If you’d asked me a few months ago if I was excited about the Olympics and Paralympics coming to London, I’ve have given you an apathetic shrug, and a response not dissimilar to “It’s in London, I’m going to get no benefit from it” and other typically Scottish grumblings. How I’ve changed my tune now that it’s all over though!
I enjoyed London 2012 so much. From Glover and Stanning’s first of our gold medals, to Jessica Ennis’ domination of the Heptathlon, and all of the drama in the Velodrome, it’s been great. And of course, there’s was women’s football on the telly – and it was good! (The women’s football team was certainly better than the men’s too!) I got nothing done at work as I always had some sneaky coverage on in the background, and I’d come home and stick the telly straight on to keep watching.
This enthusiasm continued throughout the Paralympics too. Sarah Storey won the first gold medal, and it was great to see big names like Hannah Cockcroft, Ellie Simmonds, and Jonnie Peacock do well. Channel 4 were great with their coverage, and their LEXI guide was really helpful with my understanding of the different event categories. And of course, Clare Balding was on my telly for a whole month – can’t go wrong with that!
So, as you can imagine, I was more than excited when Carley told me she’d bought tickets for us to go to the Paralympics with her mum and step-dad. We had tickets for the evening session in Olympic Stadium, the last night of the Games, and, of course, the last race being the T44 400m final – “the big one” featuring Oscar Pistorious and Alan Oliveira.
I was tired, sunburnt, barely unpacked from Barcelona and had a mountain of work on my desk, but we sat on a train for 5 hours, and spent less than 2 full days down south, but you know what, it was totally worth it. The Olympic Stadium is superb. Honestly, it was worth all the money and all of the “Will it even be finished in time?!” drama. We didn’t have a chance to wander right round the Park, but there was lots of wandering with my jaw gaping in awe.
Don’t even get me started on the sport itself! We were sat on the bend where they start the 200m, and had a great view. I’m not going to go on too much longer, but a definite highlight of the evening was watching the men’s F 46 high jump final.
By the end of the event, there was one athlete left, Maciej Lepiato from Poland. He made every jump, finally bowing out on 2.12m, a massive 7cm over the world record! The whole stadium was getting behind this one guy as he jumped – it was really something special, 80,000 people willing him to jump the next height up!
Anyway, sorry it’s been a while – we’ve had a really busy few weeks, what with going to Barcelona too (See Carley’s post on that here!) I know a few of our friends from London have seen some Olympic and Paralympic events – what has everyone thought of London 2012? A resounding success? I think so!Stacey