As the world gathered to watch the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games, all of the attention was understandably on London. A two-and-a-half-hour drive northwest, in Worcester, England, the excitement wasn’t quite like the host city, but it still had Olympic pep in its step.
Bushwacker Pub general manager Mark Humpage said the European soccer tournament just a month ago helped him judge expected attendance.
“We have had about double the attendance today for the Opening Ceremony. I think we will also have large crowds for track and soccer events,” Humpage said.
The crowded pub was focused on the television as the Ceremony played. Even the bartenders stopped to look at the big-screen as they poured customers’ drinks. And as the Queen made her appearance the city came to a halt. Unlike in the U.S., where President Obama may receive mixed reviews, the Queen had nothing but respect and cheers.
“The Opening Ceremony did a good job of representing our culture. They incorporated a great mix of history, music and the present,” Matt Penn of Worcester said.
Penn also believed the local flavor of the Olympic Games sparked his interest.
“Normally I pay very little attention to the Olympics, but I’ll definitely be watching. I think the Opening Ceremony has done England proud.”
Despite a nearly unanimously positive reception, there was one disappointment expressed by many but summarized best by Penn.
“I can’t believe that we haven’t heard Adele. We’ve seen Mr. Bean, but not Adele.”
Pat Boylan is a senior telecommunications major and Michael Nauman is a junior sport administration major at Ball State University covering sports for BSU at the Games. Follow Michael, Pat and the BSU team at@patboylanbsu, @itsmichaelbrah, @bsuatthegames and www.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.