News & Politics

The Olympics Opening Ceremonies Viewing Party at the British Embassy (Photos)

British ambassador Peter Westmacott gave us his thoughts on his favorite events and Mitt Romney’s choice comments.

The British Embassy. Photograph by Jeff Martin.

As you may have heard, the 2012 Olympics got underway last week in London, and British
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.”

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

youngest American in London—who competes Thursday, and rhythmic
Julie Zetlin,

who begins August 9.