London Calling Blog: Cheers to the Host City!
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2000 Bulgarian Olympian Christian Ivanov concludes his blog, "London Calling," for International Gymnast Online, through which he will be sharing his experiences visiting the Olympic host city.

Aug. 3: Cheers to London!

Since my last blog, on the gymnastics side we had an unbelievable competition between Gabby Douglas and Viktoria Komova in the all-around. What I found incredible was the composure both girls showed throughout the entire event. I was particularly impressed by the fight and the spirit Komova had on the final event where she knew that it was virtually impossible to catch Douglas and that only a miraculous performance would help her win the gold. And she really delivered a performance to be remembered. Yes, at the end she felt short of first, but that routine on floor by the Russian had us all sitting on the edge of our seats wondering, "Maybe it is possible for her to win." Congratulations to both Gabby and Vika for a gold and a sliver, but moreover for a great competition contest with some really outstanding gymnastics.


Me at the Westfield Mall, in front of the Olympic Park


With Romanian coaches Octavian Belu and Mariana Bitang

Tomorrow will be my last day in London. The past two days I have spent touring the city and catching up with friends for lunch or dinner.


The famous Barclays Bikes!

One of my trips included a trip to Greenwich Park where the Prime Meridian is located. I wasn't able to visit the Observatory as the park was actually closed for the equestrian Olympic event; however, the area was still very touristy and there was plenty to see. I enjoyed the Greenwich market, as well as a visit to Old Royal Naval College and the historic Cutty Sark ship built in 1869.


In front of the Cutty Sark, built in 1869

I also had lunch at the "original" Hard Rock Café, which holds a very impressive collection of memorabilia. The restaurant made its debut here in 1971, and attracts a considerable number of tourists as well as tons of Londoners. And of course in the past couple of days I dedicated some time to shopping for gifts, souvenirs and Olympic memorabilia.


A quick handstand on the street

Today I spend time at Harrods, and enjoyed their impressive restaurant area for a quick snack. This store is beyond cool! Everything in it is first class, from their food court and grocery sections to the high-end boutiques and bathrooms! I loved the sculpture and the guest book dedicated to Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed in the middle of the store between two of the staircases. If you are in London and you have not seen Harrods, you need to!


Signing the guest book at Harrods in memory of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed, whose family once owned the store

Tomorrow I get to attend the women's tennis final between Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova followed by the men's double finals featuring the always-exciting Bryan brothers and the French pair of Tsonga and Llodra. I am sure it will be another exciting day at Wimbledon before I have to pack my bags for my trip back to U.S. The days to come afterwards will feature some exhilarating gymnastics event finals. I will be watching from home surely thinking what an incredible city London was to be the host of a lot of Olympic history, which will remain in many of our memories for a very long time!

Thank you to everyone for reading my blog. Thank you London for being such a fantastic host. Cheers!


Cheers!
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