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My Olympic Experience

Updated on August 16, 2014

2012, My Olympic Experience

By Loretta Livingstone

My own personal experience of watching the London Olympics, live at the Olympic Stadium. A look at my visits to this amazing spectacle. Re-live my experiences with me. I hope you enjoy reading about it as much as I enjoyed experiencing it.

Oh my! I'm all of a twitter, my tentacles are twiddling! This lens has just been awarded a Purple Star! My first ever! Now I have to find out how to make it show on my lens! I am so thrilled. Thank you very much!

Please note, all photographs belong to me, and may not be used without prior permission.

A Once In A Lifetime Experience

I LOVE watching the Olympics, but I never, ever expected to have the wonderful experience of watching it live at not one, but TWO sessions. I've enjoyed watching them on tv for years. If they are on in a different hemisphere then I tape them and I won't even listen to the News until I've watched my tapes! But - and here's the rub - I suffer from M.E. fairly badly! When it was announced that the Olympics would be held in London in 2012 there was no way I expected to be able to get a ticket, let alone be well enough to go! Time went on, my health got a little better, and when the tickets went on sale - we applied! Only to be told we'd been unlucky! I was half disappointed and half relieved. I so wanted to go, but knew it would require a superhuman effort for me. I wasn't even sure if I would enjoy it, or be too exhausted to care, once I got there. Anyway, commonsense lost out, we applied again, and this time we were lucky. We had tickets! Not to the cycling, or the swimming, both of which we love to watch, but to the main stadium! Wow! The athletics! All those huge names to watch! We were thrilled! But then the logistics kicked in! How would I manage the journey and still have enough energy to get there, and actually be well enough to enjoy the games? Strategy was required! We booked a hotel, prices had gone up threefold or more for London around the games time, but we found something which wasn't too expensive and was reasonable quality, took a deep breath and booked 3 nights! What follows is my experience of the games!

London - The Friendly Olympics

Wow! The day had arrived! To my horror we had to be there at least an hour earlier than our session started! And I expected to have trouble lasting long enough as it was! The first session was an afternoon session, we got on the first train! That bit was easy! We finally arrived at the stadium (after several changes, which I was already beginning to find a bit tiring) Anyway, we had arrived at the station for the stadium! It was such a wonderful atmosphere, everyone around us was in high good humour. London has never been friendlier, happier or more expectant.

The Crowd Roars

Ok, now we were here! Next came the long walk! And I can't walk very far! Eventually I gave in and requested wheelchair assistance! We were there. The stadium loomed ahead of us! The excitement was palpable! Would we have good seats? Yes! And to my utter relief, they were comfortable! Who would we see? Well the heptathlon was on! Yes! We would get to see our GB girls, Jessica Ennis, Louise Hazell and Katerina Johnson-Thompson, a relative newcomer! And didn't they do well! We roared with the crowd when Jess Ennis won her race! We screamed and cheered as we urged on our other wonderful athletes! We applauded great feats from athletes from every nation! Oh how we applauded! Fortunately for me, the session was only a couple of hours long, so I managed to last til the end! But WHAT AN EXPERIENCE!

The Stadium at Night

The events were all over, I was exhausted! It was time to go to our hotel for a sleep before we headed back home the following morning. But a last look round, soaking up the atmosphere, before leaving. This was the only time we would see the stadium lit up at night. The next time we came it would be a morning session. We wouldn't get the chance to see this again!

More Lights

And, oh, didn't it look pretty at night.

Session 2

I had a few days to rest and recover before our second session at the stadium. This time we had to be there very early in the morning, so we travelled up the evening before. We reached our hotel and settled down for the night. But it was a very early start. I had taken a while to nod off, and now we were running late! I donned my special Tee Shirt (named after the book I wrote, inspired by events such as these) and we rushed to catch the train, still late! And we had to meet a friend up there. However would we manage to do that in the crush! We got the the arena, almost late. I had been in contact with my friend, warning her we would be late. We walked along with the vast crowd, scanning it anxiously! No sign of her! We reached the appointed spot! She wasn't there! Oh no! Would she be allowed in without us? At last, we managed to spot each other through the crowds! With only about 10 minutes to go we made it to the stadium!

