Friday 3 August 2012

Olympic Convert

What can I say? Since I last wrote I've been to see Russia play Brazil in Basketball (for a fiver), New Zealand play Argentina in Women's Hockey (another fiver), and a session of Swimming heats (slightly more than a fiver, but I'm glossing over that). The Olympic Park is amazing. It's enormous, on a staggering scale. Once you get in the main gates it's a full 20 minute walk to the Velodrome, and I think there are bits beyond that.

I managed to get a couple of tickets to the go into the park, but not to watch any sport. No sport?! I wasn't having that! I was however in luck, as there is the concept of recycled tickets. When fans leave a venue whilst something is in progress, for instance after the first match of a two match session, their tickets are resold on the cheap to patient punters like Mrs L and I. Some fairly heavy-duty queueing was required, but my twitching genes made this fly by - I just pretended there was a Blyth's Reed Warbler in the kiosk, and patiently stuck it out. Oh hang on, the longest I've ever waited to see a Blyth's Reed Warbler is roughly four minutes, after which I got bored and wandered off - I've yet to see one in fact, and declined one on Shetland a couple years ago on the grounds I might have died of boredom. The queue wasn't as boring as a non-descript browny Acro, but it was longer. Still, for a fiver you can't really argue, and I even discovered that for reasons unknown I am a huge fan of Women's Hockey. Who knew?

Enuff said

A German fan buys tickets

This morning I went to the Swimming, courtesy of a lucky late-night website strike on one of those accredited tickets that are being released to the general public. Despite the somewhat eye-watering price, worse even than chlorine, I was astonished to get it, and couldn't type in my mastercard visa number fast enough. The Central Line failed yet again - the second time during the Olympics, and the fourth time in two weeks - and so once more I found myself on the way to Stratford via the failsafe method of putting one foot in front of the other and grinding it out. I know how these Olympians feel. Needless to say I made it, and what an amazing venue the Aquatics Centre is. After the games all that will remain is the core, but it's incredibly impressive. I might even take up swimming in addition to jogging. Talking of which, my latest average speed was a sensational 66mph. I discovered this at the halfway point in Leytonstone, my oh so wonderful running app had decided that my start point was somewhere near Watford, as opposed to my front door - a distance which I covered in approximately ten minutes. As such, I'm not really sure which field event I'm best suited to. All of them by the looks of things.

Delighted to see me
Birds? Errr, no. Sorry. I hope to go birding at some point this weekend, perhaps my newfound Olympic delirium will have worn off by then. Then again, my Olympic Park bird list stands at a lowly twelve, though includes Sand Martin, so maybe I need to go back. Or perhaps I need to concentrate my efforts elsewhere -  Black-tailed Godwit were seen over the Flats last week, and a Nuthatch is in the Park somewhere.

1 comment:

  1. Deeply disappointed that you have no stills of swimmers for me. For certain ones I'd be sure to purchase a print (