Thursday, July 26, 2012

Interview With: A Londoner in the middle of the 2012 Olympics

Anthony's children watching the torch go by
The 2012 Olympics start this week, and fellow blogger Anthony Hodgson is right in the middle of the action in London. I interviewed him about the excitement; you can read our conversation below. Make sure to check out Anthony's blog and Twitter for more!

So the 2012 Olympics are in your neck of the woods this year. Just how close are you to all the action?
AH: I live about 20 minutes away from the main stadium. London is a very densely populated area with lots of differing races and religions. It's a great place to live if you are willing to embrace it.

What does this mean for your daily schedule? Are there road closings, traffic jams, etc?
AH: They have Olympic lanes for the athletes and dignitaries so as they can reach their destinations quicker. The tube (subway) is going to be busier than usual but it's all part of the games. There is two things Britains are very good at, queuing and moaning and believe me there is lots of both going on at the moment. However once the Games start then the moaning will stop and everyone will say how brilliant it was. It's the British way :-)

Are people in your area excited by the festivities?
AH: There wasn't much excitement until a few days ago when the torch came down our street. I must admit I wasn't that bothered but seeing the torch and feeling the excitement in the air, well now I can't wait for it to start.

How long have you lived in London?
AH: I am a true Londoner. Born and raised on the edges of East London. My Dad was born where I live and my mum comes from the seaside. When I was younger I always dreamed of living on a beach, like a Nicholas Sparks novel lol, but now I'm older I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. It has everything I need: great history, beautiful buildings and countryside just on the edges of it all. It's a beautiful city if you embrace it.

So what does London have that no where else does?
AH: Diversity, don't get me wrong there are some areas of real class divide. Huge houses full of rich people and housing estates full of some of the poorest people around. In the middle of all of that is this amazing mixture of cultures from around the world, different creeds and races. London is a place where you get out of it what you put into it. Personally I wouldn't live anywhere else.

What about YOU? What events are you most looking forward to?
AH: I'm looking forward to ALL of it. I can't wait. I'm taking my four kids to the road race to see Bradley Wiggins (Tour De France winner get in), hopefully see Paula Radcliffe win the Marathon, and some rowing as well. We have a great tradition and are very strong in rowing and bikes so seeing a gold medal winner live in the flesh would be an amazing experience. A British winner would be even better of course. The rest I will watch on TV, or on the big screens they are erecting in Hyde Park with about 80,000 other people.

Do you have any plans to celebrate the Olympics being in your city?
AH: I'm having a BBQ party for some family and friends Friday night whilst watching the opening ceremony, I can't wait to see what it is, it's going to be very British I'm sure of it.

The torch passing down the road
Are there any ways for Londoners to get involved?
AH: The best way for us to get involved is to help the thousands of tourists that are passing through our city. Let's embrace it, show a little courtesy and make sure people go home with brilliant memories of this once in a lifetime event.

What is one thing the world should know about London?
AH: You will have an experience you will never forget. Soak up the history and enjoy yourself.

Anything else you’d like to add?
AH: Firstly thanks Jessi for asking me to do this it's been a pleasure. Secondly enjoy the games, I'm getting goosebumps already and it hasn't even started yet. London will put on a wonderful show, the people of London will moan about it but secretly enjoy it. It's just our way. Let's watch the memories evolve and the dreams come true.

Will you be watching the 2012 Olympics? Check out Anthony's blog and Twitter for even more about the games.


Melissa Blake said...

This is AWESOME!!! I always wondered what it would be like if the Olympics came to my city. :)

Nice interview, Jessi...

$|<@77€®|\/|1|\||)€|) said...

Fantastic, on both parts. this is an awesome post and an even better interview. Good job to both of you!

Dancing Branflake said...

Loved this! I was supposed to be there this year, sad I'm not. But it's awesome to get a firsthand perspective of all the action.


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