/ Travel & Leisure

On your marks… get set… Golympics!

Although some events have already begun, tonight’s opening ceremony marks the true start of the Olympics. So will you be embracing the Games, or hiding behind the sofa? I asked staff at Which? HQ…

I live just down the road from Stratford, so I can only anticipate travel chaos over the next few weeks. Couple this with the fact that I was always the chubby, clumsy child who was rubbish at sports, and you’d be forgiven for thinking I might be a bit grumpy about the Olympics.

However, as the opening ceremony draws closer, I have to say I’m getting a bit excited. A colleague told me earlier this week, with wide-eyed excitement, that he’d seen the rehearsals: ‘I can’t tell you what’s in it, but it’s going to be amazing.’

A spectacular spectacle?

So, rather uncharacteristically, I’ll be watching the whole thing on TV tonight, and possibly even rushing outside to watch the fireworks. But is everyone getting into the spirit? I did the rounds to see whether my colleagues will be celebrating.

Chris Gray, from our travel team, is a late convert too:

‘Initial ba-humbugism turned into late enthusiam, so I’ll be watching the opening ceremony on telly, allowing an over-excited five-year-old to stay up late brandishing her souvenir Olympic torch, while I’ll be tucking into booze and nibbles.’

Tim Gee has ‘concocted’ a rather novel way to celebrate:

‘I’ve brewed my first ever beer especially for the Olympics (well I’ve brewed my own beer and it just so happens to be ready this week). In a ‘pre-Olympic test event’ it tasted surprisingly good so I’m looking forward to sitting in front of the TV and drinking a truly British beer. I still haven’t settled on a name yet, so if you’ve got any suggestions let me know in the comments!’

David Paine will be at a more musical celebration:

‘I am going to be partying like it’s, er, 2012 at the Olympic opening ceremony celebration concert in Hyde Park tonight. Big bands, big screens and a big party atmosphere; it is going to be awesome! I am so excited for the Olympics and all it brings that I can barely contain myself. Let the Games (officially) begin!’

Guy Hobbs had a party spring up around him:

‘My friend has hired a yurt for 30 people on the roof of a club in Hackney where we will be able to see the fireworks. He hired it ages ago (because it’s his birthday) before the club realised the potential of opening ceremony night – now they’ve put on the party around us.’

Surprisingly, it’s an almost overwhelmingly positive response. I know, I know – Which? HQ is in London, so although we’ve been subject to the irritating tube announcements, we also get many of the great Olympic benefits. Is it any wonder there’s a feeling of excitement in the office?

But I can’t help but think it’ll be a different story elsewhere in the country – if you aren’t into sports, don’t have tickets, and haven’t been subjected to weeks listening to the dulcet tones of Boris Johnson reminding you to check TfL before you travel, I wouldn’t blame you for not getting into it.

Are you embracing the Games? How will you be watching the opening ceremony – at home, at the pub, with a special celebration, or perhaps not at all?

Mary G says:
27 July 2012

I will watch some of the Olympics on TV, but I am so disappointed not to have been able to get tickets that I don’t feel swept up by it all. In fact, all those people in London has put me off taking friends to do some sightseeing! I applied, unsuccessfully, for the original ballot and each time tickets have been on sale recently, but the only ones left are extortionately priced. Yet some people got loads of tickets at the start. Just highlights then for me.

argus says:
27 July 2012

Did you see Boris’s speech at Hyde Park last night? Absolutely fantastic.

Oh and for Tim Gee, why not call it “Tim Gee Bee – Olympian” – no copyrights were harmed in the making of this post

I’m sure there’s a Bee Gee/Team GB pun in there somewhere, but I can’t quite find one I’m satisfied with.

Alba D says:
28 July 2012

I eagerly waited for the opening ceremony and was oh so quickly disappointed by a show which made no sense. I truly wonder what the watching world actually thought about that spectacle. It wad, in a word, crap. A £27M ego trip with Mr Bean of all people!!! I’m sorry but if this is the best if British then we should hang our heads in shame. Only saving grace was the lighting of the Olympic flame, after three freakin hours we’re given a masterpiece, only to be spoiled by Sir Paul. Marks out of 10? Doesn’t qualify. Let the sport do the talking now.

Jay says:
28 July 2012

Man. Neva thot I say but tot agree with u. Luv sport, luv all things sport. That was tot waste of mega cash.

Have to say I actually disagree. The opening ceremony was brilliant, full of spectacle and probably the most British things I’ve seen. From the chatter I’ve seen only, it was an international success – with Mr Bean picked out as a highlight worldwide. Why? Because he’s one of the most recognisable figures around the world due to his comedy not involving words. Worldwide media also appear to have praised. I really thought it was great!

George Rowley says:
30 July 2012

Its as if we have learned nothing from the MPs Expenses Scandal to the Banking Scandal. Where is the rational in all this? Lord Coe and his rich friends on the Locog are busy fixing things and not being challenged by the govenment as to the cost of the whole Olympic Sham. Where do they think they are living when G4s still wants its Management Fee even when it failed to deliver on time and on budget. Reason, well Lord Coe and the Olympic Bid Partners know they did not tell the whole truth when the bid was first made in relation to the true cost of the project. For myself, I say not in my name no matter what the cost.