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The opening ceremony of one of the year’s biggest global sporting events, the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, begins today in Sochi, Russia. The Games bring together the world’s best athletes in sports such as skiing, figure skating, ice hockey and the luge.
Make sure you don’t miss that important medal match by watching the live action from Russia in some of London’s best bars. Don’t forget that there is a four hour time difference between Sochi and London, so you may need to plan your journey around specific timings.
Riley’s Sports bar on Haymarket in London’s West End is home to 34 TVs. This is in addition to four projectors, and what is claimed to be the biggest sports screen in London, all showing 70 worldwide sports channels and as many fixtures as possible throughout the Sochi season. There’s also ping pong tables, pool tables and DJ nights for those who can’t face the tension of live winter sports. The opening ceremony and beginning of the Winter Olympics will be screened twice, once live and again in the evening in case you miss it. Plus, the happy hour (50% off) starts at 12pm and ends at 7pm, before beginning again at 9pm for an hour. Booking is advisable.
Fitzrovia’s Jetlag sports bar is opening its doors at 10am every day so that London won’t miss a minute of the live Olympic action from Sochi. From figure skating to bobsleigh, downhill to ice hockey, the Winter Olympics will be shown on five screens over two floors (including a 15ft cinema screen). Sliders, street food, craft beers and cocktails will be available throughout. Reservations recommended for special group matches.
The Maple Leaf
Canadian bar The Maple Leaf in London’s Covent Garden is often seen as a home away from home for Canadian ex-pats and visitors. However, locals and tourists alike will be welcome to support all the teams and athletes competing in Russia. The bar menu includes goodies such as nachos, wings and Canadian favourite, poutine. Check them out on Monday after 6pm when you can get 20 wings for £6.
The Carlsberg Sports bar
The 24-hour Carlsberg Sports Bar in The Casino at The Empire is well placed for visitors enjoying the sights, sounds and shops of Central London. The bar and casino sit right on the famous Leicester Square, home to red carpet movie premieres and the occasional Hollywood star. Live coverage of the Winter Olympic Games will be shown on the bar’s 11 high-definition screens as well as the 6ft central screen. Buckets of beer and a classic American menu including hot dogs and burgers will keep you fed and watered during the action.
The Jones Family Project
New Shoreditch bar, café and restaurant, The Jones Family Project is hosting two weeks of Après-Ski. There will be treats from around the world including Gluhwein. For the opening ceremony, along with live coverage, the staff will be dressed up in themed costumes and there will be a prize for the best dressed customer (plus bonus prizes for bringing in skis or a board).