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2012 Summer Olympics - I was there.

Updated on November 27, 2013

Summer Olympics, London 2012.

Summer Olympics, London 2012
Summer Olympics, London 2012 | Source

Summer Olympics, London.

Summer Olympics, London, 2012. I was there. It was August 8th, my friend had won a lottery draw for tickets. The British Olympic Committee had run the lottery to give thousands a chance to attend any event of their choice, and she had 6 tickets to an Athletics heat in the main Olympic Stadium. The ticket allowed free transport within London for 24 hours, which we joyfully made use of. Two friends who had traveled to England with us were not so lucky; my friend did not have enough tickets, so those two went on a tour of Shakespeare's country instead.

An English house

An English house
An English house | Source

Going to the Olympic Park

Most of the events we were going to were only the heats, but the excitement was palpable, all the way in the London Overground from Crystal Palace to the innards of the London Olympic Stadium. We left the flat in Crystal Palace in SE London before 7am. The walk to the train station took us past many beautiful old homes behind their tall hedges, a sight so very English you know you're in good ole England.


Commuters to work got on the train at every stop. They must have absorbed some Olympic spirit, for their famous ‘stiff upper lip’ was not so apparent. On the contrary, there were a lot of friendly returned smiles.

Olympic supporters

Everybody's Olympics
Everybody's Olympics | Source

Team GB supporters

Esther, a young supporter of Team GB.
Esther, a young supporter of Team GB. | Source
George Busby, proud supporter of Team GB.
George Busby, proud supporter of Team GB. | Source

Inside the Olympic Stadium

Capacity crowd, and an enthusiast recording memories.
Capacity crowd, and an enthusiast recording memories. | Source

At the Olympic Park

At the Olympic Park, there was a vast milling crowd, shepherded towards the Olympic Stadium by hundreds of merry volunteers in their pink life-jackets. Children of all ages were caught up in the excitement, running alongside their adults or being pushed in their pushchairs. All were here to support their home team, Team GB, flags draped over themselves or worn as capes, and Union Jacks painted on their faces. One happy handsome young man had two little flags sticking up in the back of his pony tail. His name was George, as likeable a Brit as you'd ever meet.

At the Games

Our seats in the Olympic Stadium allowed a bird’s eye view of all the concurrent events - women’s hammer throw, men’s high jump, long jump, men’s track, women’s track. Most of the 80000 seats were filled. A surprising and welcome ‘first’ at this Olympic were the Muslim women entrants from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Brunei. Afghanistan, Oman and Yemen had had women before, but their entrants this year were there for the first time.

Wojdan Shaherkani, Saudi judo entrant.

Wojdan Shaherkani, Saudi female judo competitor, adjusting her hijab while competing against Melissa Mojica of the US.
Wojdan Shaherkani, Saudi female judo competitor, adjusting her hijab while competing against Melissa Mojica of the US. | Source

Wojdan Shaherkani, female judo entrant


16-year-old Saudi judo entrant Wojdan Shaherkani was labeled ‘Prostitute of the Olympics’ by her country’s clerics who moved heaven and earth to block her from participating. Her family suffered extreme racial abuse, but she was finally allowed to enter if she covered her head.


Tahmina.

Tahmina Kohistani, female Afghan 100m sprinter. Braved her country's censure to compete in 2012 Olympics.
Tahmina Kohistani, female Afghan 100m sprinter. Braved her country's censure to compete in 2012 Olympics. | Source

Tahmina learns to smile.

Tahmina Kohistani. Tahmina is most struck by how much everyone smiles. “It is the thing I have learnt from your people – when I go back home I am going to do this with my people also. It is the most wonderful thing.”
Tahmina Kohistani. Tahmina is most struck by how much everyone smiles. “It is the thing I have learnt from your people – when I go back home I am going to do this with my people also. It is the most wonderful thing.” | Source

Tahmina Kohistani, Afghan female 100m sprinter.

23-year-old Tahmina Kohistani from Afghanistan overcame fierce male obstacles, from clerics and lay people alike, to make it to the 100m Olympic sprint. Training facilities were almost non-existent or woefully inadequate for females. They were pockmarked with bullet holes. All her training sessions were gate-crashed by up to 200 male hecklers shouting abuse.

All the Muslim women had to cover themselves from head to sole, a glaring mistake in speed performance. Understandably these brave women lagged in all the races, but the British crowd showed warm appreciation and their ovations accompanied the women the last few meters to the finish line.

Hopefully, these trail-blazing Islamic women will not suffer harrassment in their own countries now they are home.

The Memory Tree

The Memory Tree, where 2012 Olympians hung messages of their most significant moments. The Tree is at Terminal 4, Heathrow.
The Memory Tree, where 2012 Olympians hung messages of their most significant moments. The Tree is at Terminal 4, Heathrow. | Source

A Sweet Memory.

