Sunday, 12 August 2012

Days out at the Olympics!

I think it was some time in Spring 2011 when we entered a ballot for Olympic tickets. We selected a few sports that we liked - athletics of course, gymnastics for me, basketball for Pete etc, and waited months to find out what, if anything, we'd get. All we got was 2 tickets for the women's basketball semi-final. We had no idea which teams would be playing (and I don't know anything about basketball!) but  on Thursday we finally got to use those tickets, and had a great day.

Leaving the kids with my Mum and Dad, we headed up to London in the morning, and off to Hyde Park to catch the women's 10K swim in the Serpentine Lake. It was a beautiful day, hot and sunny, and the park was pretty busy.
In party mood!
The atmosphere was great as the swimmers set off, and then passed us several times as they swam laps for a couple of hours - incredible. There was a lot of support for Keri-Anne Payne, the British contender, but sadly she just missed out on a medal - by less than half a second...

That white foam is the swimmers!
After a lovely morning in the park, we crossed London on the tube. We were early as we approached our venue, so we decided to stay on the train to Stratford, where the Olympic Park is. Although you need tickets to get in, we thought we might see a bit from the outside, but it was hard to get close!

Olympic Stadium is in the background!
The Orbit tower

Aquatic Centre
 Then it was off to the North Greenwich Arena (formally The O2), to see the basketball.

Outside the venue

We were so excited when we got inside, it looked great! Although we were up in the cheap seats, the view was pretty good.

Before the game

The match was USA v Australia, which was great because they are probably the top 2 teams in the world. We decided to cheer for the Aussies, as they were the underdogs (sorry American readers!). It was really exciting, and the score was close up until the last quarter, when Team USA turned it on, and ran away into the lead. It ended up 86-73.

Penalty throw to Australia

After the match, we walked along by Westminster, went out for dinner, and got the train home. Amazing day.
London evening
Then today was the last day of the Olympics - sob! After some deliberation, we decided to take the kids up for the Men's Marathon so they could see a bit of live Olympics at last. We also met up with my sister, her husband and son, which made it even better!

All the family's here!
Ready to support Team GB!
Looking for runners
It was another roasting hot day - great for us but not so good for the runners. We got a good view, and saw tham run 3 laps past us. I was looking out for Ryan Hall, but never saw him, and read later that he'd sadly had to drop out. We saw the two British runners on every lap.

Bronze Medallist Kiprotich
Scott Overall (GB)
Lee Merrien (GB)
After the race, we had lunch and a wander through London before heading home.

With my sis
 What an amazing 2 weeks. We have been so lucky to have the games here, and to be able to be a part of some of the best times the UK has ever had. We British are a cynical grumpy bunch most of the time, but the country has really changed over the last 14 days, and it's been so much for the better. Let's hope we can hang on to this atmosphere! Roll on Rio 2016!


  1. Thank you for cheering us on. I was surprised that we weren't totally humiliated in that basketball match. The USA team is pretty formidable.

    I looked for you in the marathon crowd ;) It was a tough day at the office for so many of the runners - pity that the event started so late.

  2. Just wonderful that you and all of your family got to see some of the Olympics! Memories that can't be taken away.

  3. Well, I'll still be your blog friend even though you were rooting for Char's country and not mine!! But you owe me for that! ;)

    I think it's so incredibly cool that you got to go see some of the Olympics and able to take your kiddos to see some of the marathon...that is something they will never forget.

  4. That is great that you were able to see several Olympic events - and that the kids got to enjoy a bit too. My little guys likes the "running Olympics" on the tv and I think that in 2016, I want to try to get us to the track&field trials (just 1 state away).
    Rio would sure be a nice place to go for the next round!

  5. How cool that you got to see so much of the Olympics!

  6. Amazing 2 weeks for sure! London 2012 was superb! How lucky that you could experience it first hand!

  7. I'd just repeat what Johann said. I've never seen such crowds giving so much support at every Olympic event. It was awesome. London really did us proud. I'm so glad you could get there and be a part of it.