My Olympic Experience
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!
And, oh, didn't it look pretty at night.
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.
You will have noticed that I have mentioned a book which I wrote, inspired by wonderful events like this. The iBook is only Â£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
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
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.
- My Facebook Group
My Facebook Group
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
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.
- My Quiz
Can you guess the answers to the questions here?
This is my blog
I now have an author profile on GoodReads. It would be great if you visited me.
My Author Profile
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.