The Stadium Wildflower Meadows

We took a few moments to admire the beautiful wildflower meadows which had been planted, then it was off to the excitement of our second session

Even Better Seats

To our utter delight, these seats which had been purchased more cheaply, had an even better view! Fantastic! Once again we thrilled to the exploits of these amazing athletes! Look carefully at the names of the athletes on the overhead boards! Yes, we were seeing one of the most famous athletes of our time! Not, sadly, in the final, but who cared! Of course we were actually going to be cheering on our wonderful British athletes, but we would certainly give these other athletes a true London welcome and a huge roar of appreciation. We roared and cheered, clapped and stamped! Again, thank goodness it was only a couple of hours as I was beginning to sink ever lower into my seat! As much as I would have liked to stay a little longer, I was completely worn out, and all I really wanted to do now was - have lunch and wend my weary way home!

One Last Thrill

Of course we had kept our eyes peeled in the hope of meeting athletes and getting their autographs, but it looked as if that was not going to happen. Weary and footsore we left the stadium. Thanking, as we left, the wonderful Gamesmakers. Volunteers who had, unpaid, worked their socks off to make this wonderful event happen. Never flagging, always cheerful and helpful, London 2012 wouldn't have been the same without them.

We left the stadium and headed off into a nearby shopping area to find something to eat. Having eaten I dragged my weary self along and suddenly spotted a familiar face. A tall girl. Head and shoulders above most of the crowd. Could it be? Yes! Not competing in this Olympic Games, but a rising star, aiming for Rio 2016. The one and only Isobel Pooley! A young High Jumper already being tipped as "one to watch". I decided to be cheeky and gave her a yell! I follow her on twitter and have "chatted" to her several times, but imagine my thrill, when she turned round and yelled "Loretta" right back at me! She kindly signed the book I have written, "Hopes, Dreams and Medals", which I carry everywhere, and which was inspired by events such as these. She is someone whose career I watch with great interest. I fully expect to be cheering her on (from the tv) in Rio!

Click on the photo to find Isobel's page on Facebook

Home At Last

Home at last, but what wonderful memories of a once in a lifetime experience. We did, as a matter of fact, have tickets for one more stadium session, but I was already overtired and had to miss that. My husband was able to go with his friend and had a wonderful time. I was happy just to have been there twice. So many people had not been able to get tickets, or not been able to get time off, and I was lucky enough to have been twice. Yes, it would have been wonderful to go once more, but I was more than content with my lot. And these are my memories of that wonderful day. I hope you've enjoyed them.

My Book

You will have noticed that I have mentioned a book which I wrote, inspired by wonderful events like this. The iBook is only £1.99 or US $3.26 Also available as paperbacks and hardbacks. To find out more about it click on the picture and it should take you to the lens I wrote about it.

An Olympic Poem

From my book, Hopes, Dreams and Medals

Click on the photo to purchase the book through Apple iBookstore

Photograph by Nicola Louisa Sharp of www.inspirationalphotography.co.uk

"Uproar!

Roaring and screaming

Noise all around

Stomping and clapping

A torrent of sound

Thronging and hugging

Tears on my face

One of our athletes

Has taken first place!"

Excerpt From: "Hopes, Dreams & Medals Including Ice & Fire The Passion and Fun of Winter Sports Loretta Livingstone, Nicola Louisa Sharp." Blurb.

This material is protected by copyright.

Olympics - You don't have to be a member of Squidoo to vote. But it may take a short while to load, so please be patient.

Did you see the Olympics?

