Thousands of athletes began arriving in London Monday ahead of the Olympic Games. But security problems continue to be an issue.
A sailing squad from the United States touched down in London Monday morning, among the early arrivals ahead of the Olympic Games.
Dean Brenner, the team’s leader, spoke to journalists at the airport. He said, “We’re feeling great, it’s great to be in London. You know, obviously, we’ve been working for a while for this and now it’s time for the big test.”
Around 350 athletes are due to fly into Heathrow Monday. In total, the airport is set to handle almost 240,000 passengers, 50,000 more than on an average day, and a sign of what lies ahead for the coming weeks.
From the airport in southwest London, athletes were heading to the Olympic Village in Stratford, northeast London. A special games lane has been created to help the athletes beat London’s notoriously slow traffic.
The players’ arrival comes as a debacle over Olympic security dominates Britain’s news agenda. Last week it emerged that the private security firm hired to handle the games had failed to recruit and train enough guards. As a result, 3,500 army troops have been brought in to fill the gaps.
Shares in the security firm G4S fell sharply Monday and British politicians were having to answer questions about why the right provisions had not been put in place.
Meanwhile, six U.S. senators say they will introduce legislation requiring the ceremonial uniforms worn by American Olympic athletes to be made in the United States.
The move follows media reports that highlighted the made in China labels on the red, white and blue patriotic clothing that will be worn by U.S. athletes at the games later this month in London.
The U.S. Olympic Committee said late Friday that it is too late to change this year’s uniforms, but stressed that apparel for the 2014 Winter Games in Russia will be made in America.