After months of waiting the Olympics, for us, were finally here. Of course I don’t mean as a competitor but as a spectator.
Over the long months leading up the the day we had been very much conditioned by the media to believe that it would be a complete and utter disaster. The trains and tubes either wouldn’t work or the staff would be on strike and the security would be so horrendous that it would take a week to get into the venue. I think this large dose of negativity actually worked in everyones favour as our Olympic experience was just about perfect. Not only was the transport a breeze but we also got a seat on all legs of the journey. I am a reluctant regular traveller to London from Reading and I can tell you that is almost unheard of at that time of the morning so I can only assume that regular commuters were no doubt frightened away. Similarly the entry into the Olympic park was easy and very well organised – no waiting at all. Heathrow could learn a thing or two.
The stadium, both inside and out, was very impressive as you would expect for a venue showcasing the cream of athletics. But it only really came alive when Team GB, in the 4x400m heats in our case, entered the stadium. The roar was just phenomenal. We were hoarse with shouting after just this one race so how the supporters managed cheering on Mo Farrah over 10,000m I really don’t know! What I also can’t quite work out is how an modest sized football club (West Ham, I’m looking at you) is going to have any hope of filling the stadium. I think that there is going to have to be some serious remodelling of the stadium before it can be used
What was perhaps more impressive was the park itself with the water way running through the centre and banks of wild flowers looking amazing. Equally impressive was the Orbit looking like a cross between a helter skelter and some alien creature. From the top the views allowed you to see right into the stadium and across much of central London itself. At the bottom of the Orbit was a concourse that lead from one end of the park to the other. By lunchtime this walkway was heaving with thousands of people and with the sun out and all these people it was a hot place to be.
Helen and I had a great day and saw some great sport and had it reaffirmed that Great Britain really is great and can put on a show they can be proud of.