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Mayor Boris Johnson fills us in on his Olympic favourites past, present and future.
London Mayor Boris Johnson describes himself as a ‘one man melting-pot’ with French, Turks and Germans among his ancestors. His family moved to London from New York when he was five years old. He has been a journalist, novelist, TV game-show host and MP for Henley. As well as being a passionate cyclist, he likes to paint and play tennis and spends much time bringing up his four children with his wife Marina in north London.
BEST BUZZ It’s impossible to single out just one moment or event which is going to make 2012 a summer like no other for London. We have got a dazzling array of spectacular cultural events and surprises, which will be popping up across the city. First-time visitors will find food, art, architecture, music, museums, theatre, fashion and youth culture as stupendously diverse and magnificent as any in the world. Even repeat visitors, and Londoners themselves, will find something to take the breath away.
BEST BRITS I would hesitate to pick out a single Olympic star for fear of jinxing their good luck, but we have a fantastic set of athletes competing this year and I cannot wait to see Team GB climbing up the medals table. Thanks to the astounding diversity of our city’s population, almost every nation competing this year will arrive to find a ready-made home team eager to cheer them on.
BEST GAMES Seeing the Olympic Games first-hand is an unforgettable experience, as I learnt for myself in Beijing. It was such an honour to be able to represent London at such a spectacular event and is one of the personal highlights of my time as Mayor.
BEST BASH Attending the Big Lunch with my street party ambassador Barbara Windsor, who’s a fantastic addition to any celebration, will always stand out. London is the best city in the world for throwing a party, as we have seen with the marvellous Royal Wedding and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
BEST VENUE London’s Games are unique in that we already have spectacular settings for sporting action, not least the iconic Lord’s Cricket Ground, Wimbledon and Wembley. But we are equally proud of London’s new venues. From the enticing curves of the Velodrome, to the imposing sweep of the Aquatics Centre and the elegant majesty of the Olympic Stadium itself, each is set to become an international beacon of sporting excellence.
BEST BAND The Clash and the Rolling Stones. The spectacular performances of some of the best of British artists at the Queen’s Jubilee Concert also proved what a fantastic wealth of talent we have in this country.
BEST OF THE BEST We are organising the ultimate party – London 2012 – and the whole world is invited.
This article first appeared in Square Meal Venues & Events, summer 2012.