Monday, August 13, 2012

Olympic Roundup


It's all over and wasn't it fantastic. Bar a sub-standard domestic ticketing system and a good but could do better closing ceremony (where are Led Zeppelin when you need them?), I can't fault the games. Great, imaginative venues, vibrant crowds to fill them and, of course, inspiring performances from the athletes.
As the proceedings drew to a close I managed to squeeze in two final events (numbers 12 and 13). Working from home for the day, I popped out for a 20 minute cycle round the parks on my lunch break and happened to overtake a forthright Bulgarian. As I was passing he asked me if I was heading to the swimming marathon. I said no. He said why not, I said why not and off we went. After following the bloke to what he guaranteed was the best viewing spot, I was at the south-western corner of the Serpentine and watching a flurry of arms froth past in the water. These guys are nuts. A 10 km freestyle swim in less than two hours and what a place to do it. In the pond at the heart of central London's largest park, surrounded by thousands of cheering fans. The sun was even shining. A couple of pics and I was back off home.
Living just south of the river there was no excuse not to jump over Waterloo Bridge, melt into the exuberant crowds one last time and support the men's marathon runners as they flew past. So many had gathered for this final athletics event. Lining the streets 10 deep on either side, clambering on top of monuments, squeezing onto steps and leaning out from atop the bridge to get a glimpse of the action and wish these games farewell.
On that note I will sign off these short scribblings on what has been a simply wonderful 16 days. It has been so refreshing to see the ever pervading cynicism wash away from the capital as the world poured in. London has done itself proud. I can't wait until Rio!
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