Coventry & Warwickshire

Do people care the Olympics are on Coventry's doorstep?

City of Coventry Stadium
Image caption The City of Coventry Stadium was picked as an Olympics venue two years ago

After all the waiting and all the titivating of the city centre, Coventry is finally playing host to the Olympics.

The banners and flags around the city may say London 2012, but a total of 12 football games will take place at the City of Coventry Stadium, including the women's bronze medal match next month.

It is a chance for the whole city to shine.

But do people care that the Olympics has arrived on their doorstep?

Stephanie Rogalski and Dipna Shah, Coventry

Primary school teacher Stephanie Rogalski, 23, from Allesley Park, said children were "excited" because the city's schools had done a lot of work about the Olympics.

She said: "I think it's extra special this year because it's so close to home."

Dipna Shah, 24, from Westwood Heath, said: "Hopefully people appreciate the fact that something like this is going on in Coventry.

"I can't wait but I'm not looking forward to the traffic because I head that way to work."

Brian O'Neill, Coventry

Brian O'Neill says he is looking forward to the Olympics in general but is not going to any of the events because of costs.

The 44-year-old from Radford also did not know what the Ricoh Arena had been rebranded as for the Games.

"I heard it was being renamed but I'm not really sure what the name is," Mr O'Neill said.

"Most people I know aren't really that concerned about it, not the football side anyway.

"Most of the lads I know don't even bother with Coventry City, so going up there to watch the Olympics, I don't think so."

Jeff and Jean Watts, Coventry

The couple from Earlsdon are "proud" that their home city is part of the Games.

Jeff Watts, 69, said: "I think the spin-off from the Olympics in the city centre, and the exposure it's giving Coventry, is absolutely brilliant.

"It's difficult to see what would have motivated all these changes without the Olympics."

Jean Watts added: "I think [the city] looks so much better. A lot of people knock Coventry but I think they've done a really good job."

Bamba Mass, Birmingham

Bamba Mass, who lived in Coventry for six years before recently moving to Birmingham, said the Olympics had helped transform the city.

The 44-year-old said: "The Olympics bring a lot of diverse people with cultural differences together into the historic city of Coventry.

"Like myself, who is a foreign national based in this country, I am sure that many people that are coming for the Olympics and all the activities will definitely have something positive to take back to their countries.

"All my five children have got tickets to go to the stadium but unfortunately... I can't attend. Obviously I would love to."

David Turpin, Leamington Spa

David Turpin did not feel a sense of excitement around the city as he visited from nearby Leamington Spa.

"The majority of people just seem to be carrying on their daily routine as normal," the 50-year-old said.

"I think they'll be very proud that they were the first ones to kick the Olympics off [in England].

"I think they should be very proud of themselves as a city that they have taken part in the Olympics."

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