Guy’s Olympic challenge

SPORTING CHANCE Guy Whitehead at the London Olympic stadium.
SPORTING CHANCE Guy Whitehead at the London Olympic stadium.

A travel buff has jetsetted across the world to visit every Summer Olympics stadium.

Guy Whitehead, 42, has spent the last six years visiting all 27 venues, including London’s stadium during last year’s games – and now believes he is the first person to do it.

Guy, of Scholes, said: “I like travelling but I could never decide where I wanted to go. On trips to Barcelona and Rome I visited the Olympic stadiums out of curiosity. After seeing five or six I looked into how many there were. I thought I would never see them all, but after about eight or nine I thought I would give it a go.”

Over the past six years Guy has been to Beijing, Sydney, America, South Korea, Russia, Canada, Mexico, Japan and across Europe to visit stadiums.

He said: “I planned it out on a map and then started booking holidays with the intention of visiting Olympic stadiums. It has been an adventure

“I stopped off in South Korea on the way back from Australia. I had a narrow window of a few hours to get 60 miles from the airport to Seoul. I stayed overnight and found the stadium at 6am, and then I had to get 60 miles back to the airport.

“During the London Olympics I saw the athletics which was a fantastic experience, the crescendo of noise was amazing. It was the first time I had seen a stadium while the Olympics were still being held.

“Some haven’t gone fully to plan – in Belgium, there was a train strike, and I had to get four buses, two trains and two taxis from Brussels to Antwerp.”

Guy said picking his favourite was difficult. He said: “Each one is different.The final one I visited was the Bird’s Nest in Beijing.

“It was the combination of the design and it completing the challenge that made it special.

“I haven’t found a record of anyone else doing this.”

He said his family and friends supported his hobby, and fellow travellers found it interesting. He said: “I’ve had different reactions from people. Some think it’s a bit nerdy!

“Some raise their eyebrows and ask questions.”

He said he was writing a book about his adventures.

And he said he already had a new challenge, to visit football world cup finals – with 10 of 18 already under his belt.

But he added: “There is a summer Olympic Games every four years so my intention is to carry on.

“It’s the perfect antidote to a nine to five office job.”