Well as 2012 draws to a close, I thought I’d share with you my memorable summer…
But let me take you back seven and a half years when we found out that London was chosen to be the host city of the Olympic games in 2012 and what a day that was, then the following day our jubilation of this fantastic announcement was brought down to earth with the bombings on the London transport network.
I bet you can remember where you were when you heard either of these pieces of news which impacted on our country and the days that followed.
I can remember where I was exactly as if it was yesterday (working very long hours as a senior manager in a health club in Croydon) but little did I know how much my life would change in those intervening years between the announcement of London 2012 and it actually taking place this summer (running my own business in the beautiful & amazing county of Lincolnshire, which is now my home).
All I knew was that by hook or by crook I was going to go to the Olympics, I knew that it was a once in a life time event and I had to experience it for myself first hand. So as soon as tickets were available I was on the website, completing my details and deciding what I wanted to go and see and I was one of the lucky ones and managed to get two tickets for ladies hockey on my first attempt!!
Well you can imagine my glee when I found that there was going to be a torch relay around the country and it was heading our way. At this point I was like a little child bouncing around with excitement, again I made it my mission to make sure my diary was clear so I could be there and see the torch.
Then it was announced that during the torch relay it was actually staying overnight in Lincoln and there was going to be a free ticketed event to celebrate this occasion!! Yes you’ve guessed it I got tickets.
As the torch weaved its way around this great country of ours I was a daily viewer of torch cam, brimming with excitement as the days counted down to when it would arrive in the city of Lincoln.
Before I knew it, it was 27th June 2012, on a lovely summer’s afternoon, tickets in hand; friends and I made our way to Lincoln Castle Academy to wait for the torch to arrive. We were entertained while we waited to get our 1st glimpse of the torch itself. And there is was and then to top it all, the Red Arrows did a fly over the stage, what a fantastic end to a memorable day. And then I arrived home to find that my hockey tickets were on the door mat (Cue: Jumping up and down with excitement again!!)
The next morning, I was up at the crack of dawn determined to see the torch again as it left the city. So I made my way to the castle square and waited in the drizzle (what a difference a day makes!!) to see the torch leave the cathedral and head into the castle and then out of the city.
So now I had over a month to wait until the day arrived where I would walk under these banners.
I had tickets for 10th August 2012, again an early start to get to the park bright and early before the crowds and the excitement in the air as you stepped off your train at Stafford was palpable. The sun was already high in the sky so we knew we were in for a lovely sunny day at the park.
We headed straight for the Riverbank Arena where the hockey was being played and found our seats. Watching hockey is quite intense due to it being very fast paced, as the teams run up and down the pitch and before we knew it the 1st game had finished, a short break ensued and then we were back in our seats to watch the 2nd match of the session.
Once the hockey finished we headed to BA’s Park Life to take in the atmosphere of the games.
Then it was time to head home.
The following day I was lucky enough be asked by a friend if I wanted to join her to watch the Men’s Modern Pentathlon (MP) (I’d actually applied for these tickets but had been unsuccessful).
None of us had seen MP before so we didn’t know what to expect. Before we went to the 1st venue we headed to the booking office for The Orbit, the day before we had tried to get tickets but they were all sold out!! As it was early we got some (yay). Then we head to the Copper box where the first discipline took place.
Fencing – the way this event worked was that all the competitors fought each other in a round robin system so at any one time there were 20 matches happening.
Once the fencing was over we raced over to the Orbit to experience the park from the top of this magnificent structure.
Swimming – once back to ground level we headed to aquatic centre to see the 200m race. We weren’t in our seats long the heats only took around 15 minutes. And on mass everyone left the park and headed to Greenwich Park to see the final 3 events.
Once in our seat I was taken aback by the backdrop of venue, we had the perfect view of the city of London and it looked amazing.
Equestrian – This event is a real test of the athletes horsemanship, they are introduced to the horse for just 30 minutes before they have to do show jumping course, this was edge of your stuff, no one knew how the horses were going to react and we did have some hairy moments when the horses either bucked or refused a jump.
After a short break and a re-arrangement of the arena it was time for the shooting and running combined event. The athletes had to run a short distance, shoot 5 laser targets before doing a 1km circuit of the park, this happened twice more (shoot, run, shoot, run) and the athlete who crossed the finished line first was the gold medallist and Olympic champion.
And then it was over for me but what an amazing experience it was and something I will never forget.
Thank You and well done Britain, we truly are GREAT!!