How did you watch the Olympics

See results

More great Olympic themed books on Amazon

There are so many inspirational and interesting books out there, that it's quite hard to know which ones to pick. I thought I would offer an additional selection here for you to browse through. Some are directly related to the Games, such as the story of Jess Ennis, our British Olympic champion! And what a worth winner she was. She is one of Britain's Golden Girls. And we do have some great athletes. I hope you find one to inspire you.

Where to find me, and my books.

You can read more about me and my poems by clicking on to my Facebook Author Group. You can also buy my books from the links below, or if you prefer iBooks just do a search for either the titles, or Loretta Livingstone on the Apple iBookstore, which also sells two of my books.

A Truly International Gathering

I think one of the most remarkable things about the Olympics was seeing so many people from so many nations all gathered together in total enjoyment of the sport. There was no name calling, no booing, only an atmosphere of real happiness. We all applauded the athletes no matter what the nationality, and we all rubbed shoulders with people of every nation. Everybody enjoyed everybody else. It wouldn't have been the same had it not been for so very many different nations all gathering to watch and cheer. Truly an amazing experience

COPYRIGHT

This work is covered by copyright and can not be reprinted

in any matter (physical or digital) without prior written consent.

Sochi 2014 and the Commonwealth Games

The first batch of these answers referred to Sochi. I didn't want to wipe them out, but Sochi is over and done, the medals have been won. Now it's time to think about the Commonwealth Games, so any answers now will be referring to those.

Did you go to Sochi 2014? Will you be going to the Commonwealth Games?

Visit my quiz

I just put my first quiz onto GoodReads.com I'd love it if you'd give it a go.

This is my blog

I now have an author profile on GoodReads. It would be great if you visited me.

And any lens on the Olympics wouldn't be complete without mentioning these amazing athletes

It just wouldn't be right not to mention Mo Farah and Ellie Simmonds would it? (I have a poem about Ellie in my book Hopes, Dreams and Medals). Truly there are so many great athletes that I can hardly bear to leave out, but there just isn't the space to feature all of them. I apologise to those awesome athletes from other countries, who also have my profound admiration, but I am, after all, a Brit, and am especially proud of what our British Athletes have achieved.

I love to chat, so if you leave comments I'll try to reply

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    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 

      3 years ago

      When I was in Los Angeles during the Olympics the freeways were practically abandoned. It was great!

    • Loretta L profile imageAUTHOR

      Loretta Livingstone 

      4 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      @Charito1962: It is, isn't it. And isn't it great that there are so many disciplines? Something for everyone.

    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 

      4 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      I love watching the opening ceremony of the Olympics! (It's such a dazzling event!) I like tuning in to women's volleyball, gymnastics, and men's boxing.

    • Loretta L profile imageAUTHOR

      Loretta Livingstone 

      4 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      @Just4Luck: I must admit, I think I am a really lucky duck to have been able to go. I hope you will get a chance to in the future. :)

    • Just4Luck profile image

      Justin 

      4 years ago from Slovenija

      This is certainly experience to remember. I have to admit, I am a bit jealous.

    • Loretta L profile imageAUTHOR

      Loretta Livingstone 

      4 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      @Blonde Blythe: I actually have a poem for Eddie the Eagle in my book, Hopes, Dreams & Medals, as I remember him well, too. :)

    • Blonde Blythe profile image

      Blonde Blythe 

      4 years ago from U.S.A.

      Although I've never physically gone to the Olympics, I have many fond memories of watching the Olympic games on television over the years. The first one I remember was in 1968 with Peggy Fleming winning the gold medal for figure skating. Peggy turned me on to ice skating, and she's still my favorite! Another favorite is British ski jumper Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards from the 1980s. My husband and I still talk about how much we miss seeing his smiling face in the Winter Olympics!

    • Loretta L profile imageAUTHOR

      Loretta Livingstone 

      5 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      @Heidi Vincent: Thank you so much, I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I must admit, I felt as if I was in an exciting story book. Some amazing and exciting things have been happening to me in the last few years, things I never expected. I love meeting other Olympic lovers, thanks so much for visiting.

