On Monday, officials, athletes and media from across the globe descended on Heathrow Airport for the 2012 London Olympics, the first of many waves of people in record numbers that will pass through the largest airport in Europe for the Games, which begin on July 27.
Heathrow announced that athletes from over 50 nations would land at the airport. The Games have become one of Britain’s biggest transport challenges since the end of the second World War. In all, Heathrow will handle more than 237,000 passengers, which would break the previous one day record of 233,500 set last July.
To handle the deluge of passengers, Heathrow enlisted over 1,000 volunteers to help arrivals and created teams to help with oversized items such as bikes, javelins and other odd shaped athletic equipment. Hundred of agents from immigrations were working to ease the huge lines that have become commonplace at the airport. An increased police presence was also since with a number of sniffing dogs in search of drugs and or explosives.
Rows and rows of VIP buses for the Olympics then whisk the coaches and teams to east London and the Athletes Village. One athlete, Kerron Clement a member of the U.S. hurdles team and a two-time world champion was not happy about his bus. He tweeted that the bus was lost for four hours, not good for first impressions of London.
Heathrow usually takes care of between 100,000 and 110,000 arrivals each day, but that will nearly double today. Another big day is on July 25, which is two days prior to the opening ceremonies. On Monday, authorities opened a Games Lane on the M-4 highway to allow buses carrying anyone related to the games.