Tuesday 24th July, London – With only three days until the official opening of the London 2012 Games, the Eurostar platforms at St Pancras International today burst into life as the arriving French and Belgian Olympic teams were treated to a very British welcome. Marking the start of their epic London 2012 journeys, the teams were greeted enthusiastically by fellow passengers and members of the ‘Great British Brass Band’ who provided a traditional fanfare welcome.
Celebrating its role as official partner to both the French and Belgian National Olympic Committees, Eurostar is proud to be bringing the teams’ Olympic hopefuls to London and over the course of the Games will carry thousands of athletes from France and Belgium. Amongst today’s arrivals were prominent Belgian cyclists Phillippe Gilbert and Tom Boonen, who recently became the Belgian road race champion and now has the London 2012 medal podium firmly in his sights.
The arriving athletes were met on platform by four British Guardsmen in their distinctive uniforms who were on hand to help mark the occasion. And offering attendees one of their first tastes of British life, refreshments were served on the platform from Eurostar’s very own British tea shop.
Olympian and former Commonwealth champion athlete Iwan Thomas, hosted the event on the platform as an ambassador of British sportsmanship.
Commenting on the arrival of the athletes, Iwan said: “Having competed at Olympic level during my own career I understand the pressure these guys will be feeling as they arrive in London. Psychological preparation is just as important as all the physical training and it’s great to see Eurostar making the teams feel so welcome. That’s the spirit that makes the Games so special and with London centre stage this summer, it’s a great opportunity to show the world Britain at its best.”
Eurostar is proud to be the official International Rail Services Provider to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and is carrying the French and Belgian teams to and from London to compete in the Games. The Dutch national team will also travel home by Eurostar after the Games.
As partners of both the French and Belgian National Paralympic Committees, Eurostar is also carrying the French and Belgian Paralympic teams to and from London on specially adapted trains.