I love the Olympics. It’s a time when I get to watch many sports that I wouldn’t normally watch. I love to see the incredible level the athletes perform at, many of whom have a normal everyday job on the side of being an athlete. So when London were awarded the 2012 games I was determined to be there at some point during the two weeks.
I only managed to get a weekend over there and during the buildup to my departure, I spent many frustrating hours looking at this screen:
But despite not being able to get tickets to an event I thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere in the city. London always has been a multi-cultural city where, at any time of the year, you meet people from all over the world. But what made the Olympics atmosphere special was the supporters of different countries waving flags, wearing their country’s colours and singing and cheering.
Whilst walking through the fanzone in Hyde Park on Saturday morning, we found out that there was going to be the Men’s 20 KM Race Walk later that afternoon in front of Buckingham Palace and that you didn’t need tickets to spectate. So later that day we headed through Green Park and as we approached Buckingham Palace, the atmosphere could already be heard.
The closer we got to the race circuit, the more apparent it became just how many supporters from around the world were here. We positioned ourselves close to a group of Chinese supporters who were enthusiastically cheering on the eventual winner, Ding Chen.
It was a great atmosphere and really interesting to see just how physical the sport is. These guys honestly walk faster than I run! Gold Medalist Ding Chen finished the 20 KM circuit in a time of 1:18:46, setting a new Olympic record.