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Edinburgh, United Kingdom — Olympic soccer games in the men’s and women’s tournaments will feature teams such as France and the USA and take place at Scotland’s national soccer stadium, Hampden Park from 25 July to 3 August. Scotland’s Olympic showpiece will also see Men’s World and European Champions, Spain play Japan on 26 July.
Beyond soccer fever, this exciting and creative city has many surprises in store for those looking for an Olympic city break that combines culture and style with the sporting event of the summer. 2012 is the Year of Creative Scotland and Glasgow, a UNESCO City of Music, is the perfect place to visit with its internationally-acclaimed museums and galleries, stunning architecture, fabulous shopping and wonderful dining.
On July 18th, Glasgow celebrated welcoming the games to the city with American piper Megan Canning and French Drummer Iona Sicard-Cras from Piping Live! Glasgow International Piping Festival and The World Pipe Band Championships. Supporting their respective countries, who will be playing each other at the first game at Hampden, Iona and Megan are two of the 8000 musicians who will be playing as part of the world’s biggest week of piping in Glasgow from 6-12 August as the two events take place. Like the Olympics, the events bring thousands of musicians and competitors from across the globe to Glasgow, and are enjoyed by audiences in excess of 30,000.
Piping Live! will see over 150 events take place in Glasgow over the week and showcases the experimental energy of today’s newest talent such as Niteworks and Rura, as well as the accomplishment of established musicians from around the world. This year the festival will host performances from bands and musicians from 10 European countries including, Rotoro (Estonia), Lyra (Bulgaria), Dram (Sweden) and Franco Calanca (Italy). The event programme also includes everything from workshops to masterclasses, ceilidhs to concerts and street performances, there are almost 150 free and ticketed events taking place morning, noon and night.
The World Pipe Band Championships or ‘The Worlds’ have been held in Glasgow for almost 70 years and is known as ‘The Olympics of the piping world’ as pipe bands from across the globe compete for the coveted title of Champion on 11th August at Glasgow Green.
Glasgow, itself, has a great pedigree of sporting links, from hosting the UEFA Champions League Final in 2002 and the UEFA Cup Final in 2007, while the city will also host the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Scott Taylor, Chief Executive of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said:
“The Olympic Games is the biggest sporting event on the planet and, as the host of 8 Olympic football matches, Glasgow is set to make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in front of a global audience. It will be incredible for Glasgow to showcase the best young football stars of tomorrow and the buzz surrounding the Olympic presence in the city is sure to contribute to the excitement building for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
“In addition to being internationally renowned as one of the top 10 sporting cities in the world, Glasgow is also firmly established as one of Europe’s most exciting destinations. The city has so much to offer tourists and locals alike, from its wealth of cultural attractions and year-round programme of events and festivals, to its world-class architecture and fantastic shopping.”
Mike Cantlay, VisitScotland Chairman, added:
“This is an excellent opportunity to showcase Glasgow and Scotland to a massive global audience and will undoubtedly create a buzz and raise the excitement of what is to come during the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
“We’re in a great position to change the face of tourism with a plethora of events all highlighting Scotland. The Olympics, The Ryder Cup, Disney Pixar’s Brave and the Glasgow Commonwealth Games will provide an ideal platform to bring economic growth and to grow the tourism industry, these really are the Winning Years.”