Hosted by VisitBritain, James will be taken on a fact finding mission around London, where he’ll get to experience many of the things that Australian visitors will see and do before, during and after the Games this summer. That includes a trip down the Thames with London RIB Voyages, a spin on The London Eye, seeking out the Olympic rings and a bit of shopping in Carnaby St.
Nicknamed “The Missile” for his powerful performances in the pool, James became the first Australian man to win the 100 metres freestyle at last year’s World Championships. The rising star of Australian swimming, he is being mooted as a hot favourite to take the 100m and 50m freestyle double at London 2012, and is seen as one of Australia’s most exciting and credible gold medal hopes at this year’s Games.
Speaking at Tower Bridge on the first day of his sightseeing tour of the capital, James Magnussen said: “I couldn’t resist the opportunity to come and experience all the delights that London has to offer visitors, and at the same time get an edge over my opponents by being shown around the world class facilities at the Aquatic Centre and amazing Olympic Park.
“London has ambition to make these the best Games yet, so being able to get a feel for what awaits us this summer is extra motivation for me to come here and share the experience with the best athletes from around the world. I really couldn’t have asked for a better backdrop for what I hope will be a truly memorable and successful Olympics for both me personally and the rest of the Australian team.”
Paul Gauger, Global Leader 2012 Games Media at VisitBritain said: “James is a superstar in Australia and on the world stage of sport. Having someone of this magnitude visit London prior to the Games to experience what Britain has to offer international visitors will go a long way towards enticing even more Australians to come and experience the UK for themselves.”
In 2010, 986,000 Australian tourists visited the UK, spending nearly £1bn pounds in the process. Provisional figures for 2011 suggest Britain is set to see an increase of around 8% in the number of visits from Australia, which will make it a record year from one of Britain’s strongest growth markets.
For more information contact:
VisitBritain Media Teampressandpr@visitbritain.com