By Lacy Edney, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The 2012 London Olympic Games are just around the corner, opening July 27th and stretching until August 12th. For those interested in witnessing athletics at its best, there are still travel options available, and with the London 2012 Festival paralleling it, there may never be a better time to visit London.
At the time of writing, round-trip flights from Rio de Janeiro’s GIG airport to London Heathrow Airport during the Olympic Games cost between US$1,200 up to US$1,400. There are more than 100,000 hotel rooms in London to house all of the visitors that will be flooding into the city this summer.
London has a wide range of accommodations to suit travelers budgets including bed and breakfasts, campsites, five-star luxury hotels, budget hotels, and hostels. The official accommodation provider for the London Olympic and Paralympics Games is The Holiday Inn.
The average hotel price per night during the first few weeks of the Olympics is around US$400, however it is possible to find more reasonable accommodations as well as some more luxurious options. Hostel prices go for around US$130 to US$300 per night.
Olympic game tickets are not currently on sale because ticket holders are being assigned seats, but tickets and resale tickets are scheduled to go back on sale this spring. Tickets costs between US$30 and US$1,150 depending on the event, seat location, and time of purchase. There are, however, several events that spectators can view for free including: the marathon, triathlon, and road cycling.
With the Olympic flame arriving July 21st, the Games will commence on July 27th. The Brazilian volleyball team is predicted to be a strong force to reckon with, as well as Torben Grael, Brazil’s most successful Olympian proudly boasts five medals (two gold, one silver, two bronze) in sailing acquired between 1984 and 2004.
With London handing off the torch to Brazil in 2016, Brazil is already coming into the spotlight in the relations between the two countries which are currently being tightened with the London 2012 Festival, put on by Cultural Olympiad.
Adriana Rattes, the Secretary of State for Culture of Rio de Janeiro, said: “The London 2012 Festival and Rio Occupation London will [...] create a platform on the world stage for the best work of artists emerging in Rio, bringing to life the Olympic spirit through our artists and creating a legacy for Rio 2016.”
This twelve-week celebration, lasting from June 21st to September 9th, will highlight the best of contemporary Brazilian culture and creativity. Rio Occupation London will boast thirty artists from Rio de Janeiro in collaboration with London artists, from different art fields including music, visual arts, theater, film making, poetry and acting.
Notably the Back2Black Festival, a three day celebration of the cultural relationship between Brazil and Africa, is moving from Rio de Janeiro to London and will feature and be hosted by Gilberto Gil.
There will also be a Rio Carnival-style float participating in the One Hackney Festival’s street parade, along with Hackney and London Carnival groups, to commemorate the arrival of the Olympic Flame on July 21st.
London 2012 Organizing Committee Chair Seb Coe said: “The brilliance of these artists’ work for the London 2012 Festival illustrates the depth of the shared vision of London 2012 and Rio 2016 to build strong relationships through culture. People around the UK, in Brazil and right across the world will be able to enjoy the results of this vision during the London 2012 Festival, in the build up to Rio 2016 and beyond.”
With 645 sessions of Olympic competitions and twelve weeks of cultural celebration on top of London’s already fascinating tourist attractions, Olympic spectators will have a full plate of options to choose from.
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