This one goes almost to the top of the list
Well, that was pretty a pretty good bash, wasn’t it?
Wasn’t at the ceremonies, that fell to a Spice Girl-mad colleague and I don’t do ceremonies in person anyway, but that was a good way to send these Games off to the recesses of the mind, a fun show that was far more informal than the opening and a party rather than a ceremony.
Heck, even The Who came back to life; narcoleptic and, well, awful at the Super Bowl, they obviously play far better at home than on the road at things like this.
So where’s it rank?
Totally personally, I have to now put it a firm third, maybe even tied for second, behind No. 1 Barcelona and right there with Sydney for a place on the podium.
Well, there are a few reasons, some personal, some professional, some institutional.
First off, the people were just incredible. Friendly, overwhelming in their numbers, always willing and able to answer questions, point in the right direction, help a fellow out. I can’t hammer home enough how the face of the Games for people like me are the volunteers we interact with every day, the folks here were top notch.
Professionally? They went swimmingly. Buses ran when buses were supposed to run, the infrastructure worked without a hitch, never had a problem filing from wherever I was and they were a logistical dream. And, as we know, it’s all about me. And us.
Now, coming off Beijing had to be a hard act to follow. The Chinese spent more money than imaginable, built exorbitant venues that were amazing; to ask anyone to match it would have been impossible, and unfair. The Brits? They built functional and not at all over the top. They combined history (Lords) with contemporary (the stadium was pretty but not overwhelming); the legacy will be the memories, not the vacant venues. Sure, in comparison to China and even Athens they might have scrimped a little but no one was worse off for it, and the aftermath will be easier to swallow.
No, the folks here should be proud. From the people holding the clipboards at the bus stops to Lord Coe, they put on a Games of which they should be proud.
And, why not, right?
They were good last night, they were better back then.
Quickly, a few personal moments that I’ll remember for a while
No, not a basket or a goal or anything really to do with sports. I got to see Nic Batum absolutely pull back and drill Juan Carlos Navarro in the jewels with the punch of the Games.
Of course you can build a beach in the middle of a historic area and pull it off quite nicely. Makes for a breathtaking view, too.
I was there for the lone gold medal performance of the Olympics and I’m not at all sure what Rosie MacLennan did in all those flips and turns and twists but it was impressive.
Caught in the middle
Standing inside the velodrome – and I mean right inside and almost on the field of play – while a medal ceremony went on about 30 metres away was pretty cool. Hearing God Save The Queen waft down from the stands, almost everyone singing along, was super neat.
By my count – and you have to realize that after three weeks the mind gets a little fuzzy – I knocked off about eight venues and the only regret was that I didn’t get to Wimbledon. The best? We’ll get to that a bit later.
What you write
When I got here, and even today if truth be told, I know nothing about Katniss Everdeen. Yet he/she/it made it into one of my stories. A guy’s gotta do what a guy’s gotta do to get something filed that’s marginally interesting.
Best moment, sports category
Has to be The Goal. The 92nd minute one by Diana Matheson to end the football bronze game. I had to ask Cathal exactly what happened but I did have my eyes up when the ball went it and that was, by far, the most dramatic athletic moment I witnessed.
Best moment, non-sports category
I was sitting on a porch at Lords watching the arrow shooting and there was a band – an army orchestra as a matter of fact – just down from me playing on one of the verandas. No, it does not get any better than that.
Glad I made it.
Okay, have one little writing thing to knock off and then it’s off to explore this wonderful city. And that’s without wearing a credential around one’s neck and not toting a computer bag.
That’s going to be odd.
See ya later, will get to any comments sometime this afternoon.