July 20, 2012 - 21:47 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - After years of preparation and months of buildup, London's Olympic moment has finally arrived.
Royal Marine Martyn Williams is poised to rappel from a helicopter carrying the Olympic torch on Friday, July 20 night, dropping down within the stone walls of the Tower of London. The grand entrance plunges the symbol of the games into the city's historic heart, bringing Olympic pageantry to the British capital that last held the event in 1948.
For Londoners, it ignites a time of tremendous excitement - as well as four weeks of extreme crowds and transport strains.
Organizers have tried to smooth the way. London Underground subway lines are festooned with big magenta and pink signs pointing routes to the Olympic venues. Cartoony ads with wide-eyed horses and beefy musclemen warn commuters to remember that Olympic competitions are taking place and to rethink their daily journeys. Barriers are being erected to mark the special traffic lanes for vehicles connected to the games - disparagingly dubbed "Zil lanes," after the limousines granted exclusive use of the outside lanes of Soviet highways.
Londoners who already struggle to get to work on any given weekday aren't convinced all will be well - and haven't been shy about saying so. The atmosphere of gloom has been segmented by the never-ending rain and a constant stream of headlines about the failure of security contractor G4S to provide enough guards, according to the Associated Press.