After watching the fabulous opening ceremony and watching some brilliant performances from Team GB from the safety of the sofa, it was finally time to experience the Olympics for real. The date had been on the calendar for about 18 months, Tuesday 7th August, after failing to get various sports in the initial ballot, we ended up with Hockey in the second chance ballot. I have to admit that Hockey was not the first choice event, but we were going, we were going to experience this 'once in a lifetime' visit to a home Olympics. We were all very excited.
Our ticket admitted us to a morning session of Hockey at the Riverside Arena in the Olympic Park, Men's Hockey, two matches: Netherlands vs Korea; and Australia vs Pakistan. First match
kicked off sticks away started at 8.30am. Despite staying at my Mums, in South-east London, this meant an early start. Plan was get up at 5am to be sure of leaving at 6am, to ensure we would not miss a kick a whack a hit any of the game.
So, 6.15am and the short walk to the station, Jill and Craig in good spirits…
Leg one of the journey complete, train to London Bridge. Next up was a quick jump on the tube to Stratford. Didn't quite go to plan. As we entered the platform, we were greeted by the Great British public queuing in an orderly fashion (this would not be the last of today's queues) to the sounds of a tanoy, “We apologise for the delay – we have a signal failure on the Jubilee Line”. We waited for around 15mins, several trains coming and going, all packed solid, allowing very few passengers on board. A few prayers to Lord Coe later and we were on board, like the proverbial sardine. Various announcements, all completely ignored, told us to get off at West Ham if we were travelling to the Olympic Park. We therefore went past West Ham and duly got off at Stratford, with everyone else….
Despite the amount of people, we got into the Olympic Park, including various security checks, quickly and without fuss. A short stroll and we had reached the Riverside Arena, followed by a climb of 1000s of steps and we had reached row 29 of 30 and in position to enjoy the hockey.
The Hockey was actually quite exciting, a very fast and skilful game. The Dutch were too strong for Korea and beat them 4-2, whilst the Aussies whooped Pakistan 7-0.
After the Hockey we went to Park Live to watch the Brownlee boys bring home gold and bronze in the triathlon on the big screen.
Then a stroll to the Velodrome where I re-enacted my celebration at seeing Chris Hoy win another gold….
We passed the biggest McDonalds in the world, apparently, before seeing the biggest queue in the world to get into the London 2012 Megastore. Both we avoided before taking a closer look at the Olympic Stadium…
We ended the day by queuing for fish and chips….it was a really great experience, well done London!!!