Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Dr Dre Played the Games

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Dr Dre Played the Games

Article excerpt

Byline: Richard Godwin

SHORTLY before noon yesterday three members of the Croatian women's basketball team were wandering down Bethnal Green Road, looking lost. Before long, they noticed a logo on the door of number 13, which is the side entrance to the members' club, Shoreditch House. It was a red, lower case "b" that looks a little like a 6. They crossed the road and went inside.

The logo is the emblem of The Beats, the audio line of the hip hop mogul Dr Dre, whose headphones are increasingly in evidence on the ears of Olympic athletes. Tom Daley wore a pair to cancel out the noise of the crowd just before the men's synchronised diving event. Tennis player Laura Robson paraded hers around Wimbledon. It would seem that when the IOC and Locog were imposing their many restrictions on non-official brands, they, like so many before them, forgot about Dre.

The basketballers explained that they had come here, to his temporary embassy, to get their free pairs. One of them stressed that they needed to get them quickly, as they had a match that afternoon. She mentioned something about a karaoke competition in the Olympic Village. Unfortunately, I didn't get very far when I tried to follow them inside, being neither Croatian nor female. The Beats brand ambassadors (the nurses to Dre's doctor) were highly suspicious, though I did manage to glean that the basketball players were heading to the fifth floor, where there is a sort of lounge for specially invited athletes to chillax, away from the pressure of the village.

I crossed the road and I ran into the Russian men's sabre team. Are you here to see Dr Dre? I asked one, whose name was Pavel Bykov. He didn't seem to know what I was talking about. Your shell suits are awful, I tried. Blank. Headphones? "Headphones, yes!" he said, his eyes lighting up. I directed him to number 13 but when I tried to enter the building with them, my path was blocked again, as I am neither Russian, nor a fencer (fencing, in Russian, is fyekhtovaniye, in case you want to try). …

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