Where creative writing and general rambling go hand in hand :)

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

London 2012 beginning to end!

Looking back over the last four months of the Olympic and Paralympic build up there have been some absolutely fantastic moments. In May I joined the crowds in Chippenham for the torch relay and was lucky enough to get a photo with one of our torchbearers. 
The countdown to London 2012 had truly begun, unable to afford tickets (as well as travel) to watch any of the events live my TV became my new best friend alongside my laptop enabling me to watch different sports at different times. 
For the Olympics coverage the BBC put on a great show, the presenters were for the most part fantastic, particularly the combination of Mark Foster and Clare Balding throughout the swimming events. Using previous Olympians to present different events worked really well as their enthusiasm showed through and they really got into the spirit of the games. Some of my favourite moments from the Olympics obviously includes Mo Farah's double gold win, Jessica Ennis winning gold and some spectacular results from the velodrome. The rowing however seemed to bring some of the most emotions, often led by Sir Steve Redgrave. Whether the emotions were from not winning, very nearly winning or not believing they had won the rowers were not afraid to show the tears. 

The best response to winning has to go to Katherine Copeland and Sophie Hosking, Katherine's immediate response was to check behind her before she celebrated their fabulous win. This photo sums up their achievement beautifully. 

My favourite person of the whole games though has to go to Bert Le Clos, father of South African swimmer Chad Le Clos. Bursting with pride for his son after he beat Michael Phelps in the 200m butterfly his comment- 'Unbelievable,unbelievable, look at him he's beautiful' has made him famous online with thousands of views on you tube for his interview with Clare Balding.Bert, you are beautiful and the UK loves you.

After a small break we then had the Paralympics, the coverage on channel 4 was not great and certainly not on par with the BBC (in my opinion) however I managed to keep up with as much as I could. Difficult to keep up with so many medalists in the Paralympics, it didn't take long for the GB team to smash there total from Beijing. Like the Olympics I managed to nearly lose my voice a few times shouting at races such as Hannah Cockroft's amazing gold wins and nobody could forget David Weir's fantastic four gold medal races. Will bayley's reaction after getting through to the gold medal match in table tennis was a definite highlight as was David Devine's bronze medal finish in the 1500m and the 800m. 
Jonnie Peacock's race against Oscar Pistorious almost made me lose my voice again.
The medals kept coming, in particular in the swimming which gained 39 medals in total. Ellie Simmonds started her Paralympics off in the best way with a gold medal, following that with another gold, a silver and a bronze. One to watch though was Steph Millward whose home town of Box is only 5 minutes away. Certainly not disappointed when Steph came home with 4 silvers and a bronze. The Paralympics is totally inspirational and proof that despite having disabilities that affect your life differently to able-bodied people you don't have to be held back by it. Every single member of Paralympics GB are an inspiration and should be proud of themselves for being part of London 2012 and hopefully onto Rio 2016.

Not content with just the TV for company I decided I had to go to London to see Our greatest team parade. A 4am start,3 hour bus journey and a 4 hour wait for the start time was most definitely worth it to see so many of Team GB and Paralympics GB being celebrated. 

Perfectly positioned at Mansion house I managed to find time to get on the underground and see the parade twice, over 200 photo's later my favourite has to be this one of Greg Rutherford.
And so the London 2012 celebrations came to an end and I thought apart from searching for gold post boxes that would be it. Tuesday morning though and back at work I was delighted to see Stephanie shopping where I work and when she offered to show us her medals I was certainly not going to refuse. Very kindly Steph posed for photo's with us and even let us wear her medals. As a massive fan of the Olympics and Paralympics (just ask how annoying I was on facebook!) I can honestly say I am delighted that London 2012 came to such a delightful end for me by actually seeing (and wearing) a Paralympic medal. Thank you so much Stephanie Millward :) 

Thank you Team GB and Paralympics GB for what has been the most fantastic summer of sport, 185 medals, hundreds of inspiring athletes and a country to be proud of. Thank you London 2012 for making us proud to be British, here's to Rio 2016. 

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