John LaCava, father of Weston Olympic rower Nick LaCava, is providing occasional diaries from London during the Summer Olympics for The Daily Voice. Here is his first report.
Friday July 27
ETON, England — Eton is a charming, small English town on the Thames. A small Westport without the cars. Our lodgings are in a converted boathouse right on the river. Motorboats pass lazily by, alongside rowers. I can see Windsor Castle from the living room, across the river. Boys jump from the bridge and splash into the river. It’s idyllic. The crowds from London have not yet descended, as the first races do not start until Saturday. But Friday night the pubs are crowded, and there are a lot of expectations.
We went out to our Pub, the Henry VI, in the center of Eton. The parents and supporters of the U.S. rowing teams hung the stars and stripes in the pub and hoisted the nut brown ale to our sons and daughters who will be competing. All are enthusiastic that the moment is at hand. The pub is also filled with locals who are very welcoming and are proud to be sharing their famous venue with us. Everyone in the pub is watching the opening ceremonies on one of the many TV screens in the pub. I am sure this scene is being played out throughout London. It’s a grand party.
The streets of Eton are adorned with flowers and flags. Saturday we will head out early in the morning to the rowing site, about a mile out of town as we have been told that the security will be very tight. There will be three heats in Nick’s event — the lightweight four. In Nick’s heat there will be five boats, and three will advance to the semifinals. We hope they are fast.