As you may have heard, the 2012 Olympics got underway last week in London, and British ambassador Peter Westmacott kicked off the festivities in Washington with a party at his Embassy Row estate. The home was packed with guests antsy to see the extravagant opening ceremonies, including DC mayor Vincent Gray and several former Olympians, including some profiled in our July issue.
In remarks, Westmacott described his country as “hugely proud” to be hosting the Olympics and Paralympics over the coming weeks, saying he believed they would impart “lasting value for the future.”
When we caught up with him, we found out he’s particularly looking forward to high-speed track cycling, tennis, and men’s diving. “I have a soft spot for the Murray brothers,” he told us, “and I do hope that 18-year-old diver we have [Tom Daley, who finished fourth yesterday in his first of two events] can win something.”
Regarding Mitt Romney’s comment that the British didn’t seem sufficiently prepared, Westmacott was less animated. “He’s made very plain since that he’s very excited to be there and that he thinks we’re ready, and that’s all I’ll say.”
Several local athletes are competing in the games, including swimmer Katie Ledecky—the youngest American in London—who competes Thursday, and rhythmic gymnast Julie Zetlin, who begins August 9.