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Olympic News

Thank you for having us: tourists give their verdict as they head home


Kanako Kitao, 30, silver medallist in team synchronised swimming in Athens 2004 and currently working in Cirque Du Soleil – from Kyoto, Japan

"I have come to see the synchronised swimming because I am a synchronised swimmer myself – I competed in Athens in 2004 and my friend Chisa Kobayashi is performing in this Olympics so I came to give her support in the final.

"I have been here for three days and I am going back tomorrow before moving on to Las Vegas where I am performing in the Cirque Du Soleil. It's my first time in London and I really like it – London has really put on a great Olympics."


Ingrid Berghmans, 50, winner of six world judo championships, Olympic competitor, and eight-time Belgian Sportswoman of the Year, now a fitness instructor who lives in Liège, with Sophie Berben, 24, from Leuven, who works in television.

Sophie: "It's all just been incredible – it's a great atmosphere and I just love it. I was in Athens and I loved it there but I also love London – everyone is just so sweet and nice and it's great to see so much sport going on at such a high level. I would stay for months if I could. I went to see the athletics to see our high-jumper Tia Hellebaut – she was the Olympic champion in Beijing."

Ingrid: "The level of competition is so much higher than when I performed because people now train for so many years.

"We went to the hockey to see Belgium's women team – they are quite a young team – and they won for the first time in the Games. They beat USA so they did a good job. I think the Olympics has been absolutely fantastic. I've loved being here to see it."

Tom Wake, 26, who works in marketing, with Jess McGregor, 25, a teacher; Bridget Watkins, 24, a biologist; and Aaron Brussen, 24, a carpenter – from Perth, Australia.

Tom: "We've been here for 10 days and been to see quite a few things: the athletics, the rowing, handball, beach volleyball and basketball. We actually saw the USA men's – they were bloody awesome.

"It's been fantastic here – you can't help but have a good time because everyone is getting into the Olympic spirit. All the attendants and volunteers here are pretty amazing too, the way they're so cheerful all day."

Jess: "We're here to see the hockey because our friend, Ashleigh Nelson, is playing in the Australian team, so we've come to cheer her on. And then we're all heading back tomorrow."

The Jansen family – Sandra, 48; Jerry, 48, a mechanic; Renée, 16, a high school student; and Robin, 17, a high school student – from The Hague, Netherlands

Sandra: "We went to watch the hockey where we really hammered your men – sorry about that! We have also been to see some athletics – we saw the 400m relay and the decathlon. It's good to see the weather is good now too – we brought the sun with us! The hotel is perfect, the weather is perfect and the people are very friendly."

Jerry: "I have really enjoyed it – the people are so friendly, the whole thing has been very well organised and the weather is now good. Sandra and I were here about five years ago just before Christmas but it's the girls' first time in England.

Renée: "I love it here – I definitely want to come back again."