Yes we’re there. London 2012 is here now and we’ve got another amazing week to go. The last 7 years of planning, moaning about costs, getting the transport infrastructure sorted out, training for all the athletes, buying (or in most cases trying to buy) tickets and everything else Olympic related has finished and we’re now celebrating in great British style.
The opening ceremony was something else. A great show, showcasing the amazingness that is this great island country and less of the spectacle that Beijing 2008 was. Some parts maybe missed if you’re not British but they were genius! The Mr. Bean bit had us in complete stitches. Classic.
We had our own Olympic party to watch the ceremony and all got into the spirit of it in true British style…
And then the games began. Unbelievable achievements everywhere for all countries. Some stunning events – including gymnastics (what these guys can do with their bodies defies belief), weightlifting (how much can they lift?), athletics (my favourite) and much much more. The training, focus and everything all the athletes put into it, is a real inspiration to us all.
We had tickets to see the rowing early in the week which was amazing. Standing seats (?) only but a great atmosphere. Seeing the boats going past along the 2km course is very cool, with the crowd cheering for them. Living in Twickenham we were lucky enough to see the cycling time trials come through here – over and done with in 8 seconds (going past you) but again great to see.
Paralympic athletic and judo tickets also for us, so more amazingness to see in a few weeks time.
Mrs. Noble managed to see the Olympic torch coming through Richmond – exactly where I was working until the end of last year (typical) and then again going up the Thames to the Olympic Park for the opening ceremony. Daddy was working so didn’t get to see them!
We headed up to Heathrow Airport the week before the Olympics to spot athletes coming in and we did. We got to see the teams for Australia (rowing), Japan, India (table tennis), UAE, Mongolia, Estonia and a few others. Very cool to see them arriving.
On the opening weekend we had to venture up into London – without event tickets (on the off chance that we could have bought some – fat chance, the whole ticketing system and process has been a complete and utter shambles; you couldn’t do it worse and whoever built – ha! – the actual online system needs a severe talking to; but that’s for a different post – to be titled something about why testing and planning is important). And complete with friends up from the South coast. Great fun, getting the buzz everywhere. No tickets, not even close but good to be up in the middle of it all. And seeing our great British armed forces on patrol – filling in brilliantly where G4S abysmally messed up – was the ultimate in re-assurance.
Our London 2012 mascots are everywhere in London and all very nicely themed. Now I’m working in the city (near Bank) I’ve done some great great runs around the city at lunchtime and even better to Vauxhall – part of the way home – in the evenings. The run across Tower Bridge, along the South Bank, across the Millennium Bridge (what was the wobbly bridge), past London Bridge, past Waterloo and the great London Eye is unbelievable. What a run past some of the greatest sites in the world.
Amazingly the London transport system is doing very well under the immense pressure that this many more people brings. There are signs at all the train stations pointing you in the right direction to the different Olympic venues, tube train maps have been updated showing you the right stops to get off at, Olympic volunteers are everywhere to help and daily updates are sent out (by e-mail) to let you know busiest stations that day. It’s all working and well…
Go Team GB. An awesome achievement so far and more to come. 14 gold medals (as of now) and 3rd in the medal tables behind the USA and China (both much much bigger countries in terms of land sizes and populations).
A great stat below from a friend on Facebook today…
London doesn’t get much better than this.