Who could forget the cheerful, bubbly volunteers with their funny antics and their big pink foam hands? 'This Way'.
Who could forget the cheerful, bubbly volunteers with their funny antics and their big pink foam hands? 'This Way'. | Source

Olympic memories

The 16 days of the Summer Olympics - July 27th till Aug. 12th, hosted 10500 international athletes from 204 countries in the Olympic Village. They took away with them wonderful indelible memories, of nightly get-togethers outside of their accomodations. They will remember ‘beautiful fellowship’, ‘spectacular food’, a fortnight of magic among the world’s best athletes.

Terminal 4 in Heathrow was disguised as a London Park to say farewell to most of the athletes and Olympic-related visitors. A purple memory tree there had the athletes hanging messages with their favorite Summer Olympic moments. Jamie Redman cited, ‘Mo’s 10000K run!’. Others praised the 70000 volunteers, the Olympic Park, and several mentioned the Spice Girls.

Meanwhile, the Dutch, Belgian and French athletes left from St. Pancras Station on the special Eurostar train, and Stansted Airport was also used by some of the departing athletes.

Mo Farah, 5000m and 10000m Olympic 2012 champ.
Mo Farah, 5000m and 10000m Olympic 2012 champ. | Source
Andy Murray, Britain's Olympic 2012 gold medallist in tennis.
Andy Murray, Britain's Olympic 2012 gold medallist in tennis. | Source

The Medals Tally, and two of GB's heroes.


The 2012 Summer Olympics featured 36 sporting events with a total 302 individual event competitions over the entire Olympic period. From all these, the final score among the first 4 countries : USA: 46 gold, 29 silver, 29 bronze. Total 104.
China: 38 gold, 27 silver, 23 bronze. Total 88.
Russia: 24 gold, 26 silver, 32 bronze. Total 82.
UK: 29 gold, 17 silver, 19 bronze. Total 65.

The Brits are extremely proud of their team GB. Their star is Mo Farah, the double gold medallist for the 10000m and 5000m track. And of course, Andy Murray broke Britain’s 104-year tennis medal drought by taking gold from Roger Federer in three sets 6-2, 6-1, 6-4. He was ‘inspired by Mo’s 10000m performance’.

There are so many more British champs that I have to leave out in this hub. Britain has done very well indeed, in this their third Summer Olympics, coming in 4th but with the third most golds.


Closing Ceremony,2012 Summer Olympics

The 2012 Summer Olympics had its Closing Ceremony in the Olympic Stadium on the evening of August 12th., and it was spectacular, with many of Britain’s show business stars participating.

The Orbit

The ArcelorMittal Orbit by Anish Kapoor. It stands proudly beside the Olympic Stadium. Visitors ascend by an elevator and walk down the winding outside staircase.
The ArcelorMittal Orbit by Anish Kapoor. It stands proudly beside the Olympic Stadium. Visitors ascend by an elevator and walk down the winding outside staircase. | Source

Cost of 2012 Summer Olympics


Now it is all over comes the accounting. Many citizens are asking, ‘ Was it worth it?’ in this period of mass unemployment? Was it necessary to spend all those millions on any one of the several sculptures commissioned for the Games?

Like ‘Jurassic Stones’, by Richard Harris, which cost 335,000GBP and which greeted motorists entering the sailing events in Weymouth, Dorset. Truthfully, they are just large brown stones atop metal tubes and set in a sort of circle. Quite ugly. Of what use will it be after the 2012 Summer Olympics?

And the 22.7million GBP ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture by Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond. It is right next to the Olympic Stadium. Although London Mayor Boris Johnson persuaded steel billionaire Lakshmi Mittal to donate 19.6 million GBP towards it, that still leaves 3 million to the public. This Orbit is to be a monument for London’s 2012 Olympics? Will it help recoup the enormous cost of the Summer Olympics - from increased tourism maybe?

Olympic Village - to become a community.

Now consider the Olympic Village, which cost over 500 million GBP to build. It has 17320 beds, giving each occupant 170 sq. ft. of space. The plan was for the Olympic Village to become a new neighbourhood of 1400 affordable houses and 1400 rentals post-Games. The Village has been sold to the Qatari royal family, in a deal which includes a profit-share agreement to recapture some of the 9.29 billion GBP of public money the Summer Olympics has cost (the final accounting isn’t in it yet. It has been estimated to be up to 24 billion).

It is hoped that the 2012 London Olympics will be the impetus for a large increase in tourism and that there is a big payback for the large investments of time and money made by the public. When the dust has settled, hopefully many Brits will say with satisfaction, ‘I was there’.

