There are only four days to go before the start of the Olympics so Team GB don’t have time for sightseeing but they have revealed their tips for tourists visiting London during the Games.
Olympics sponsor British Airways asked the London 2012 hopefuls what they would get up to in a day off from their intensive training.
The London Eye was the most popular tourist attraction, with a quarter of athletes recommending it as their ‘essential London’ tourist visit, closely followed by Buckingham Palace (17 per cent) and the River Thames (5 per cent).
Rower Zac Purchase said he loves to take afternoon tea: ‘It’s such a fantastic British tradition, and what better place than the nation’s capital city to give it a try? Choose a good hotel or restaurant and dress up. Make an occasion of it and you won’t need any more food for days!’
Gymnast Louis Smith said she’s most likely to be found enjoying a concert at the North Greenwich Arena, which is handy as that’s where she will be competing for a medal when it hosts the London 2012 Gymnastics during the Games.
Heptathlete Jessica Ennis meanwhile admits to being a shopaholic and likes to hit the shops on Oxford Street.
Unsurprisingly, triathlete Helen Jenkins recommends walking everywhere and picks St Paul’s Cathedral as a must-see along with Hyde Park, which will host the London 2012 triathlon course.
Rower Mark Hunter suggests a trip down the River Thames, while sailor Ben Ainslie’s continues the nautical theme by picking Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square as his favourite landmark.
Wheelchair racer Shelly Woods’ favourite place – The Mall and Buckingham Palace – also has a clear sporting link; it’s here that Shelly will be competing in the marathon later this summer.
With years of training and preparation for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, it’s no surprise that our athletes’ top advice for visitors is to ‘plan your visit’ and ‘walk everywhere’.
And their advice for avoiding tube chaos? Make like Bradley Wiggins and get on your (Boris) bike.