Saturday, 11 August 2012

The One Where We Go To The Olympics

On Sunday hubby and I went to the Olympics!

Yes the Olympics!

The London 2012 Olympics in our country, in our lifetime, in my husbands home city.

Can you tell we were a bit excited?

So excited in fact that we kept saying "We're at the Olympics" to each other every five minutes until we even annoyed ourselves! 

We travelled over to London early on Sunday and got into town (as hubby calls it because he's allowed to being a genuine Londoner) in good time to line the route for the Ladies Marathon.

The boy , by the way, was with Nanny P and Granddad Atu and when informed by my Mum that "Mummy and Daddy had gone to the Olympics| and she was going to put the TV on incase they could spot us on the telly, the boy seemed briefly impressed by this,

"Lympics. Oh." but after about 20 seconds of watching people run in the pouring rain added "Spencer and Gordon next DD put on please" and Thomas the Tank Engine stories reigned supreme once more. 

We positioned ourselves at the front of the barrier with a great view of the runners coming around the corner, where they were to be greeted with the stunning sight of St Paul's Cathedral bathed in mid morning summer sunlight.

Well that was the plan of the organisers I'm sure. What actually greeted them was a dirty great black cloud hanging heavy over the majesty of that fine building. With a lot of people in cagoules looking like someone had just tipped a bucket of water over a rambling club!

Welcome to London! Here have a towel.

We were soaked! But it didn't matter. We cheered the ladies on including our own personal favourite, a very plucky girl from East TiMor, who must have been a good 20 minutes behind everyone else and was possibly just running for a bus she was so off the pace. 

Amazingly when we checked the result of the race later she didn't come last so she either got a spurt on or someone gave her a piggy back!

Having watched the runners go round a couple of times at various points on the route, after finding some powerful hand driers in the toilets of a very posh shopping centre in the city to dry face, hands, arms, my top and my supposedly waterproof coat, we were on our way across London to Earl's Court for the ladies volleyball.

As advised we got there two hours before to get through security and because we cleared this so quickly we had time to kill before the matches. So we looked at vastly overpriced merchandise and bought vastly overpriced food and we sat in front of a big screen with everyone else and watched Ben Ainslie win his sailing gold medal cheering like idiots.


Then it was time for the main event. The first match was GB ladies versus Japan. A whitewash unfortunately to Japan but then we discovered that they are ranked 5 in the world and GB ladies have never entered a team before.

The second match was a masterclass in how to play the game. Italy (ranked 4) versus Russia (ranked 9). This went to all five sets and was very close with Russia, who have team members that are 6-ft 4 and two who are 6-ft 8, eventually winning.

Now all through the two matches we had the family from hell behind us. Actually it was more like the Dad and one teenage son from hell because the Mum and the other lad where fine. They had with them an official concertina device that you whacked against your hand, arm, each other, the seat in front of you, anything really to make a noise. Think of the noise and annoyance of an old fashioned football rattle and multiply it by 12 and you've got it.

They thumped the damn thing throughout the whole of the GB v Japan match and then mercifully left in the break and for the first set of the Italy v Russia game.

We thought they'd gone. We were home and dry. Hooray. We'd got rid of them. Our withering looks had forced them to move to some of the empty seats over the other side.

No such luck!

They returned and unfurled a flag then proceeded to cheer enthusiastically for Italy.

There was something wrong with the flag though. It didn't seem quite right. I turned to hubby

"The Italian flag is red, white and green, right?" I asked

"Yes" he said "It's up there with all the flags of the competing countries in this event" and he pointed up to where all the flags were displayed.

I scanned them. No I couldn't see the flag they were waving. There's was similar but the colours were a bit wrong and it had a dark pattern in the middle. What on earth were they doing? They kept on shouting "Italia, Italia" but what were they waving?

Hubby looked round "They've got the Indian flag" hubby laughed "It's green, white and orange look, with the wheel emblem in the centre"

That was it then. I was gone. I'd got the giggles. It didn't matter how annoying they were after that, all I had to do was turn around look at the flag and see them waving it as they cheered for Italy and I lost it again. 

It's a shame they only take Visa at the London 2012 games because this was a Mastercard moment.  Just like the whole experience of the day, it was priceless!

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