What an amazing sight and start it has been to the 2012 London Olympics.
During the build up to the Olympic Games there have been many events that people have been able to join in with. The main one was watching the torch on its historical journey around the country. It has been watched by thousands of spectators over 70 days, carried by 8,000 runners, covering a staggering 8,000 miles winding around the country ….. what an achievement!
Image from Neil Smith
The inaugural celebrations started on the 27th July at 8.12am. The artist Martin Creed invited people from all over the world to take part in the London 2012 Festival Project by ringing a bell, no matter how big or small. People joined in by ringing Church bells, hand bells, door bells and the telephone to welcome in the start of the Olympic Games.
I had not seen the torch on its route, but was keen to take part in my own way and rung a set of sleigh bells. It was a strange feeling seeing other people doing the same thing on the TV, at the same time as me, wanting to be a part of the celebrations. It gave me quite a buzz or was that a ding-a-ling?
My sleigh bells
The opening ceremony was a complete delight and held my attention for a whole three hours! With a little explanation by the commentator they guided us through the country’s history to the current day. The scenery changes were spell binding, with JK Rowling reading an exert from ‘Peter Pan’, written by JM Barrie; villainous characters from many children’s stories both large and small paraded within the arena.
For me the evening was totally enthralling, with many highlights; great British humour, 1000 drummers, Mr Bean and the London Symphony Orchestra, The Queen and James Bond – 007 skydiving in to join the opening ceremony, and lastly the Olympic teams and the spectacular fireworks. The teams took over 90 minutes to enter the arena, they all looked so happy to be taking part in the opening event. It really was an amazing evening’s viewing and a credit to Danny Boyle for his ingenious thought and planning of the opening ceremony.
A wide variety of sports have already been played in this first week, running all the way through the alphabet from A for Archery right through to V for Volleyball. There has been great rivalry, sporting spirit and camaraderie from all the past, present and anticipated Olympic athletes of the world. I have enjoyed the all consuming atmosphere of the Olympics, being caught up in the spirit of the games whatever the sport.
Apart from the unfortunate controversy regarding a minority of athletes, it has been sad to see so many empty seats at the venues. Although this is a daily problem, the committees are trying to rectify this situation by selling the seats off the evening before events take place.
We have all enjoyed watching the wide variety of sporting events on a daily basis, dipping in and out of watching the TV and listening to results on the radio, trying not to miss out on the next highlight and celebration.
The blog team have enjoyed watching a variety of sports and for Louie they have been so far the Men’s and Ladies Volley ball, Artistic Gymnastics and Ladies Football. For me I have watched the TV at every opportunity to see what ever sport is playing at the time, which has included the Men’s and Ladies Rowing. In the ladies sculling pairs race, just when I thought they had won, they had another 1000 m to go, which had me out of my seat shouting and screaming in the hope that they finished ahead of the pack…… I am pleased to say they did and went on to win Olympic Gold medals.
Image from 2012 London Olympics
A huge highlight for me and the rest of the country has been watching the Gymnastics team on Monday evening, in particular Louis Smith on the Pommel Horse and his team mates, Daniel Purvis, Kristian Thomas, Sam Oldham and Max Whitlock that competed in their own disciplines. The scoring was so close that when it was eventually announced the team had achieved a Silver medal, the country was elated, only moments later to be deflated to hear that Japan had objected to the scoring, which had been upheld, and Team GB had been moved back in position for a Bronze medal. It was very disappointing, but everyone was still pleased with the result. It was the first time that the British Gymnastics team had gained a medal in a century. This was an amazing achievement for all the team and one dream that they will all be living on for a very long time. Anglian Home Improvements have been supporting Louis Smith through the year and were thrilled with his and the team’s achievements.
The Olympic week has continued to thrill its audiences, with many highlights of World, European and British records being broken, which have left the athletes speechless at their own achievements. For me, the two athletes that this has been true of are Ruta Meilutyte and Chad le Clos. Ruta Meilutyte, the 15 year old Lithuania swimmer who won the 100m Breaststroke and gained the first every Olympic gold medal in the pool for her country. Chad le Clos from South Africa swam his way to victory in the men’s 200m Butterfly beating multi gold medal winner, Michael Phelps from the USA.
Image from 2012 London Olympics
Each day there has been a new high and yesterday’s was Bradley Wiggins great achievement of winning a Gold medal in the men’s cycling time trial. The race left the spectacular grounds of Hampton Court Palace, with the route being lined by tens of thousands of screaming supporters, who were then thrilled to welcome him back as the winner at the end of the ride in another record breaking time.
The athletes have showed such passion for their sport and their achievements, is has been very difficult not to get caught up in the euphoria of the individuals concerned in Team GB. Sport is for all. It is the taking part that counts, sparking an interest, raising the standard of achievement, realising that there are sports that we can all take part in.
With an awe-inspiring week of events so far, it is difficult to comprehend what other miracles we are going to see during the next week.
What sports are you looking forward to watching in the next week? We would love to hear what your highlights have been so far; why not let us know by clicking here.