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British Olympic Athletes Visit Las Vegas

Las Vegas Welcome SignAccording to British Airways, Las Vegas is the number one destination for British Olympians following the Games this year. The carrier, which is an official airline partner, asked several athletes on Team GB and ParlympicsGB about where they planned to holiday when the Games are over in September. It found that many of them would be looking for some fun, rather than relaxing.

British Airways says that 28% of the nearly 100 athletes it questioned are planning a trip for the US, and Las Vegas is the most popular place, along with Orlando. The athletes’ second favourite is Spain, with 13% planning a break to the mainland and islands. At the top of the Spain destination list is Ibiza. Other top destinations by Team GB and ParalympicsGB were Greece, Australia, Thailand, France and Maldives. Australia, Thailand and Greece were preferred for their beaches, sunshine, great food, culture and sports activities (go figure!).

However, there some more unusual destinations that the Olympic athletes are choosing to visit. These include Cuba, Lithuania and Scotland. These findings show that some athletes also don’t rest, with 4% planning snowboarding or skiing holidays.

These trips come as British Airways offers a wide range of value holiday breaks. This includes: three nights in Las Vegas starting at £629 per person; flights and two nights in Barcelona starting at £189; and flights and seven nights in Barbados starting at £549. All of these offers are currently available on the national flag carrier’s website.

Triathlete Helen Jenkins is planning to holiday in Las Vegas. She says she and her husband love the city and can’t wait to visit it again. It always has great weather, and there’s always something happening. She’s not surprised that it’s a popular destination among athletes. They have all trained hard for so long, she added, and Las Vegas offers the perfect antidote to escape it all.

British Airways head of sales and marketing for the UK and Ireland, Richard Tams, says they have seen a little rise in late summer bookings this year. This is because many holidaymakers stayed at home to support the athletes during the Games. The good news is, there are still many late bargains to be booked.

Tams added that they are offering some great packages to Greece and Spain for people looking for fast city breaks so they get back for the Paralympic Games in time. Holidaymakers who are looking to go further abroad will find Mexico a great destination at this time of year. However, the party atmosphere of Jamaica could be more appealing to those wanting a more lively time following the Olympics’ success.

Meanwhile, it’s been reported that more than a dozen African Olympians haven’t returned home following the Games like thousands of others have. This comes as some athletes from conflict-ridden or impoverished nations – Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Guinea and Eritrea – went ‘missing’ from the Olympic Village even before the closing ceremony. There’s a well-established trend of athletes trying use international competitions in foreign nations as a kickstart to better lives, and it looks like this is what’s happening.

The Olympians have the right to stay in Britain until November, but 18-year-old Eritrean steeplechase runner Weynay Ghebresilasie says he intends to seek political asylum in the UK. He loves his country very much, but the lack of basic human rights and harsh conditions have compelled him to seek asylum. The athlete finished tenth in the first-round heat and didn’t advance.

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