Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Loving the Olympics!

Well, we've definitely been caught up in the Olympic fever that's been running through London the past few days! It's been super exciting and we've been lucky to have attended a few events already.

On Friday we went to Victoria Park in East London to watch the Opening Ceremony on a big screen. I thought it was absolutely brilliant, completely bonkers at times, and hilarious - showing off the British sense of humour I've come to love since moving here. The Queen with James Bond was priceless, as was the Mr Bean skit (who doesn't love Mr Bean?!) and of course I loved all the music that was celebrated during the ceremony. I probably missed quite a few references, in fact it was so complex that I am sure even the Brits would have to watch it multiple times to get all the connections, but even still I thought it was really well done. Watching it in Victoria Park with thousands of others on a big screen really added to the atmosphere as well, and we all jumped up and screamed like crazy when both the Australian and Canadian teams paraded into the stadium.

Saturday morning - Day 1 of the Olympics - we got up early to go see Beach Volleyball at Horse Guards Parade. Although the idea of a "beach" in the middle of central London is pretty laughable, the venue is actually excellent. We had the cheapest tickets available and could still see everything and the view of Whitehall, the London Eye and Big Ben was amazing. The announcer was a bit cheesy - I think they wanted it to be a bit like being at a baseball game - and the crowd was a bit funny at the start. Being British they would quiet down at the start of each serve, as if we were at Wimbledon! So the announcer had a bit of hard work getting the crowd to be a bit more lively throughout the whole game. Unfortunately we missed out on seeing GB vs Canada in the afternoon session, but we watched it on TV with friends - I was pretty happy as we won, whoop whoop!
Watching Beach Volleyball at Horse Guards
Parade


Day 2 we went to Putney to watch the women's road cycling. I say "watch" but really all you get is a few seconds of them whizzing by on their bikes. GB got a silver in that race, which was their first medal so that was exciting. We spent the rest of the day watching various sports on the BBC, including watching Canada get its first medal, a bronze in the women's 3m springboard diving.

Yesterday was Day 3 and we went to see women's Tennis Table with the Noble's at the Excel Centre. To get there we took the Thames Clipper from Embankment to North Greenwich, and then a cable car across the river that has been put up for the Games. It was a pretty nice way to travel around London! Table Tennis was INTENSE to watch, there are 4 games going on at a time and they are quick. Really impressive, and actually far more entertaining than I was expecting.


Table Tennis at the Excel Centre
I just want to take a minute here to say how easy travelling around London has been since the Olympics have started. There are giant pink signs telling you how to get EVERYWHERE and tons of helpful volunteers. Also, I have not been squeezed into a tube car once - in fact if anything it seems less busy than usual. TfL have really done a good job (who would have thought we'd be saying that?!)

We got home last night and watched the highlights of the day - the most heartbreaking was the men's gymnastics. GB thought they had Silver, but then Japan appealed a decision and bumped GB into third. Worst of all the Ukraine thought they had bronze but were bumped to 4th place - I felt so sorry for them! I guess for every uplifting and inspiring story from the Olympics comes an equally disappointing and heartbreaking one.

Really looking forward to being in London for the rest of the games - Go Team Canada, Team GB and Team Australia!

mrswandymcnoble

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