Olympic Park London Reviews
A huge success for UK - Olympics 2012 Aug 19, 2012
As far as I can see and much to my surprise, nobady else has written about this before. Therefore I may seem to go on a bit but I do apologise if any number of people have actually written.
The cost rating above is for the cheapest tickets to the Park only - of course tickets for events went up from cheapish to extremely expensive.
I assume that everybody knows that the 2012 Olympics were in London and that there was any amount of questioning within and beyond the UK about whether we could really manage such a monumental event. Even an American presidential candidate, for some reson or none, found it necessary to join in!
My son, Guy, got tickets through the issuing lottery for two events, equestrian (separate review under Greenwich Park coming shortly,) and preliminary women's basketball rounds which were in the Basketball Stadium at Olympic Park itself. We were staying with friends in Twickenham for the occasion. The event was on a Sunday morning at 9.00am and spectators were asked to be at the Park two hours earlier. Trains from Twickenham to Waterloo do not run that early on a Sunday so we had to get a bus to Hammersmith Bus Station, another to St Pancras International and then a Javelin train to Stratford International.
Everything went like clockwork and, after a quick breakfast at the station, we followed signs to the park and went through the airport-like security. Nothing that has been said about either the overall spirit of the place nor of the cheerful helpfulness of the multitude of volunteers owes a thing to hype. I had been depending a lot on this to counteract the effect of the anniversary of Pam's death and it wildly exceded my expectations.
Sight of my stick led the very first volunteer to direct us to the mobility buggies and we were driven past the aquatic arenas, the wonderful sculpture by Anil Kapoor and the stadium itself towards the velodrome and the basketball arena. Seeing the Olympics only on TV gave little idea of the scale of things. There was the main stadium looking huge and close - but the sign said 20 minutes walk and the sign was right!
On entry to the basketball arena I was sent to a ticket place by a volunteer who identified me as a person who would suffer from too many stairs. We were reallocated seats lower down in a great situation.
To be honest, the games themselves were not of wonderful quality. The French considerably outclassed the Russians and in the second game Angola, in their first ever entry in the event, seemed inches shorter on average than their Czech oppponents. Even so, never having watched a basketball game before, we were excited enough. The demonstations by athletes during half time in each game, of which no sign appeared on TV, were simply marvellous.
After these games we were free to look all round the park. Had Guy not arranged for a round on the London Eye at 4.30 as a slightly early birthday present for me, we could easily have stayed all day, looking at the huge screen from a hill in the park and generally enjoying that pheniminal atmosphere.
Every comment was of the great success of all aspects of the 2012 games.
Part of the list England - (Yorkshire + Devon + Cornwall)
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