Sunday, 29 July 2012

Isle Thing


I watched every second, every sheep, every suffragette of the Opening Ceremony. My brother had already been to a technical rehearsal for the ceremony in the week and from his patriotic reaction I knew we were in for quite the show! I loved the use of VTs superbly created by BBC Drama and was enthralled by the atmospheric music and greatly moving scenes from Britain's history. What a treat it was. My family and I were cracking up big time as Mr Bond arrived at the Palace to escort Her Majesty to the stadium. This was funny enough but then the helicopter appeared and there were the Corgis whimpering at the sight of their mistress being whisked away! Other highlights included Rowan Atkinson's return to Mr. Bean (I must say I was slightly disappointed that Teddy did not appear but then I remembered among other accidents, he/she was decapitated at one point), Kenneth Branagh and the I.K. Brunel sideburns (better than Bradley Wiggins'), multiple Mary Poppins' drifting in with lit umbrellas and henceforth destroying Voldey and of course, the awe-inspiring, breathtaking Olympic Cauldron. To incorporate all the country flags on the grassy mound and gather those copper petals together to form that beautiful cauldron was sublime. Bravo, Thomas Heatherwick, you genius! (I'm allowed to sound/be pompous when talking about the Olympic Games)

So after two days of competitive sport, what have I been watching? I've watched both the Men's and Women's ROAD RACES, very exciting towards the end when you've got a British rider absolutely going for it however this was unfortunately only the case during the Women's. After a lot of hype, the GB Men's team just stuck together while other countries and their tactics zoomed by. The commentators weren't much help; continuing hopes that we would be able to come through, until it became so obviously too late that they had to back out of previous statements. Lizzie Armitstead secured GB's first medal coming second behind Marianna Vos of The Netherlands who sprinted to victory in the Womens Road Race.

Also been keeping an eye on my beloved TENNIS! Murray and Djokovic both through to the second round, Murray in 2 and Djokovic in 3 sets. I'm not sure I like best of 3! I generally only watch the Grandslams and so it's hard to adjust and accept sets lost here and there when the margins are so narrow. Still, Murray had a tough opening opponent and he blew him out of Centre Court 63 63, all the way back to the Olympic Park where Wawrinka had carried the Swiss flag the night before due to Federer politely rejecting the offer to carry it a third time. As @PseudoFed says, so #humble!

New favourite to watch might actually be BEACH VOLLEYBALL! Apart from the gratuitous Women's "outfits", it's quite compelling and I just love the location at Horse Guards Parade. When I've dropped round to see the Queen in the last couple of weeks, I have been slightly annoyed that the Mall has been closed but now I see it was all worth it :)

As always we've been watching the CANOE SLALOM. Really good fun and it's very easy to assume you know everything about it. You can comment away at the different runs and times the Olympians make after just seeing a couple go through the course. Our man David Florence (2008 Silver Medallist in Beijing) is into the Semi-final so good news there. Fun fact for you, he grew up on the same road as fellow Olympian Sir Chris Hoy in Edinburgh!

Finally we've been keeping another eye on TABLE TENNIS and today we spotted Alistair! I was messaging him via facebook asking him questions about his position as Audio Playback Engineer at the Excel Centre and asked him to stand up so we could check his whereabouts, and there he was! He'll get to play National Anthems towards the end of the tournament. No joking, it'll probably be China's!

I'm in the process of trying to work out HANDBALL. It looks so relaxed and free that I am sceptical whether it actually has any rules!
Agnel's teammates realise they have struck GOLD! Competitor on the left looks on in disbelief.

Last but not least SWIMMING! Phelps not looking as dominant as in Beijing, his compatriot Ryan Lochte won Gold on Saturday for the 400m Individual Medley and today the USA Team only managed Silver in the 4x100m Freestyle Relay. They led the whole way and then in the last 50m, France's Yannick Agnel swam the length of his life completely bypassing Lochte to secure France's second Gold Medal of the Games so far. As traditional British folk we are usually critical of France and not their biggest supporters but the underdog spirit overtook leading me and mum to both cheer for France and then look forward to hearing La Marseillaise on the podium! Team GB's second medal was to come from Beijing's "Golden Girl" Rebecca Adlington, whose 800m final in Beijing 2008 I woke up for in the middle of the night to watch. She got a cracking Bronze in her less-than-favourite 400m Freestyle event. Not too shabby.

Athletics, Track Cycling and Men's Diving haven't got going yet, so watch this space for reports on my favourite men of the Olympics!: Usain Bolt, Sir Chris Hoy and Thomas Daley!

P.s Kids, as much as I would like Tom Daley to be your father, it ain't gonna happen. I'm no #cradlesnatcher.

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