What did we miss? The London 2012 refuseniks return home

Not everyone was gripped by Games fever. In fact, some even left Britain to avoid it…

They are the Olympics refuseniks: the people who gave the Games a wide berth and – in some cases – got out of the UK altogether. Some sought an escape route, while others had little choice in the matter. Either way, now the country is back to getting normal they are re-emerging, blinking as the rest of Britain basks in the glow of its best Olympics performance in 104 years.

"I am still very much an Olympic naysayer. I have not been swayed by any of it and have had very real arguments with friends over the whole ordeal so far," said Kate Turgoose, who avoided the Olympic venues like the plague.

"I am very impressed by the commitment of those involved in their chosen sports, those who volunteered to work at the event, but it's just too tainted by politics for me and I just feel that it was a lovely big PR session for Cameron to come along and take glory that was undeserved in order to improve his popularity," she added.

Dan Benson, 41, was out of the country for a family party back home in Minnesota. But he dearly wished he could have stayed in London. "Ordinarily I would have been glued to the television, but being away and watching it on a time delay on NBC was like missing the big party. It felt divorced from all of it."

He added: "Now I am back in the UK, there is a heck of a lot more pride in the country. A few of my friends were volunteers and they are abuzz. I planned to volunteer myself but had to withdraw. I didn't get the true feeling of the Olympic Games."

Mod Russell, who lives and works in London, said: "I was an Olympic naysayer. In fact, I stayed away from east London intentionally because I couldn't bear to be caught up in the congestion and security checks.

"Yet as the competition progressed, I was completely infected by the Olympic bug, to the extent that I was frantically trying to get hold of last-minute tickets. In fact, I would have gone to practically anything."

 

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