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Brits Get Over Games' Disneyland Effect

Jul 19, 2012  - Craig Lord

The Olympic Village in London was given a seal of approval today from British swimmers who got over the "Disneyland effect" on a two-day stopover at their Games home before they headed north to their 7-day holding camp in Edinburgh. 

The Britain squad assembled at the Olympic village for two days before travelling up to Scotland. They will return to London next Tuesday. Performance director Michael Scott explained the reason for the July 16 stopover at the Olympic Park: "They can see the pool in the Olympic look and feel and catch the bus, know where the dining hall is, get the Disneyland effect out of the way." 

Up in Scotland, the Olympic team will share a few meals with the next generation of Britain's best juniors on a learning curve to Rio 2016. The 2012 team was glad to have had a couple of orientation days in London.

Fran Halsall, a sprinter gunning for the podium in the 50m and 100m freestyle, told Elizabeth Byrnes of the Press Association: "I thought because it was my second Olympics it would be fine but I was so excited it was ridiculous. It is just so much fun. It was a really good idea because on our first trip back from the dining hall...me and Lizzie (Simmonds) have got the worst sense of direction and we were totally in the wrong block, we didn't even know where we were. All our teething problems are out of the way now which is nice." The Village was "cool".

Rebecca Adlington and Keri-anne Payne will share a billet as medal winners from Beijing 2008 heading for more in London, Adlington a medal hope in the 400m freestyle and the favourite for the 800m crown with three sub-8:20 efforts under her belt this season, and Payne, world champion over 10km in 2009 and 2011, a golden shot in the marathon in The Serpentine, Hyde Park after the action in the pool is a memory.

Adlington said: "It was nice to just get into the village and see it, I don't think we knew what to expect. It's nice to find out what the apartment is like, who we are with etc. Now I know - and we can come away, focus on our training and what we've got to do. It was good to get acquainted so we are not overwhelmed."

Scott added: "The orientation has got everyone accustomed to the accommodation and the transport and to the dining hall so they know what to expect when they get back, so a big tick in the box there. If the holding camp is as successful as the orientation to the Olympic village and Olympic life then I'll be very happy."

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