Olympics report part one; beach volleyball and athletics

August 4, 2012

We’re on our way to the opening day of athletics. Go Jess!

Being married to the worlds biggest athletics fan, we are lucky enough to have tickets to numerous Olympics events. At a cost of course, having got nothing in the first round so he resorted to buying packages. Most tickets come with rooms in the Heathrow travel lodge…..

But now it’s started and I’ve been to two events I don’t give a shit what they cost. BOTH EVENTS WERE FANTASTIC!

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Sarah Dampney GB. What a body. And talent of course

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Dancers at the Beach Volleyball

Thursday night was beach volleyball. Oh My God. What a party. The most incredible venue, a transformed Horseguards Parade. The iconic buildings all around are just awe inspiring. And Nelson’s hat being painted a Union Jack – brilliant! Getting there was easy,security straightforward and good natured with the army cracking jokes and having fun. All the volunteers welcoming everyone to the Olympics , various street entertainers keeping the crowd amused.

Sausages and onions in a roll was tasty and the beer hit the spot. Queues manageable (shorter nearer the arena itself) and toilets aplenty. Then inside the arena the music pumping, the dancing troupe in their 60s inspired costumes entertaining us and the commentator making us call out in response to him. Plus the voice of Gladiators taking the piss out of the whole thing. Brilliant.

And that’s before any action! Which was awesome. Really easy to understand, two a side and exhausting, fast paced games. We saw a couple of men’s matches and then the main attraction. The GB girls in their tiny costumes. What bodies. If only they had won, but we still had a ball. More festival than sporting event.

Yesterday was the opening session of athletics. Despite the central line being down we got there on the district line easily. A 20 minute walk from West Ham. Thousands of people, but again security swift and in to the fucking huge Olympic park. It is the size of a town. A theme park on steroids. Walkways towards the arena bordered with beautiful wild flowers like meadows all around. Great volunteers directing us and whooping up the crowd. Everyone in such a great mood.

The excitement was immense

The stadium itself is brilliant. We had a steep climb to our seats but a great view when we got there. The first day of the heptathlon, the hammer throwing, steeplechase, mens 400 metre hurdles, womens triple jump and women’s 400 metre heats. All action . Incredible athletes. Awesome bodies, inspiring performances. The crowd were on fire.Everyone cheering wildly. My husband a nervous wreck.

Coffee (fair trade) was fabulous but chaotic service. The only area that needs improvement. The paninis tasty.

After our session ended we walked round the park and saw all the other venues. The velodrome, the aquatics centre, the water polo, the hockey stadium etc. Lots of food outlets, unbranded but fish and chips, tapas, curry, traditional roasts, deli, baked potatoes etc. And the biggest McDonalds in Europe. And a park area with screen. A huge venue. Tiring to walk around but exhilarating to be part of.

The flame

So I give you my

Top Ten Tips if you are Going to the Athletics


  1. Wear wildly patriotic clothing. You cannot be overdressed at the Olympics.
  2. Bring flags to wave. There are no dodgy geezers selling tat outside the tube stations so you end up paying a tenner for them in the official store.
  3. Wear comfortable shoes and pick up a map of the park when you get there if you didn’t bring one with you- there’s a lot of walking.
  4. Bring an empty water bottle and fill it as soon as you get in the park then it’s done.
  5. Get your coffee before you go in to the stadium itself – it’s a long walk up and down unless you’ve got trackside seats – and you don’t want to miss any action once you are in.
  6. Don’t bother buying the programme it’s a fiver full of pap and no real facts. I wanted form lists like at the races, but its just a magazine. Doesn’t even give you the event timings within the track and field events
  7. The food was surprisingly edible if not the tastiest in the world. You can take in your own food, just no liquids, and it will save you lots of money and queuing time.
  8. Buy your beer from the guys wandering round with the backpacks rather than queuing at the outlets.
  9. Stratford is much less walk from station to the Park (through Westfield!) , but West Ham was a pleasant stroll even if it was 20/25 minutes.
  10. Take the opportunity to explore the park, but you can’t go in the other stadia so there is not a lot to actually do except lie in the sun, soak up the atmosphere, listen to live bands on the stage or watch the events from elsewhere on the big screens. But that’s if you can get a space near the big screens as those areas were full by the time we got there and there are not screens all around the park. Presumably to keep you moving.

But the main tip is DO GO AND BE PART OF IT if you can. Anywhere. Anyhow. It is SO worth it.

Overtired and overexcited


One Response to “Olympics report part one; beach volleyball and athletics”

  1. […] the Olympic park for an afternoon of athletics. Way hay! I blogged repeatedly about the fabulous Jubalympics last year and was pumped for revisiting the park and seeing the stars of track and […]

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