Citigroup, Comcast, NBC, Union Jacks, Melanie Oudin, D.C.
The crowd cheered when the queen came on screen as waiters passed quail egg and onion tart appetizers.
It wasn’t the Olympics in London, but the next best thing, British Ambassador Peter Westmacott’s opening-night party Friday at his residence.
Westmacott said the Brits have earned the right to gloat because an estimated 4 billion people are expected to tune into the London games, about 2 billion more than watched last year’s royal wedding. This was welcome news for broadcaster NBC Universal and its parent, Comcast Corp., who had executives on hand.
Also among the 400 guests were British expats, American Olympians, Washington Mayor Vincent Gray, Comcast’s executive vice president, David L. Cohen and senior director of external affairs, Mike Rose, and Congressman Ed Markey, Massachusetts Democrat.
Celebrants sported Union Jack lapel pins and sat in Union Jack lounge chairs. Raffle prizes included a sport coat from Savile Row.
Guests huddled around large television screens inside ornate gold frames, reminiscent of the kind seen on museum paintings.
Dave Stephens, an American javelin thrower, brought the 1996 torch and let Gray hold it. Tony Culley-Foster, president of CFCO International Washington Consultant Services, posed for a photograph with Westmacott and the torch that lit the Olympic Flame in London, which he carried in his home country of Northern Ireland last month.
As the sun set, Henry Filter, a financial adviser with Merrill Lynch & Co., enjoyed a quiet moment on a garden bench with his wife, Liz, a member of the 2004 American Olympic sailing team.
Mark Tuohey, a partner at Brown Rudnick LLP, said he’s watching the women’s soccer with great interest because of a family connection to U.S. team captain Abby Wambach.
International tennis stars gathered last night on the roof of the W Hotel for a party celebrating the Citi Open.
Melanie Oudin of the U.S., wearing a nose stud, said she’s looking forward to her tour of the White House this week.
Paul-Henri Mathieu of France, Kevin Anderson of South Africa, and Frantisek Cermak of the Czech Republic were among the players who sipped cocktails while enjoying the W’s panoramic view of the Washington landmarks.
Cermak, in a fitted red polo shirt, said he’ll spend his free time off the court watching movies in his room.
The Citi Open, part of the 2012 ATP World Tour, runs through Aug. 5 in Washington. This is Citigroup Inc.’s first time hosting the event, known for almost 18 years as the Legg Mason Tennis Classic.
Tournament chairman and co-founder Donald Dell said Citigroup (C) was instrumental in the tournament’s inclusion of women players for the first time this year.
Dell chatted with former Washington Redskin Darrell Green, an avid tennis player, who reflected on the similarities between football and tennis.
It’s all about “covering and making a play,” Green said between bites of a chicken samosa.
Among the other guests were Christopher Browne, vice president of the Greater Washington Sports Alliance, and Jamey Sunshine, senior vice president of corporate partnerships at Lagardere Unlimited SAS.
(Stephanie Green is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)
Muse highlights include Elin McCoy on wine.
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