06 September 2012

My London 2012 Olympic Experience

A couple of weeks ago I bought the cheapest ticket I could find to the Olympic Stadium to watch the Paralympics.  I had no idea what events I'd be seeing, nor did I have any idea where my seat would be.  My only "wants" were to be in the stadium during the evening so I could see it all lit up, to experience the atmosphere, and then to go up to the top of the Orbit.

With my last minute seat purchase I expected to be sitting up in the gods in the opposite corner to the finish line, so when I arrived and found myself sitting 10 rows or so behind the official photographers pit looking straight down on the finish line I was rather happy.

The ambience around the whole Olympic Park was magical.  It was stupidly busy, but yet you never actually felt claustrophobic as the park is so huge and the paths so wide.

I was only in the stadium for a couple of hours as I managed (earlier the same day) to get a ticket to go up the Orbit for later in the evening.  It meant I had to leave earlier than I would have liked, but the compromise was worth it.  I still got to see a few wheelchair races, a couple of medal ceremonies, and a few heats of the mens 100m which included Oscar "Blade Runner" Pistorius.

While at the top of the Orbit I was asked if I wanted to walk down the 455 steps to the bottom.  A few seconds later they were calling the lift to take me down!  I'd done enough walking that day thank-you-very-much!

I had decided to take the train up and then tube it across to Stratford from Waterloo.  The journey couldn't have been smoother with seats available for both tube rides.  The only annoyance was the shitty car park ticket machines at Southampton Parkway which never appear to work properly.

All in all a fantastic day, and the weather had been perfect.  Not a cloud in the sky for the whole day.

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