I have already posted about the overall organisation, and the incredibly joyful atmosphere that has reigned over east London during the last 2 weeks, so I am now taking the opportunity to post a few more photos and thoughts in an attempt to share the experience.
We were lucky enough to have acquired 8 tickets from the first ballot last year, for athletics, over 2 days as well as 2 tickets for boxing. Mark and I went to the athletics on both days, and gave our other tickets (2 for each of the athletic days, and the boxing tickets) to our daughters. (Our son and his wife were not able to get babysitters, so couldn’t come too.....hence Mark and I went twice).
|we took our seats early, and watched the stadium fill up|
All this meant that we were in the stadium on the evening that Ennis won gold in the heptathlon, Rutherford won the long jump, and Mo Farah won the 10,000 metres. We had great seats, with an excellent view of the finishing line, and we could feel the heat from the flame.
We also sat just behind a woman who delighted us by telling us she had been at Wembley in 1948, as a 7 year old child...so this was her 2nd London Olympics.
I have already posted about how tremendously uplifting the atmosphere was, and how goodwill to all was apparent everywhere. For me, such a positive spirit of camaraderie, where each athlete’s efforts were supported and cheered, was by far the best bit. While I could wax on about atmosphere and happy fans for ages, I do want to share a little of the excitement we felt from what we actually witnessed in the stadium.
Jess Ennis was clearly the darling of the crowd. We watched her shot put and 200 metres on Friday, and then on Saturday night, with one event left, the 800 metres, she was poised to win the heptathlon. It seemed that as long as she turned up, and didn’t break a leg going round, the gold was hers. It was, and she was determined to give the crowd something to cheer about as she crossed the line first, despite only needing to finish in the pack. The roar was amazing. I can honestly say I have never heard anything like it.
|Jess Ennis, about to cross the line in the final event....to win gold|
Greg Rutherford then went on to win gold for Britain in the long jump, and when Mo Farah crossed the line in first place in the 10,000 metres, I thought the stadium would explode. He hugged the other Brit in the race, his daughter ran onto the track, he hugged her, then his very pregnant wife appeared on the track and everyone was cheering, crying, flag waving and generally involved with the extreme emotion of the whole occasion.
The climax of Saturday’s session was the 100 metres women’s final....no Brit running, but you would not have known that from the noise in the stadium. It had been the same the night before when a tiny Ethiopian woman stormed to victory in the women’s 10,000 metres. The crowd roared in encouragement and delight at winners, and those that finished miles behind the winners. Lapped runners in the 10,000 were applauded with as much vigour as those that led the race.
The noise, the sheer power of all that effort, the pure emotion and joy will live with Mark and I for a long time.
|I dont know who she is...but I felt like she looks.....all day.|