I’ve been meaning to post photos from the Olympics for weeks. The trouble is that I’ve been too busy watching it! I come in every evening and I’m glued to the telly, especially after negotiating all the sports fans on the DLR and tube. There’s a real holiday atmosphere around London. The trains may be crowded but they are full of partying Irish boxing fans or excited Canadians, rather than grumpy commuters.
The sense of excitement is palpable on trains heading towards the venues: I’m not surprised the roar of the crowd is so loud at all the Olympic venues.
At the events I’ve been to – the cycling road races and the torch procession down the river – people (including me) were arriving hours before the event, bringing breakfast/lunch with them and staking out their pitch to get a good view.
Of course, that means a lot of waiting around. There is the inevitable boredom but as the moment of arrival gets closer, the sense of anticipation begins to grow.
For at least 20 minutes before the arrival of a race, people are craning their necks, or running off to vantage points to see if there’s anything coming and others are shouting: “Are they coming?” “Is it here yet?”.
Then police outriders or – the case of the torch, police boats – go past waving at the crowd, with their sirens going to whip up the crowd. In fact anyone who comes past at that stage gets a cheer. At the men’s road cycling race, the poor stewards who were running around putting foam protectors around walls, lamposts etc were receiving cheers and shouts of encouragement from the crowd at least an hour before the event.
Then finally people start shouting: “They’re coming!” and the crowd goes bonkers.
And there they are on the brow of the hill. Imagine that you have waited for hours in the rain to watch a few cyclists race past or a boat motor past in a matter of seconds, and you might get some idea of just how exciting this moment is.
Very soon I will post some photos of actual cyclists, quite close up!