Welcome to London! Olympic athletes touch down...
The Olympics arrived in London today as thousands of athletes and officials touched down and the first dedicated VIP lanes came into force.
Teams from 30 nations, including US, Australia, Italy, Russia and China, flew in and headed for the athletes’ village in Stratford which opened this morning.
There were a few early hitches. Baggage handlers at Heathrow lost three sets of sails belonging to the Australian team and a special Games lane on the M4 caused confusion among motorists.
Two teams got lost on the way from Heathrow to Stratford. A bus carrying Australian team officials took three hours to get to the village, taking in diversions via Buckingham Palace and West Ham.
The delay was caused because their driver, working as a volunteer for Games organisers Locog on his first trip across town, could not operate the satellite navigation system.
He had to admit that he could not locate the destination on the onboard computer and a member of the 30-strong Australian party of medical staff and other officials used an iPhone to navigate.
“It would have been a great tourist trip if that is what you are here for,” said Australian official Damian Kelly.
A second vehicle carrying United States athletes took four hours to get from the airport to the athletes’ village in Stratford.
Boris Johnson said: “They had the scenic view of London, they had the chance to see more of our beautiful scenery than they bargained for.”