During the Beijing olympics I was a breast-feeding mother, my baby wasn’t a quick feeder, combined with the time difference and an early rising baby I saw my fair share of sport. I love a medal ceremony, the pride, the flower arrangements, the national anthems, even when I’m not hormonal they bring a tear to my eye. As the mother of a young baby, over tired and still full of post pregnancy hormones I repeatedly wept through various ceremonies. I remember the closing ceremony, Boris, the Mayor of London waving his flag and a London Bus.
The UK, in my view, struggles with being too London centric. It’s extremely irritating to buy a magazine and be recommended some great new restaurant in London, a fantastic new fashion find in London. Although I am a Londoner living in the North I resent the London focus of media in the UK. There is life beyond the M25. The long build up to London 2012 has inevitably been a London thing. The price of tickets initially seemed to allow only City Bankers to attend. I felt rather disconnected and disinterested in the whole thing.
However, I have been on the email list for tickets from the beginning, applying only to not get anything, which actually turned out to be a financial blessing. I wanted my son to experience the Olympics. It’s a once in a life time opportunity and I wanted it to inspire him.
The levels of sponsorship irritated me, the fact that you can only pay via the favoured sponsor. I had a largely grumbling relationship with the Olympics, most it served to give me something to moan about. I didn’t get tickets, most of it is over priced and it’s heavy on the brands and they aren’t brands I hold in much esteem.
Then the Olympic flame came to town and I got completely caught up in the hype and excitement of watching a flame being carried down the street, so excited I went to see it again. Since then my own inner Olympic flame has grown and here we are at the Olympics, it still seems to be far away in a very sunny London but I am giddy with it all. It suits my arm-chair sports sensibilities and I have my tissues at the ready to weep through medal ceremonies.
We have tickets for the road cycling. There were cheap and easily available. Tomorrow we will sit on a hill in Surrey and watch the World elite cyclists peddle past. This morning I bribed my child to come to town with me and we went to see and hear the bells being rung part of a national wide event. Ringing bells for London 2012. Apparently ‘Olympics’ is so rest of the world we are London 2012. It’s here, I have my tissues at the ready and I am very excited.