Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Today was a great last day in London. We started the day seeing Big Ben and the House of Parliament. We then set out to ride the London Eye, but along the way we ran into an American Gold Medal Gymnast from the Beijing Games, Nastia Liukin.
After the London Eye, we took a nice leisurely walk along the Thames, snapping photos of iconic venues. Our next location we visited was St. Paul's Cathedral and climbed all 528 steps to the very top for more outstanding views.
The Tower Bridge was the next place to visit on our list. The Tower Bridge holds the iconic Olympic rings for this year’s Games.
Before our evening activity, we made a quick side stop to visit the Team USA House in Central London before heading to the Hospitality Event. Some countries, not all, create "houses" for their athletes and fans. On this trip we visited the Jamaica House, Swiss House, France House, and the USA House. A majority of the Houses have food for sale from the country, a team store, places to watch events, etc. Here are a few photos from the Team USA House:
Our major event for the day took place in the early evening. We held tickets for a Kensington Palace tour and our Olympic Hospitality Package at the Queen's Orangery on the grounds of Kensington Palace. We enjoyed meeting new people from Australia and Sweden while we enjoyed wonderful delicatessens from a world-renowned Brazilian chef. After dinner we enjoyed delicious desserts and great company while we watched the Games coverage. After dessert we landed up sitting next to an Australian International Olympic Committee Member and the VP of the World Taekwondo Federation. It was an interesting evening learning about the Olympics from a more personal perspective and what all the IOC does to prepare for the Games. We even found out the new sports that they plan on adding and which ones are at liberty of being cut from future Olympics.
On this trip we've met Olympic athletes, celebrity news anchors, the US Soccer Federation President, and World Olympic Committee Members, it was definitely more than we ever expected!
Tomorrow afternoon we make our way back to the USA. We are sad to leave but are looking forward to being back home. Thanks for keeping up with us on this trip.
Goodnight one last time from the United Kingdom, GO TEAM USA!!