London 2012 ‘Olympicking’– It’s not just the winning, it’s the taking part

As someone living 339 miles away from the Olympics I felt a little bit removed from the whole event. While staying in Inverness for Rockness the Olympic Torch passed through and a concert with Emeli Sande, I thought might as well give it a go… Friday 27th July, good friends over for a meal and it happened to co-inside with the Opening Ceremony and I love it! The winged bicycles, the trampoline beds, the petals and the forming of the cauldron, I could go on… It sealed the deal, I’d been offered a ticket by Hazel, whose sister, Ailsa and her family had a spare handball ticket (?), a good traveling experience my mum reminded me.

Luckily the Saturday of the handball was warm and sunny and a perfect day to wander around Olympic Park- the words,’ it’s just surreal to actually be here’ kept popping to my head. All the ‘Games Makers’ (volunteers) and staff made the whole place really special, so friendly, so helpful, they sang songs, told jokes and make the whole experience quite different to anything I’ve experienced before.

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When I met Ailsa and her family, they were really friendly and welcoming- it was easy to hang around with them all day, great traveling experience.

 The handball took place in the Basketball Arena, as soon as I walked up the steps through the raked seats and I saw the court, it was amazing, this was it, I was actually there at London 2012. The game was fast paced and easy enough to get the general gist of what was going on, but what made it extra special was the humour by the behind the scenes team-

 Penalty “Under pressure”

 Sent off “O sit down, O sit down”

 Rough tackle (of which there were a few) “These girls fall like Dominoes”

 Someone getting knocked down “I get knocked down, but I get up again”

 Blaring out to keep everyone involved and add that extra bit of humour.

We were lucky enough that we had two sections of extra time as the scores were a draw in this very important Bronze Medal match, finally Spain finished the the extra time with a two point lead.

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But the Olympic experience wasn’t all over then, we still had to opportunity to watch on the big screen Mo Farah race for his double Gold Medal in the 5000m.

In the handball there had been plenty of Mexican/ Olympic waves but when it came to the last few metres of Mo’s race the crowds of people stood up, rippling like an Olympic wave. I only knew he made it, because of all the cheering, not through actual spectating, but it adds to the whole experience. All different nationalities coming together, for the appreciation of such talented sports people but to all be ‘a part of it’, perfect traveling experience.

As I walked through the Olympic Park passed the Aquatics Centre, I heard cheering, which I am hoping was for Tom Daley.

When I arrived back at Sam and Emma’s (my brother and his wife) flat, I saw Emma’s ‘Games Maker’ uniform for the Paralympics and I was filled with great pride that I knew someone that was going to help make the event even more special.

It was weird though, because I haven’t watched anything on TV apart from the Olympics for two weeks, but having spent the day there I had missed so much of the day’s action, thankfully Sam and Emma recorded it for me.

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