    • Heidi Vincent profile image

      Heidi Vincent 

      5 years ago from GRENADA

      This was a very lovely commentary on your actual visit to the London Olympics, Lovelifelaughter. It read like an exciting story book. And congratulations on your well deserved Purple Star! The photos were lovely. Thanks for sharing.

    • Loretta L profile imageAUTHOR

      Loretta Livingstone 

      5 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      @crstnblue: I hope that one day your dream will come true.

    • profile image

      crstnblue 

      5 years ago

      Love most sports, like the ones performed at Olympics, and I wish to have the chance to witness an Olympic Game in real - as a worth lifetime experience, but for the moment it's just a dream...

    • Loretta L profile imageAUTHOR

      Loretta Livingstone 

      5 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      @sikiriki: That is normally how I watch too, but this was such a great opportunity.

    • squidoopets profile image

      Darcie French 

      5 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      Wow, what an amazing experience! Thanks for sharing and congrats on the Purple Star! :D

    • sikiriki profile image

      sikiriki 

      5 years ago

      I watch Olympics only on TV:-)

    • Loretta L profile imageAUTHOR

      Loretta Livingstone 

      5 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      @squidoopets: Thank you. It was such a thrill to receive it. My first ever! I fizzed like a bottle of pop, all day. :D

    • Loretta L profile imageAUTHOR

      Loretta Livingstone 

      5 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      @anonymous: Thanks so much for remembering to come back. It's really appreciated. :-)

    • Loretta L profile imageAUTHOR

      Loretta Livingstone 

      5 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      @anonymous: Thanks for visiting, too. :-)

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      I wanted to squidlike but ran out of likes for the day, will be back tomorrow.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      I saw it on TV but to see it live must have been a great experience. Nice lens, thanks for sharing.

    • Loretta L profile imageAUTHOR

      Loretta Livingstone 

      5 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      @JauntyGiGi: Thank you. Maybe you will get a chance to see the Olympics live one day, too. I hope so. Glad you liked the poem too. Thanks for the feedback. :)

    • JauntyGiGi profile image

      JauntyGiGi 

      5 years ago

      Seeing an Olympic event has been on my bucket list for most of my life. Lovely poem.

    • Loretta L profile imageAUTHOR

      Loretta Livingstone 

      5 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      @jayavi: Thank you for letting me know you enjoyed the lens and the poem. It's always lovely to get feedback.

    • jayavi profile image

      jayavi 

      5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your own experience with us. I really like that poem.

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image

      hntrssthmpsn 

      5 years ago

      What a wonderful experience! I've always enjoyed watching the Olympics, but only on TV... how cool to see such amazing athletes competing up-close and live!

    • Loretta L profile imageAUTHOR

      Loretta Livingstone 

      5 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      @OhMe: Yup, the hoopla was wonderful too. Just the general atmosphere around the Olympics. I'm so glad you enjoyed reading my experience.

      Loretta Livingstone

      Author: Hopes, Dreams & Medals, Jumping in the Puddles of Life, Fire and Ice

    • Loretta L profile imageAUTHOR

      Loretta Livingstone 

      5 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      @Melissa Miotke: It was a dream come true. :)

      Loretta Livingstone

      Author: Hopes, Dreams & Medals, Jumping in the Puddles of Life, Fire and Ice

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      What fun! I loved reading about your Olympic Experience. I was at the Olympics in Atlanta Ga but never got into an event. We just enjoyed being around all the hoopla

    • Melissa Miotke profile image

      Melissa Miotke 

      5 years ago from Arizona

      How lucky you are to have gotten to go to the Olympics! What a dream!

    • Loretta L profile imageAUTHOR

      Loretta Livingstone 

      5 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      @racingdatabase: Thanks, I'm so glad you enjoyed it! And Oi, cheeky, I'm a WOMAN! (You knew that, didn't you haha)

    • profile image

      racingdatabase 

      5 years ago

      Hey Loretta, you lucky man (haha :-)), this is a great lens you created, very nice work indeed!

