2012 Games Pessimist PROUD To Have Been There!

5 Aug


That is what I can say to my future grandkids, children, family and friends.

“Remember when London hosted the most successful, beautiful, poignant Games in history, kids?! NO?? Come here, Grandma Shelby will tell you all about it…”

I am soooo into it! Yesterday was an astonishing day for British Athletes as it saw new hero, girl-crush and all round superstar Jessica Ennis finally get her Gold Medal draped around her neck as she powered through the 800m race to, of course, come first. Greg Rutherford threw himself as far as he could to bag the Gold in the Men’s Long Jump and gave the most heartfelt yet baffled speech as he tried to get his head round his achievement. Hardcore runner Mo Farah got his anticipated Gold in the (rather tortuous) 10,000m race. Dani King, Joanna Rowsell and Laura Trott rowed their way to victory in the Women’s Pursuit; Andrew Trigg Hodge, Tom James, Pete Reed and Alex Gregory also rowed towards the Gold in the Men’s Four and Sophie Hosking and Kat Copeland got their hands on a somewhat unexpected Gold Medal as they won the Women’s Lightweight Double Sculls!

But winning aside, what I really can’t get over is my insistent love for it all! Rewind to one month ago and I was the epitome of a digruntled Brit; “What is all the fuss?”, “Olympic bed covers? What else can they flog?” and “Why are Olympic stars endorsing blister plasters and Subway food?” were some of my most frequent whinges.

The Opening Ceremony started (I was forced to watch it by my better half and I’m glad I did now in hindsight) and I didn’t get it. It was boring, confusing and downright messy (in my own humble opinion but don’t judge me yet).

Then they cleared away the Industrial Revolution stuff (thank goodness!) and got on with what can be confirmed as the greatest show on Earth (so far). From the music to the choreography to the set to everyone involved, the whole thing was perfectly timed, included world renowned superstars (David Beckham on that boat…ahem!), had a touch of the Great British sense of humour (Her Maj shooting out of that chopper… classic) and exuded a powerfully stunning visual to millions of people around the globe.

My Olympic obsession began.

So ever since I’ve been watching, following, pining for tickets that the media keep telling me are NOT available (yet hundreds of empty seats are clearly visible at almost every event…sigh…moan…sigh) and cheering on for Team GB!!

But then…

Horse Guards Parade, London, Thurday 2nd August: I WAS THERE!! A good chum of mine offered me a ticket to the Beach Volleyball Wednesday evening and I hurriedly accepted, booked a dogsitter and went home early from work. Excited is an understatement. I was BUZZING!

Next day, a good service on all tube services meant the trains weren’t grossly packed and the City felt friendly. I don’t remember a time I was EVER said “Hello” to on the tube let alone asked where I’m from and what I’m coming to London for today! A Brazilian tour guide and a very cockney lady were having a conversation directly opposite me about empty seats and Team GB, a German couple and an Australian were talking flight prices and what each of their countries has to offer and that they should go stay because it really is a fabulous country. All whilst a group of European lads were being sternly warned about their beer drinking.

Inside the arena I took my seat at around 2pm and didn’t leave it until 6pm! Honestly, the feeling of being in that arena felt like I was on an 18-30s holiday not casually supporting the Beach Volleyball teams! Sexy conga dancers and a perky female host perked us all up between matches and started mexican waves and long bursts of cheers for whoever we were there for.

My pal and I sat through Germany v Netherlands, Grrrrrrreat Britain v Russian Federation and USA v Spain – all cracking to see and an almighty barrage of support for Great Britain. So much so it gave me gooseys!

After dinner at Garfunkel’s (Trafalgar Square – go there, the pizza and rosé were to die!) we headed for home and I literally collapsed into my bed. The dogsitter had thankfully walked the dog 3x already throughout the day, groomed her, cleaned her up and got her ready for bed. Touch! (See below for her website, her services are FULLY recommended!)

I can apologise at this stage as I seem to have rambled on for over 800 words! However I’m glad I gave in to my hardened British disapproval and involved myself in an event that will be forever remembered and cherished.

x Peace London x

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