The final stop on our big Olympics tour was to Hyde Park for BT London Live. This was basically five large screens showing live olympics action with concession stands around the outside selling Olympic tat and over priced food and drink. There was also a main stage that was showing a number of different groups and solo artists over the two weeks. If I am honest this was the real reason that we went as Paul Carrack was playing a short set. We settled ourselves in front of the main stage which when we arrived was showing Chariots of Fire, Vangellis getting yet more royalties. Following which the final of the men’s football was shown. There were a large number of both Mexicans and Brazilians in the crowd and the latter sportingly acknowledged the former at the end of the game, which was a nice touch. Then there were the Team GB winning Taekwondo medalist paraded before out came Mr Carrack.
As you can see from the pictures below we were very lucky with the weather and the day was a great way to round off our Olympics.
One of the things I liked about London 2012 was the stuff that was organised on the periphery, such as music concerts and public works of art. On the walk into the stadium we noticed a mobile phone mast that had been disguised as an Olympic torch, which was rather cool. Not sure if it will stay there beyond the end of the games but I hope so.
Another interesting work was the push-up bus designed by Czech artist David Cerny which cleverly combines the instantly identifiable icon of the red London bus with an equally recognisable (if you are an athlete) action in the form of a push-up. This “push-up bus” was located outside of the Business Design Centre in Islington where the Czech’s were based.
It was amazing to watch and it was also accompanied by grunting sounds as the bus was lifted off the ground. You can see it in the video below.
I am not sure how much longer it is going to be there but if you get a chance it is definitely worth a visit.
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.
At some point over the next few days I will get round to uploading a proper post from the Olympics and some more pictures, this time of the action! In the meantime one of the things we saw yesterday were these water messages which were pretty neat. Pity I couldn’t keep the camera still!
The catch phrase of London 2012 has always been to “Inspire a Generation“. I think that what Lord Coe and the rest of LOCOG probably had in mind was inspiring the NEXT generation not old fogies like me. However, having seen 54-year old Nick Skelton win gold for Team GB yesterday I am beginning to wonder whether there is still time for me to represent my country.
Obviously it would have to be in an event that doesn’t require me to be in the peak of my physical fitness (I’m not sure when that actually was!). Britain seems to excel in sports that involve sitting down and that could be to my advantage as I am really good at that. Also my long range eyesight is really good although I am struggling to read anything close up these days, so reading the rule book could be a chore.
So I have four years in which to select a suitable sport, become good at it and get selected for Team GB and then I am on my way to Brazil! Any suggestions for suitable sports would be welcome!!!