Olympics Musings 5
So it’s all over. Rio has the flame. Pundits will move into dissection mode. I’ll have another go at surfing for three-minute summaries in a while, and in the meantime, I’ll close these Olympics musings with what will stay with me, in my memories, in my mind:
The thought that must have gone into venue design. Those fabulous, never-yet-seen views over London from the top of temporary structures in Greenwich and Horse Guards Parade were especially amazing for me.
How much fun synchronised swimming was.
I thought the costumes dire, the choice of music often plain weird and the pre-dive bits of choreography ungainly. But I was entranced by two pairs of feet corkscrewing down, amused to see the technical names of the compulsory bits of the routine flashing up on the screen and amazed how much you can see, even from a long way away. So, a style nightmare in my book (and maybe style isn’t THE most important aspect of sport, whatever the adverts with Becks or now Jessica Ennis show….), but thoroughly enjoyable nonetheless.
Children reading during the events. This is a memory I share from both sets of Games I’ve been to: the Harry Potter fan at Melbourne (yes, Melbourne hosted stuff during Sydney 2000) told off by his Dad for not watching the football and the younger two out of the four-member family at women’s hockey with their noses stuck in books.
Usain Bolt. Sorry, Michael (Phelps), Jess, Mo and all the hundreds of superlative athletes we saw over the fortnight, these weren’t quite your games in the way they were Bolt’s.
The canal-side walk in the Olympic park. I hardly had time to enjoy it, but I loved the wild flowers, the information about the bird boxes, the little bit of nature inside a manic space. As Richard pointed out, there was a Liverpool garden festival touch about it, for those in the UK who remember that far back.
The volunteers. Like in Sydney, they were helpful and friendly. High fives with the pink foam hands may seem to cheesy to you, but collecting them is a serious business when you’re seven years old. Sydney volunteers scored a point in reactivity when they provided spectators with rolls of kitchen towel to dry the wet seats after a shower, before the softball. No such provision in London before the equestrian jumping. Hah! However, London had volunteers monitoring crowds from umpire’s chairs, singing. And I heard no-one in Sydney warble self-depecratingly that “we’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when.”
Photos: Richard Wilkinson