Olympic Village - new neighbourhood after Summer Olympics

Olympic Village is to become the new neighbourhood of East London at Stratford with private and public housing, schools, shops, transportation, and an orchard.
Olympic Village is to become the new neighbourhood of East London at Stratford with private and public housing, schools, shops, transportation, and an orchard. | Source

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    • mizjo profile image
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      mizjo 4 years ago from New York City, NY

      Yes, it was quite an experience, Tammyswallow. It gave me a warm feeling of togetherness with the world, where color and creed counted for nothing.

      Thanks for your visit, it's nice to see you.

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      That is a fabulous lifetime experience. Thanks for sharing your wonderful adventure!

    • mizjo profile image
      Author

      mizjo 4 years ago from New York City, NY

      Hi, Scarytaff, thanks very much. I do love London, but I love the Isle of Wight more.

    • scarytaff profile image

      Derek James 4 years ago from South Wales

      Tremendous hub, mizjo. So glad you enjoyed your experience of London. Voted up and awesome

    • mizjo profile image
      Author

      mizjo 4 years ago from New York City, NY

      Hi, Pavlo. It was a once in a lifetime experience. And no, I didn't need a hotel because I stayed at the apartment of my friend's daughter which was an easy train ride to the Olympics venue. Thanks for visiting.

    • Pavlo Badovskyy profile image

      Pavlo Badovskyi 4 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine

      I believe it was so exciting! Such experience was really unforgettable. Did you book your hotel well in advance or accommodation was not a problem?

    • mizjo profile image
      Author

      mizjo 5 years ago from New York City, NY

      Gosh, Mary Lou, I did wish you'd been there. It was so exciting, especially watching Mo Farah's lightning dash at the finish. Breathtaking!

    • profile image

      Mary Lou 5 years ago

      Made me feel sorry I didn't watch the Olympics with you guys. However, after reading your interesting article, it made my imagination go wild.

    • mizjo profile image
      Author

      mizjo 5 years ago from New York City, NY

      Well, hi there, Dieter, wish I'd met you there. Yes, I enjoyed my visit tremendously. Visited the Isle of Wight after the Games.

      Thanks for visiting.

    • dieter dust profile image

      dieter dust 5 years ago

      Excellent Hub, brings back many memories for me as I too attended the games. Hope you enjoyed your visit.

    • mizjo profile image
      Author

      mizjo 5 years ago from New York City, NY

      Hello Danny, did you enjoy Portugal?

      The Olympics was an exciting period for the country. It's a pity it has to cost taxpayers so much, each host-country competing to outdo the others.

      Hopefully most of the outlay can be recouped in tourism and improved trade and other businesses.

      Thanks for visiting, darling.

    • profile image

      Danny Boy 5 years ago

      Hi Mom! Didn't realise you saw all this too. Nice pix! I also agree with the bit about the public cost of it all, which is probably part of the reason I paid no attention to the Olympics. Interesting information about some of the competitors as well. Hope you are well and see you next month!:)

    • mizjo profile image
      Author

      mizjo 5 years ago from New York City, NY

      So you understand how I felt being there. England is special, isn't it?

      Thanks for visiting, Kaio.

    • mizjo profile image
      Author

      mizjo 5 years ago from New York City, NY

      Hello, nmdonders, thanks for your kind comment. It was really nice being in England AND the Olympics.

    • mizjo profile image
      Author

      mizjo 5 years ago from New York City, NY

      Hi, bdegiulio, yes, it was a great opportunity not to be lost. My friend had won a lottery draw from the Olympic Commission, and her daughter had a flat not too far from the Stadium. How lucky could one get!

      Mo Farah is very popular in his adopted country.

      Thanks for visiting and the vote and share.

    • mizjo profile image
      Author

      mizjo 5 years ago from New York City, NY

      Hi, Mary, thanks for the visit, votes and share. Yes, it was thrilling to be over there. If for nothing else, it was a welcome respite from the heat wave at home. But really, England is such a lovely land and the Olympics was a dream come true.

      I've enjoyed all the hubs of yours that I've read.

    • Kai0224liu profile image

      kaikai 5 years ago from TX

      thats awesome, I love london, I lived there for two years.

    • nmdonders profile image

      nmdonders 5 years ago

      That would have been nice. You're so lucky. I like how well you documented the olympics if your Hub.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      How exciting. What a great opportunity to attend the Olympics. GB did a great job and watching Mo Farah was amazing. Great to get a first hand perspective on the games. Great job. Voting up, sharing, etc...

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      Oh, my...how exciting this must have been for you to attend the summer olympics in London. Those poor girls having to perform in all those garments, I can't imagine. I enjoyed the video, too.

      I voted this UP, etc., and will share. Mary