “A” tickets for the women’s gymnastics all-around finals but they couldn’t afford to pay $890 a ticket.
We feel like tube pros on our return trip. So far the underground has worked beautifully – there are trains every 2 or 3 minutes and we have only been stopped once for a few seconds because of traffic on the line.