Monday, August 13, 2012

OLYMPIC ATHLETES BID LONDON FAREWELL


A special Games terminal at Heathrow airport was made to resemble a London park  to give Olympic athletes a good send off after the ending of the Games.

Plants, park benches and trees were on display at the terminal in west London as the first of around 6,000 athletes arrived for flights home.

The walls of the special terminal displayed London’s skyline and the park is filled with iconic London designs such as the red telephone box and the double-decker Routemaster red bus.

Some Heathrow staff were dressed like park wardens for the day and a bearskin guard was stationed at ticket presentation.

Athletes were invited to record their favourite memory of the Games and hang it on a tree which will be displayed at Heathrow.

Athletes’ comments will be collated into books that will be presented to the 1,300 Heathrow volunteers who have helped with arrivals and departures.

Departing athletes were expected to leave with more than three bags per person, including outsize sporting equipment.

To make departures easier and to cope with the large number of bags, athletes used check-in and bag-drop facilities at the Olympic Village on Sunday. 

After three days of operation the terminal will be decommissioned and the site returned to its original use as a staff car park.

No aircraft depart from the Games terminal. Instead, athletes were being taken on an airside coach to their final departure point where they mingled with regular passengers as they waited for their flight.
Athletes were be clapped into each terminal by a guard of honour made up of Heathrow volunteers.

Gold medal winner Chris Brown, of the Bahamas, said: 'I have been tremendously well looked after here in London.'

Brown, 33, who ran the first leg as the Bahamas won the men’s 4x400 metres relay, had been competing in his fourth Olympics, having picked up silver in Beijing in 2008 and bronze at Sydney in 2000.

Proudly showing off his gold medal, he said: 'These Games in London have been great. London has staged a fantastic Olympics. Everything has worked out well today and this special terminal is a bit of fun.'





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