Athletes head home, London traffic returns to normal


Associated Press

Posted on August 13, 2012 at 5:30 AM

Updated Monday, Aug 13 at 5:32 AM

LONDON (AP) — Olympic athletes today are learning how to get gold, silver and bronze through airport security.

Hours after last night's closing ceremonies, thousands of athletes began arriving at a special terminal at London's Heathrow Airport for their flights home.

American rower Esther Lofgren was proudly wearing the gold medal she won. But that wasn't the only highlight of the games for her. She says it was "just amazing" to watch other athletes compete -- including Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt.

An Olympic security official, meanwhile, says he's proud that there were no serious problems during the games. About 250 people were arrested, but there were no terror incidents or disruptive protests. Security coordinator Chris Allison says, "The focus has been exactly where we wanted -- on the sport and not security."

In London, traffic is returning to normal today. Many commuters had steered clear of London during the games, after a campaign urging them to use public transport.

Some taxi drivers say they're ecstatic that the games are over. During the Olympics, many drivers were banned from using special lanes for athletes and officials. One driver says a lot of his colleagues "barely broke even during the games."

%@AP Links

126-a-16-(Jacques Rogge (zhahk ROH'-guh), International Olympic Committee President, at news conference)-"many many athletes"-International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge says London produced a very successful Olympics. (13 Aug 2012)

<<CUT *126 (08/13/12)>> 00:16 "many many athletes"

130-a-09-(British Prime Minister David Cameron, at news conference)-"be spectacularly true"-British Prime Minister David Cameron says the people of Great Britain drove the Games and the performance of the home team. (13 Aug 2012)

<<CUT *130 (08/13/12)>> 00:09 "be spectacularly true"

GRAPHICSBANK: Fireworks explode during the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, on texture, partial graphic (13 Aug 2012)

GRAPHICSBANK: Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda celebrates winning gold in men's marathon, London 2012 Summer Olympics, England, graphic element on gray (12 Aug 2012)

APPHOTO LON801: Members of Mexican Olympic team wait in the Games Terminal at Heathrow Airport, in London Monday Aug. 13, 2012. The London 2012 Olympic Games closed Sunday. (AP Photo/Steve Parsons/PA) UNITED KINGDOM OUT (13 Aug 2012)

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APPHOTO LKW103: Athletes from the Netherlands wait for a train, at St Pancras station, after the 2012 Summer Olympics, in London. Monday, Aug. 13, 2012. The Dutch, French and Belgium Olympic teams and medallists are departing from St Pancras International on special chartered trains. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) (13 Aug 2012)

<<APPHOTO LKW103 (08/13/12)>>