British High Commissioner wishes Canadian Olympians well
OTTAWA - Although he will be on duty in Ottawa over the next few weeks, the British high commissioner said he will be keeping an eye on London when the 2012 Olympic Games get underway on July 27.
British High Commissioner Andrew Pocock is looking forward to the London 2012 Olympic Games. The British High Commission and consulates across Canada will be raising the Olympic flag at noon on July 27 in support of the games.
Although he will be on duty in Ottawa over the next few weeks, the British high commissioner said he will be keeping an eye on London when the 2012 Olympic Games get underway on July 27.
British High Commissioner Andrew Pocock will be watching the Games on the television at his home in Ottawa this week, cheering on the British Olympians.
“I think as a compromise, Canada can win silver in everything,” Pocock said. “But seriously, we wish for similar success as Canada had in the winter games. I think the host country doing well always adds to the success of the games.”
The British High Commission in Ottawa and consulates across Canada will raise the Olympic flag at noon on July 27 to mark the start of the Games.
“It will be a symbolic gesture, showing the games are ready to go,” Pocock said.
The commission will also host an Olympics viewing party for staff, friends and family during the opening ceremonies on July 27 at Earnscliffe, the high commissioner’s official residence in Ottawa.
Looking forward to the opening ceremonies, Pocock said he is in the dark as much as anyone else when it comes to what can be expected for the big event.
“If I knew anything, I think I would have to be shot,” Pocock said. “You know it is always a big secret, when it comes to what to expect with the opening ceremony. I will certainly be looking forward to it.”
This will be the second Olympic-themed event the commission has hosted. On June 27, Pocock and his wife, Julie welcomed more than 400 guests to their home to mark the final one-month countdown of the games.
Pocock visited London in May and found the city was bustling to get ready for the arrival of Olympians and fans alike.
“The infrastructure is extraordinary, the Olympic Park itself, it is the largest construction project in Europe,” Pocock said.
Weather, Pocock added, could play a significant role during the Games, as the first two weeks in July received more rain than typically falls in the entire month, making it the wettest July in London on record.
“London’s summer is very wet this year,” Pocock said. “Many of the events are weather free, but there are a lot that rely on drier conditions. I will be hoping for the sun.”
The high commissioner said he will be paying particular attention to the swimming events which he finds are the most entertaining to watch.
“Competitive swimming has always interested me, and I hope the U.K. will do well,” Pocock said. “Of course cycling, gymnastics, all the sports are remarkable to watch. All the athletes are incredibly dedicated.”
In the lead-up to the games, Pocock met with a number of Canadian Olympians and Paralympians.
“The work they do is just not on the field or court, it is everything, coaches, trainers, it is an amazing thing, it requires enormous dedication and I wish Canada luck, both in the Olympic Games and Paralympics.”
Pocock said the commission will raise the Olympic flag again at the start of the Paralympics games on Aug. 29.
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