Warning- this post contains loads of photos!
Well the day finally arrived! We had tickets for athletics in the morning, and hockey in the evening. Lunch, raincoat, camera and water bottle packed, we headed to the underground (and even got the javelin train- what a fab idea).
The security was excellent- we walked right through in no time (no queues at all).
All the staff were so friendly (it was very “Disney”- they were all going ” we are so glad you are here, have a lovely day, let’s have a shout out to the New Zealand fans” etc) and it was signposted clearly.
This thing is so ugly though, especially the big concrete ribbon.
Woo-hoo: at our seats! By the way, the vast majority of these photos are by Andy as his camera has a good zoom etc.
Yes I was very excited to be there!
The stadium had a commentator (announcer?)- they explained what was happening, if they were heats who would go through, who the athletes were, what their records were (or if they had WR, OR’s etc) and so on. There was lots going on.
Those minis were for the javelins- once they had measured the throw they would put them on a mini and it would drive back to the start- as the athletes can choose from the pool of javelins- they don’t have their own.
Love the flame.
So, we got to see:
Women’s javelin (qualifiers)
Action shot! We did have a GB girl doing javelin but she didn’t qualify.
Men’s 110m hurdles- qualifiers. That was exciting- some of them knocked loads over though! We had a British guy (Andrew Turner?) qualify in his heat- exciting!
I love the dip they do as they get to the finish line.
The big screen would show things like their times, the WR and OR, the qualifying times, or the list of people who had qualified. I felt I knew what was going on. It was strange though because the athletes could obviously hear the announcer, so when they said things like “that’s not how she wanted to end her Olympics career” I felt a bit sorry for them to have to hear it about themselves!
Men’s triple jump– Phillips Idowu making an appearance after all that speculation.
More action shots!
Women’s 5000m qualifiers. I was very excited that I saw Jo Pavey, and also we had another Brit who qualified- Julia Bleasdale (although that confused me as they just said the surname so I was thinking it was Holly Bleasdale until I saw her!).
Men’s 200m qualifiers
There is so much macho strutting and stuff- they all have their little action to do to the cameras! Of course, the crowd went a bit crazy for Bolt- he lapped it up!
He was so fast, and really slowed down right at the end- he is amazing. His feet seem to grab the floor in front of him (no heel striking there!).
Blake was in another trial (and Bolt after the 100m said that he trains much harder)- he finished with a faster time in the end (than Bolt I mean) but they were all leaving some in the tank for the real race I think- again he really eased up when he got close to the finish line.
After the athletes finished, they had to go through rows of media interviews before they could leave the stadium. In one of the hurdles one of the men hurt himself, and hobbled off to a different exit, only to be told to go out the media exit. In the end a couple of other hurdlers (including the GB guy) went to help him walk as he was limping really badly.
I loved all the flags that went around the roof of the stadium.
Then we had a wander around the park- it is massive! I really didn’t appreciate how big it would be- it did say in our info it might take 30 mins to get to the venue after security, but I took that to mean it would take that long to go through security. Nope, it is just massive.
Think that is the boat from the Queen’s Jubilee? I really wanted to see the boat that Beckham drove (do you drive a boat?) in the opening ceremony!
There was a queue all the way up that hill of people having their photos taken, but we just did it from the side instead!
We sat in the park, had our picnic and watched the big screen for a bit.
Then we went to the shops- there is a massive Westfield. Oh my word it was so busy, but we were so excited to see a Pinkberry! Mainly because of it being on Curb your Enthusiasm! We shared one with mango and coconut- yum.
Then it was back for the hockey in the evening- this time at the Riverbank stadium. Very very pink!
GB were playing Spain- GB could draw to qualify, whereas Spain had to win.
A few action shots! In the end it finished 1-1. I don’t know much about hockey (trying to remember the rules from when I played it at school) and again the stadium announcers were very good as they would explain things like the penalty, time out, cards etc.
It rained quite a lot then, so we were glad of our rain coats.
After the games finished we had another wander around the park to see it lit up at night.
And then it was home 🙂
It was an amazing day, I felt so lucky to be there, and am so glad we persevered with the tickets (anyone who applied knows what a nightmare the system was). But it was just fantastic.
And well done to you if you got to the bottom of this post!
Olympic highlight so far?
Mine still has to be Mo Farah I think, that was such an exciting race.