Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Feeling Very Olympic

Two golds have been won today by Great Britain, it’s making me feel very Olympic and patriotic – odd emotions for someone who isn’t generally either.

My air of Olympic-ness began, along with most of the country, during the Opening Ceremony when the whole world was shown the most perfect, quirky representation of Britishness.  The sheer joy I felt as the actual Queen Elizabeth II called Daniel Craig ‘Mr Bond’ was only tarnished by the fact I was clock watching during the proceedings due to an exceptionally early rise the next morning.  For the record, my definition of ‘early rise’ is anything before 7.30 on a weekday and anything before 10 on a weekend.  On Saturday I had to get up at 6.20.  Let’s all think about his for a second, that’s almost TWO HOURS earlier than I get up for work.  The fact I managed to do it and not die I view in the same league of achievements as Wiggins winning the Tour de France and the Olympic gold in the same fortnight.

I was up early to attend the first session of heats at the Aquatic Centre at 10am.  They recommend you get to the Olympic Park two hours in advance but the lines for security were non-existent and we got through in seconds.  Plus in an amazing bonus the helpers around the park were actually nice, not like those brutes that usually patrol big gigs and events.

Once inside the park I took obligatory grainy pictures of the sights before heading to the Aquatic Centre.  There was only one thing on my mind by this point - coffee.  Due to all that corporate sponsorship nonsense there is a fairly limited choice of food and drink.  I thought I had nothing to fear as Cadburys would be on sale and I could have some chocolate with my coffee to kick me up the arse into awakeness.  Alas, all they had when I got to the front of the queue was Nature Valley bars – thanks but no thanks kiosk worker.

Swimming just happens to be the sport we managed to get tickets for.  Prior to Saturday I’d never been overly bothered by it.  Seeing the heats didn’t necessarily make me aspire to be a keen amateur or want to go to watch more competitions but it was amazing to be a part of proceedings.  

Most of the heats we saw were of male swimmers.  Personally, men with very toned bodies don’t do it for me but seeing them all buffed and in their little pants gave me a real respect for their athleticism (not a pervert’s comment, promise).  As well as that, I hadn’t anticipated how people would cheer along and get into the spirit of things.  At points it was properly wild. 

I got to see Michael Phelps swim (he did not do well at the session I attended) but even better than that I got to see the actual Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.  The royals are a guilty, guilty pleasure of mine – it was like hitting the jackpot.

Upon leaving the park I went straight home to watch the road race and I’ve been glued to my screen watching all kinds of sports I had no idea I cared about ever since.  Somehow just by living in the city that the Olympics are taking place in makes me feel a duty to watch it all, to ensure that we maintain what we started in the Opening Ceremony.  

Is everyone else feeling Olympic too?

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