A heady day of excitement here for the Australian Rowing Team. We got up reasonably early this morning, bid farewell to the European Training Centre, and boarded coaches for the Milan airport. After one last coffee and a quick rid-yourself-of-euros session (read: impulse shopping), we boarded our British Airways flight for London.
From the moment we stepped off the flight, teams of pink-and-purple shirted volunteers were ushering us around, through designated customs lines, Olympic accreditation, and into waiting coaches. A quick bus ride (only 10 minutes to the rowing village) and we were in our secure, isolated venue and ready to start getting unpacked.
From my experience, the worries that have been circulating in the press about transport and logistics seem to have been solved. At one point I was literally jogging to keep up with the volunteer as they zipped us through Heathrow. I think we spent a total of 10 minutes between landing and boarding our coaches, which is amazing considering the amount of time one normally spends waiting in airports. Volunteers knew where to take us and the drivers got us where we needed to be. Utterly painless.
As I prepare for my first night in the village, I look out of my first floor window and see a trio of policemen armed with automatic rifles patrolling the grounds. I know the UK government has suffered a black eye with the recent G4S staffing shortfall, but in terms of security impact our team administration assures us that we will be more than adequately protected. I have to say, the visibility and quantity of security here certainly make me feel safe.