I’ve spent the last ten years in a big “so what” about the Olympics coming to London. That was until the opening ceremony blew us all away and confused the Americans. Now, like Charlie Brooker, I’ve been won over. After and hour of clicking on Sunday night, I scored a ticket for a REAL SPORT! None of that synchronised drowning rubbish.
So today, I set out. First thing I encountered were the lovely volunteers and their tent at Camden Town tube. I was so full of it I had to share and they gave me big thumbs up to send me on my way. By the way, had I known I’d have been between contracts now, I’d have volunteered the hell out of this. It’s an AMAZING thing to be involved in. Well done those who did it.
Down to St Pancras for the Javelin. Which is lovely. And FAST.
The Olympic Park itself is HUGE. 30 minutes from Stratford to the Basketball. Most notable is all the greenery and the waterways. I REALLY hope once this is all over, it gets weekend use. It’s half an hour from Camden and if there are reasons to go at the weekend, we will.
There were fears at the outset of security cockups and draconian camera restrictions. In the event, these were unfounded. Security was a breeze. The only restrictions on cameras were “no lenses longer than 30cm” and “don’t be a dick”. Also Getty have exclusive rights commercially so don’t go selling your pics.
The sport I scored tickets for was Basketball: US vs. Canada and Australia vs. China. The US match was so one-sided it was depressing. The China match was much tighter with some great skill and determination shown by both sides. And the right team won: Australia. There was, however one move by one of the Chinese players that was quite breathtaking.
The interval acts were pretty good: some basketballing acrobats, blond dancers and modern hip-hop style dance. Pretty good.
The return was mildly depressing. The mega McDonalds was SO out of place and emitting minging greasy smells. I really hope they coughed up a lot of money for the privilege of spoiling our environment.
One last comment: the audience was overwhelmingly white and the volunteers overwhelmingly not. I’ll leave it to a future PhD to decode.