In London at last!View(s):
The full Sri Lankan team arrived safely in London and are ready for the Games of the XXX Olympiad which kicked off on Friday. Heshan Unamboowe says, “On the flight into London, Reshika [Udugampola] and I were lucky enough to get a nice view of the landing from the cockpit. Catching a glimpse of the River Thames, the London Eye, and the London Bridge from the air suddenly struck me, ‘I’m in London for the Olympics Games!’ The feeling was amazing.” Thilini Jayasinghe arrived in London just a few days ago, while Anuradha Cooray lives and trains in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom. Christine Sonali Merrill flew in from San Diego, California, USA, where she resides, while Niluka Karunaratne journeyed over to the United Kingdom from Poland where he was training.
The official welcome ceremony for the full Sri Lankan team took place on July 25, 2012 at 14:30. They were welcomed in style by members of the National Youth Theatre who put together a wonderful, theatrical performance for our delegation. Sri Lanka’s Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage, was present, as well as officials of the National Olympic Committee. The Sri Lankan High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Dr. Chris Nonis, also attended and extended his best wishes to the team. Later, the contingent was also blessed by a Buddhist monk at a shrine in the Games Village.
The excited athletes have described the Village as “amazing and massive” with a map and guide as must-haves while navigating around. Anticipation is building as the Village continues to fill up with officials and athletes from all over the world every day. The athletes have also highlighted the dining hall with its enormous range of food, and free, unlimited access to McDonalds!
Olympic excitement continues to build in Colombo as well. Last week, on July 23, 2012, Olympic commemorative stamps and a First Day cover were launched in partnership between the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka, the Ministry of Postal Services, the Ministry of Sports, and the British High Commission. The four stamps depict the sports that Sri Lankan athletes will participate in this year: Athletics, Swimming, Shooting, and Badminton. The reception was hosted at by the British High Commissioner, John Rankin, at the Westminster House in Colombo 07, and among the guests present were Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Minster for Sports; Jeevan Kumaratunga, Minister for Postal Services; Mr. Hemasiri Fernando, President of the National Olympic Committee; Mr. Nirj Deva MEP; Mrs. Ranjani Jayakody, Director-General of Sports; Mr. T. Shreeharan, Director, Philatelic Bureau; Mr. D L P R Abeyaratne, Postmaster General; Mr. Vipula Wanigasekara, Director-General, Tourism Development Authority; members of the National Olympic Committee (NOC); staff of the Ministry of Postal Services, Department of Posts and Philatelic Bureau; members of the media and others.
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