    • Loretta L profile imageAUTHOR

      Loretta Livingstone 

      5 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      @TolovajWordsmith: It really was!

      Loretta Livingstone

      Author: Hopes, Dreams & Medals, Jumping in the Puddles of Life, Fire and Ice

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 

      5 years ago from Ljubljana

      I bet this is an experience to remember!

    • Loretta L profile imageAUTHOR

      Loretta Livingstone 

      5 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      @takkhisa: Haha, I am very lucky, but not a man, lol! I'm a woman. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

      Loretta Livingstone

      Author: Hopes, Dreams & Medals, Jumping in the Puddles of Life, Fire and Ice

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 

      5 years ago

      You are lucky man! I watched Olympic only on TV!

    • Loretta L profile imageAUTHOR

      Loretta Livingstone 

      5 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      @SteveKaye: That would be good. Great athletic action AND great weather.

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 

      5 years ago

      Thank you so much for sharing your visit to the Olympics. I wish I could attend one of these. Perhaps someday they'll hold one in California.

    • Loretta L profile imageAUTHOR

      Loretta Livingstone 

      5 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      @TonyPayne: What a shame you had to miss so much. You're right, but I suppose there's no point in showing it if they know the nation won't watch it. Maybe next Olympics subscribe to British Eurosport?

      It's not the best, they often don't show what they say, or what you want to see, but you might catch a bit at least. Such a shame you missed so much of the Olympics tho'. I'm glad you enjoyed reading about my visit.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 

      5 years ago from Southampton, UK

      We were in Florida during the whole of the Olympics, so we only saw really beach Volleyball, Basketball and a few other bits that the USA decided was of interest. They rarely focus on other nations athletes, which is pretty poor compared with the coverage in the UK. It was definitely a very successful event, as was the para-olympics, and I am really pleased you enjoyed your visit.

    • Loretta L profile imageAUTHOR

      Loretta Livingstone 

      5 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      @getupandgrow: Yes, the atmosphere was great, wasn't it. Everyone was so cheerful. Thanks for visiting my lens. :-)

    • profile image

      getupandgrow 

      5 years ago

      I live in London, and it was much more fun than most people here had expected when the Olympics came to town. Clean streets, everyone friendly and happy (even great weather). So glad you enjoyed it and had fun.

    • Loretta L profile imageAUTHOR

      Loretta Livingstone 

      5 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      @ajgodinho: Thank you so much. And thank you for visiting. I have been invited to do a book signing at a charity ball in March, appearing with a Team Gb Marathon runner. I'm so excited about it. It was absolutely fantastic to watch it live. The atmosphere was awesome. And everyone was so good natured. It was wonderful to see all the nations gathered together happily, with no anger just joy. Everyone was happy and laughing. I wouldn't have missed it for anyone.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 

      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks for sharing your live experience at the 2012 Olympics. I'm sure the experience watching it live is totally different compared to watching it on TV. I love watching the Olympics and managed to watch many of the main events, especially athletics. Can't wait for Rio 2016. All the best with your book!

    • Loretta L profile imageAUTHOR

      Loretta Livingstone 

      5 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      @pinoyrecipe: It was very exciting, and the atmosphere, amongst the crowds, was amazing. Thank yoi for visiting :-)

      Loretta Livingstone

      Author: Hopes, Dreams & Medals, Jumping in the Puddles of Life, Fire and Ice

      www.treasurechestbooks.co.uk

    • Loretta L profile imageAUTHOR

      Loretta Livingstone 

      5 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      @Virginia Allain: Thank you so much. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I've just been visiting one of your lenses, which I enjoyed reading.

    • profile image

      pinoyrecipe 

      5 years ago

      cool! how i love to be there during the olympics

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      5 years ago from Central Florida

      Thanks for sharing your 2012 Olympic experience with us. Best of luck with your books.

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