A Travellerspoint blog

London, England

Olympic fever!

rain 70 °F

Sadly, we did not get into Olympic Park, but it wasn’t because we didn’t try. We were however able to sneak our way past the countless volunteers to reach the Olympic Park turnstiles to bring you this amazing photo:

We were among the many others who checked the official website multiple times a day, only to find £1,800 tickets for the closing ceremonies. After scalpers and craigslist didn’t work out, we settled for visiting the fan zone activities that were set up in Hyde and Victoria Parks. The parks had huge TV screens set up for watching events and were littered with bands and fun activities like wheelchair basketball (of which we dominated the cross court sprints against the 12 year olds, by the way). When it started raining (as it does with the lousy weather in England), the fans didn’t seem to mind sitting on the ground under their Union Jack umbrellas.

With gold in the triathlon, distance events, and triple jump, England was having great medal success this year and it added to the excitement at the Fan zones. When Andy Murray won gold in Men’s Tennis, we were lucky to find a seat in the grass, and when the woman’s heptathlon gold winner Jessica Ennis came on the stage to say hello to the crowd, we almost got trampled by Team GB supporters! Jessica is to Team GB, what Michael Phelps is to the USA. She was deemed the face of the Olympics prior to the games and after her Gold she became Queen of the Olympics in London. Turns out she is from Sheffield, which is near where Robin’s mom grew up (can’t you see the resemblance)!

It was strange to watch the coverage and realize that we weren’t in Kansas anymore. We had no idea what was going on with team USA because being in England, we were only shown highlights and athlete profiles of team GB. So to get a broader perspective, we went to the Royal Opera house to see an exposition called ‘the Olympic Journey’ which took visitors through the history of the Olympics, and highlighted some of the great athletes. There was an awesome display showing all of the medals and torches for each of the previous Olympic Games. Then we ran the current Olympic Torch through the hall for a cheesy tourist photo.

Although we were disappointed about the ticketing fiasco, the energy was definitely present, even riding the tube was quite fun since there were athletes dressed in their warmups and plenty of enthusiastic fans dress with their nation’s colors.

Posted by Robin-and-Kevin 12:11 Archived in England

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