Liukin off to explore host country of 2012 Games through Team USA: Britain Bound
posted on 09/08/2011

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Their bags are packed and seven U.S. Olympic and Paralympic champions are off on the trip of a lifetime, touring Great Britain's Olympic venues and iconic destinations as they get to know the host country of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Team USA: Britain Bound will bring fans along for the ride, with all of the action featured on the program's interactive website, TeamUSA.org/BritainBound. The site will share athlete social media feeds, stunning photos, personal anecdotes, and the 20-episode web series "Team USA: Britain Bound," which launches Oct. 10.

The all-star roster of athletes sets sail this week and their adventures can be followed in real time on TeamUSA.org/BritainBound. Fans are encouraged to give their suggestions on what their favorite athletes should see and do in the UK.

  • Jeremy Campbell (2008 Paralympic discus and pentathlon champion)
  • Henry Cejudo (2008 Olympic wrestling champion)
  • Bryan Clay (2008 Olympic decathlon champion)
  • Allison Jones (2008 Paralympic cycling medalist and 2006 Paralympic skiing champion)
  • Nastia Liukin (2008 Olympic gymnastics champion)
  • Heather Mitts (2008 and 2004 Olympic soccer champion)
  • Rebecca Soni (2008 Olympic swimming champion)
Team USA: Britain Bound is a first-of-its kind interactive program, and the product of a collaboration between the U.S. Olympic Committee and VisitBritain, the national tourism board for Great Britain. With VisitBritain acting as host and tour guide, Team USA athletes will visit locations in England, Scotland and Wales, getting to know the host country and its people ahead of Games time. They'll pay homage to the proud sporting tradition, unique history and diverse culture of Great Britain while celebrating the upcoming London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Highlights from the itineraries:

  • Sept. 8-12: Mitts will juggle a soccer ball and show off her foot skills in the shadows of Stonehenge, experience a thermal bath spa in the ancient Roman spa city of Bath, take a horseback riding lesson at Cowarth Park, and play tennis on the same court as King Henry VIII at Hampton Court Palace - also home to the London 2012 cycling time trials.

  • Sept. 8-12: Cejudo will tour Old Trafford, Manchester United's stadium and 2012 Olympic soccer venue, visit iconic Beatles attractions in Liverpool, hike at the Brimham Rocks rock formations, and wrestle against local characters in the ancient city of York.

  • Sept. 12-16: Liukin will get a personal tour of Buckingham Palace (seeing Duchess Catherine's wedding gown up close and personal), visit the 2012 Olympics gymnastics venue, take a Cockney rhyming slang lesson in a London black cab, visit the famous Centre Court at Wimbledon and conduct a gymnastics clinic with local school children.

  • Sept. 12-16: Jones will be guided around the Tower of London by the Chief Yeoman Warder, get a behind the scenes tour of Parliament from a British MP, experience the traditional English sport of 'punting' in Cambridge, cycle around quaint villages, visit the Olympic velodrome and test her acting skills at the iconic Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon.

  • Sept. 15-19: Soni will combine her love for the water with the charms of Wales, first by trying coasteering - a combination of canyoning, adventure swimming and cliff jumping - then trying a whale watching tour, kayaking, a coastal hike and a rugby lesson from burly Welsh athletes.

  • Sept. 15-20: Clay will test his status as the world's greatest athlete by trying his hand at the caber toss and stone put at the traditional Highland Games, learn the history of the world-famous kilt, enjoy British afternoon tea aboard the Royal Yacht Brittania, and enjoy one of his favorite hobbies - trout fishing - in Inverness.

  • Sept. 15-20: Campbell will tour Edinburgh Castle, take a bagpipe lesson, search for the elusive Loch Ness Monster during a visit to the scenic Highlands, get sparring tips at the Edinburgh Boxing Academy, and try out his golf swing on the grounds of Skibo Castle - one of the most exclusive clubs in all of Scotland.