Robby Wilkinson didn’t intentionally time his graduation from the Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts to coincide with the Olympics.
In fact, the date of the ceremony had to be changed because it initially conflicted with the opening ceremonies of the summer games in London.
“Sir Paul” McCartney, an alumnus and benefactor to the school, who always takes part in the graduation, was booked for the bigger ceremony that night.
But the confluence of the two events made for a special opportunity for Wilkinson, of West Point, and his family. He was able to score the family tickets for Olympic soccer matches in Glascow, Scotland, while they were all in town to see his college graduation.
Robby Wilkinson is a huge soccer fan.
“There was a ticket pool (for Olympic events) open to British residents,” Wilkinson said. “Since I had a flat over there, I qualified.”
He only put his name in for soccer tickets.
“It was awesome,” Wilkinson said of the game, Columbia v. the USA. The USA would go on to take the gold medal in women’s soccer this week.
The rest of the family also enjoyed their trek through the country for soccer and other highlights
“We left for Liverpool on Saturday, July 21st,” his mother Judy said. “Robby graduated Wednesday, July 25th. We took a train from Liverpool to Glasgow, Scotland on Thursday, July 26th.”
The train ride was bout three hours.
The family also went to look for the Loch Ness Monster and toured the Highlands on Friday, July 27th – they didn’t find the monster.
The Wilkinsons had been to events in Atlanta when the games were here in 1996, but Judy Wilkinson said London was “a different world” with security. They couldn’t take their own water into the soccer game and couldn’t have beer because it made the fans “too rowdy” they were told.
As for Sir Paul, he’s in Robby Wilkinson’s graduation photo, giving him a pin from the school. Robby had met the former Beatle on several occasions so having him at the ceremony wasn’t a big deal to him. However,
“I was impressed,” Bob Wilkinson said.