Posts tagged "British pub"

Mood turns optimistic as Games begin

By Jack Meyer  |  BSU at the Games

The dimly lit Café Kick Sports Pub in central London was a mix of jovial patrons, drinks in hand, staring at TV screens showing the Olympic Opening Ceremony last night.

Between beers, cocktails and games of foosball, foreigners shared Londoners’ excitement in welcoming the Games to the city above the low roar of the pub, which was spilling out the front doorway into the street.

Colin Davidson stood outside Café Kick watching the ceremony while sipping a Peroni and said he expected the Games to have a strong economic affect on London, especially it’s east side.

The diverse group of pub-goers cheered as their country’s athletes filed onto the stadium floor. The three hour event ended early enough for those watching the ceremony at the stadium and elsewhere to get home before the London’s Tube underground system closed for the night.

“It’s a great moment for Britain,” said Davidson, who has spent all 32 of his years in London. ”I think it’s just pushing us more together than ever. They’ve put a lot of this money into this, and it’s going to bring Britain back to where it needs to be.”

The narrow pub filled with pride when the Olympic rings hovered above the stadium, and groups of drinkers from around the world clapped and shouted as their country’s athletes spilled out onto the floor.

“It’s nice to have an event that involves the whole world coming together in one place,” said Elliot Maule, an Indian-Englishman from the Clapham Borough on London’s south side. “Even though London has the Olympics, it still involves the whole country. So I think it’s a huge source of pride for the whole of the U.K.”

The Opening Ceremony marked the beginning of the Games last night with appearances from celebrity L.A. Galaxy Soccer star David Beckham, a performance from Sir Paul McCartney, and actor Daniel Craig taking part in a video piece showing Queen Elizabeth II “parachuting” into the Olympic stadium.

The performance included an estimated 15,000 volunteers, according to BBC reports.

“The English are very unassuming and honest and pessimistic, and I think everyone had a lot of negative thoughts going into this,” said London local Susie Combem. “To me, watching this tonight, I feel really proud and I feel really patriotic.”

Jack Meyer is a senior news journalism major at Ball State University and features reporter for BSU at the Games. Follow Jack and the BSU team at @bsuatthegames and www.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.

I’m not a Brit, but I’m proud too

After discovering what some bars in London really think of journalists after they kicked me out, trekking around London for two hours, and getting locked shoeless out of my room, I decided to take London Evening Standard writer Nick Curtis’ advice that the Opening Ceremony may better be viewed from home.

Coming in late, I caught the end of the opening performance and watched enthralled as performers portrayed the early stages of technology and development of the industrial revolution. As five golden rings rose above the crowd and joined to form the universal Olympic symbol, chills ran up my spine and covered my arms with goose bumps, making the hairs stand on end. As the camera zoomed into the crowd of performers, the grin spread across one man’s face showed he felt the same chills and more. Pride for his country was painted all over his face.

But Brits aren’t the only ones who should be proud of their culture. England gave us the stories of our childhood in “Peter Pan,” “Harry Potter,” “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” and “Mary Poppins.” It gave us iconic musicians known to every generation in the Beatles and Queen. England gave us the man who invented the World Wide Web (something I didn’t know before the ceremony).

A man in a pub asked me last night if Americans were glad the Olympic Games were in London this year, if we felt a special connection because it’s an English-speaking country.  To me, it didn’t make a difference, I told him. But now I am proud the Games are in London and proud of everything England has given to the world.

Lindsey Gelwicks  |  Features Reporter

@lbgelwicks

Not an empty seat at Piccadilly bar as Games begin

By Lindsey Gelwicks  |  BSU at the Games

Nearly two hours before the beginning of the Opening Ceremony, the Sports Cafe near Piccadilly Circus is beginning to fill. Not an empty seat or table is left in the two-story American-style bar.

As bartenders on the ground floor fill pints of Stella Artois and Carling, someone mentions this many people entering the bar this early in the evening is rare. Crowds find any space available to watch the show on one of the bar’s several TVs. Waitresses in body-conscious red and blue dresses stand outside a reserved section of tables directing those without reservations upstairs.

Amongst the growing packs are four American college students visiting London for an eight-week internship program.

Billy Krol, a junior at the University of Illinois, was proud to be representing the U.S. at the start of the Olympic Games in England. He wore shorts resembling the American flag with stars on the right leg and stripes down the left.

“I actually scaled it down a lot,” he said, mentioning that his outfit for July 4th contained more spirit.

Sarah Attaway, a junior at the College of Charleston, joined in on the American pride. She bought a red dress just for the occasion.

Unable to find a place to sit in the quickly filling bar, Attaway and Krol waited while others in the group searched for another place to possibly watch the ceremony.

For Attaway, this was her first time watching an Olympic Opening Ceremony, and she was looking forward to it, she said.

Krol was most interested in discovering what the performance would be.

“They keep it a mystery,” he said, explaining how one of the intern’s coworkers was a dancer in the ceremony but has had to keep tight-lipped about it.

Lindsey Gelwicks is a senior magazine journalism major at Ball State University and features reporter for BSU at the Games. Follow Lindsey and the BSU team at @lbgelwicks@bsuatthegames and www.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.