WL Insider: Our Man in London

Dispatches from the Games of the XXX Olympiad.

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In our new online column, sports agent Doug Eldridge gives us a rare behind-the-scenes play-by-play of the 2012 London Games. In his first dispatch, Our Man in London hits the ground running.

“5 Rings, 204 Countries, 36 Sports, 1 billion viewers, 1 Queen and a 007”

The clock in Trafalgar Square counting down to the opening of the 2012 Olympic Games. (via Wikimedia Commons)

FRIDAY, JULY 27 — London is awash with waving Union Jacks, TV cameras, crowded streets, athletes, agents, bobbies, cabbies and a symphony of languages from around the world. It is a cross-section of humanity that can only be assembled every four years for the Olympic Games.

As an agent I am here to support my client — American cyclist Bobby Lea — as well as (non-client) and the rest of the U.S. Olympic team. If last night’s opening ceremonies viewed by an estimated 1 billion people worldwide were any indication, this is going to be as festive an atmosphere as it is a competitive one.

Yesterday, I was on set for the “Today Show.” It was great to see some of my international photographer and PR friends backstage and in the green room. It’s funny how you have to come to London to see a colleague from Abu Dhabi, but that’s simply the landscape of international professional sports.

Doug Eldridge gets the full London experience. He notes that all the classic phone booths are still in use, unlike in the U.S. where they were removed for safety reasons post-9/11.  (Photo courtesy of Doug Eldridge)

To that end, “Cool Britannia” is on full display and today marks the first day of full competition. For me, the early morning (I am typing this at 06:48) meant three hours of sleep, a short 5-mile run, shower, change, three espressos, 21 email responses and meeting/media coordination for later today. At 08:00 we head over to the aquatic center to watch Phelps swim the 400 IM at 10:00. From there I’ll head over to the Mall for the Men’s Cycling Road Race where I’ll link up with the CEO and COO of USA Cycling to watch our boys give it a go on the 156-mile course. For me, the race is followed by two media meetings and then heading back to the pool for Phelps in the 400 IM Finals tonight, followed by two sponsor parties.

With that, I must go. Need to grab my credential, my two European phones and a rain jacket. Nonstop day. Long night. Amazing atmosphere. More to come.

Doug Eldridge is the founding president of DLE Agency, a full-service sports, entertainment and communications firm based in Washington, D.C. A lawyer by trade and a longtime track and field athlete himself, Eldridge represents sports stars in the NBA, NFL and FIFA as well as entertainment personalities and musicians, among others. Eldridge is frequently sought after for his sports analysis by various media outlets including NBC, ABC, CNN and Fox. For more updates, follow him on Twitter @DougEldridge and @DLEagency.

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