Thursday, 9 August 2012

Olympic eventing continues - Track cycling, Trampolining, Swimming and Athletics

We've been spending the middle of this week in a funny sort of limbo - we've had another busy weekend at the Olympic Park with another to come, and now we're enjoying a quiet period in the middle before we head up again for the final weekend. On Saturday we managed to squeeze in three events - from Track Cycling in the Velodrome, to the North Greenwich Arena (aka the O2) for Trampolining, then back to the Olympic Park for the Swimming Finals at the Aquatic Centre. On Sunday we returned to the Olympic Stadium for the Athletics, including the 100m final.

If you're wondering how we've managed to get all these tickets, it's all down to my husband. We didn't receive any tickets in the first round, and only tickets for a few less popular events in the second round. In the month or so before the games started, my husband began stalking the ticket website and the other websites that pulled down information about the latest ticket sales. He bought lots and lots of tickets, most of which we sold back as they were replaced by tickets to better events. Yes, he did become a little addicted, and no, I don't know what he's going to do when it's all over. It is quite an investment, although the vast majority of our tickets are in the cheapest seats.

When we entered the Velodrome we could see why it had been particularly difficult to buy tickets, as it felt very small. This meant that although we were far back we still had a good view, and there was a real sense of the cyclists being spurred on by the noise of the crowd. We didn't see any finals, but it was still really exciting, especially when there were two cyclists racing.

London 2012 Olympics - Track cycling, trampolining, swimming and athletics

I enjoyed the trampolining because the whole event was completed in a couple of hours, and there was no hanging around. We saw sixteen ladies each perform two routines, then the eight with the best scores went through to the final. The huge stadium was packed and we were very high up but we still had a good view, although I spent the whole time with bated breath though in case one of the ladies bounced off!

I didn't really like the Aquatics Centre as a venue. It has a huge overhanging ceiling in the middle, and we were in the second row from the back so we were very high above the pool. Because of the central ceiling we couldn't even see most of the spectators on the other side of the pool, and if we had been watching diving we wouldn't have been able to see the top board. We actually managed to swap our original seats for some at the same level on the other side, and we found out from the young man next to us that our new seats had been returned because they had belonged to his mother, and she couldn't stay in the seats because they gave her vertigo! I can see why, and it also felt very claustrophobic. The swimming was exciting, and we were lucky enough to be there for Michael Phelp's final gold medal and presentation.

London 2012 Olympics - Track cycling, trampolining, swimming and athletics

After a long day, we returned the next day for the Athletics and the 100m final. We arrived a bit early so we were able to have a bit of a wander around the Olympic Park. The landscaping in the park is really beautiful, with lots of flowers and it's all generally really clean and tidy.

London 2012 Olympics - Track cycling, trampolining, swimming and athletics

At all the events we've seen I've loved watching the preparations that you can't see on the television, for example the volunteers moving the starting blocks and lane numbers about, and keeping track of the athletes possessions in big plastic boxes. It's all incredibly well co-ordinated, and they all perform their manoeuvres in complete sync with each other. The build up to the 100m final was huge, with the excitement building in the crowd and the helicopters hovering overhead. Although I had teased Ram about paying all that money for less than 10 seconds, overall I'd say it was worth it. Our seats were at the very top of the press area, and as we left we paused at the bottom of the steps for a few minutes to look over and watch the athletes being interviewed just below us.

London 2012 Olympics - Track cycling, trampolining, swimming and athletics

We experienced a brief moment of excitement as we joined the crowds outside the stadium and found ourselves caught in a crowd right next to Boris Johnson! I've no idea how he had ended up there away from the VIP area, he was ushered through the gate that we were being prevented from using, accompanied by much friendly ribbing!

We've been travelling in to the Olympic Park from Ebbsfleet which has been a really good move. There are big crowds leaving the park, but once you can get away from everyone travelling into central London there are very few people heading out Kent way, and because the trains go every few minutes they are nearly empty. The volunteers are also doing a really good job of keeping the crowds under control and moving, there's very little hanging around even at busy times.

9 comments:

  1. These photos are absolutely marvellous! Thank you so much for sharing! I am so jealous of you being able to experience the Olympics!

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    1. Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed it! I know, we are very lucky :)

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  2. I saw the 100m final at an Olympic venue! On the big screens just before the Beach Volleyball match started. Which gave it a really amazing atmosphere, definitely got everyone revved up for the volleyball! Which was great fun in itself. That was the only event we're going to see but I'm glad we went to see something.

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    1. That must have been really exciting! I loved the beach volleyball, it was definitely one of my favourite events, so I'm glad that you got to enjoy it too!

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  3. What a fantastic post. Great pictures. How amazing to be there for that! You'll be able to dine out on that for the rest of your lives!

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    1. Thank you! Yes we will have lots of Olympic stories to bore everyone with!

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  4. Sounds like you have been having a great time-and all that searching from your husband has been paying off!

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    1. He has put so much effort into hunting down the tickets, but I do worry what he's going to do when it's all over!

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  5. It's once in a lifetime; you're so right to make the most of it! x

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