Well, they’re finally here.After much planning, building, ticketing, fussing, sponsoring, proud partnering and not a little last minute panicking the Olympics are upon us. At last. Almost. The army are getting ready, the athletes are here, and the presidents and their flunkies are upping the limits on their platinum credit cards. And hey, even some fans have turned up. Even little old Twickenham gets its slice of the games. So then, what we got?
A Double Dose of Torch Relay
On Tuesday 24th the Olympic Torch will head from LKupnT (aka London Borough of Kingston upon Thames) up to Kew via Ham and Richmond. If you want to see it you’ll need to go ‘over the water’ in good time. The flame is due to enter the Borough at about 9.50am and a decent crowd is expected to watch it wend it way slowly towards Kew Bridge. Needless to say there’ll be traffic disruption so plan ahead. Crossing the river at Teddington Lock could be a good bet.
And on Friday 27th, the day of the opening ceremony itself no less, the torch will begin at the Diana Fountain in Bushy Park and then head up river from Hampton Court via Kingston, Teddington, Twickenham and Richmond en route to its final destination. It’ll be carried on the Gloriana which led the River Pageant for the Queen’s Diamond Rain-bilee. The flotilla is expected to pass Twickenham but will be on the Ham side of Eel Pie Island so you’ll need to head to somewhere like Radnor Gardens or Marble Hill Park to get a view and not to Twickenham Riverside!
Twickenham also gets road cycling! If you saw the test event last summer then you’ll appreciate the speed at which these maniacs zoom along. And that’s just the endless support vans! The riders go pretty quickly too.
The men’s road race is in the morning of Saturday 28th and the women’s is on Sunday 29th. Extensive road closures will be in place for both as they head through Twickenham town centre. If we may be so bold as to say it… Come on, Cav!!!
And then there are also the men’s time trial which will use Strawberry Vale and Waldegrave Road as part of its circuit from Hampton Court. The rehearsal is on Tuesday 31st July with both the men’s and women’s events taking place on the afternoon of Wednesday 1st August. The women’s event starts at 12.30 and includes a section between Hampton Wick and Hampton Court while the men’s route, starting at 14.15, includes the extra section up to Twickenham. Again, restrictions and road closures will be in place.
And as well as a few tourists and the like, some of the athletes will be using local facilities for their pre-games training. We’re talking St Mary’s University College and the presence of teams from South Africa, Japan, Ireland and China.
And finally… be nice, check the official sites, plan ahead, look out for road closures, parking restrictions, bus diversions, lost tourists, fans with big suitcases and way, way too much merchandising, but most of all… let’s enjoy the games!
And here’s a quick reminder of last year’s London Surrey Classic, the Olympic test event to get you in the mood: