Sunday, 9 September 2012

I went to the Paralympics and all I got was a sunburnt nose.

(Which is now peeling)

As mentioned in my HOW WILL I COPE WITHOUT THE OLYMPICS post, we got tickets to the Paralympics. My love for the Olympics and Paralympics (inexplicable as I can’t usually watch sport at all without wandering off or falling asleep) was so great that I got up at FIVE on Thursday morning to go to the Paralympics and sit in that Olympic stadium and actually go to the place where all the exciting stuff is happening. Going to the Paralympics more than made up for the greatest tragedy of my childhood – never going to the millennium dome.

Being in the actual Olympic stadium was properly surreal and even I looked at the track I couldn’t believe I was actually seeing it. We were in there for nearly four hours so I did manage to get used to it enough to calm down and actually properly look at it. On the telly, the athletes seem much much bigger in proportion to the stadium. In the stadium it looks like you are watching some very colourful ants running and jumping and throwing big chunks of metal.

We mostly saw heats of 100m, 200m etc. I don’t remember the specifics but it was really exciting. We saw Hannah Cockcroft in a heat and Tatiana McFadden win a gold. We also got to see Oscar Pistorious receive a gold medal as part of the South African relay team. I WAS AT THE SAME ADDRESS AS OSCAR! There was also some shotput and discus going on... but it was pretty difficult to see any of that.

By the FAR the best part was the F11 Triple jump final. The F11 category is for athletes with little or no sight, they manage to do the triple jump because they have a guide who stands by the run-up and claps to the jumper knows where to start jumping. Because of all the clapping, the whole stadium had to fall into silence which was so strange. I have never been in a place with so many people with so little noise. It was like everyone in the stadium was holding their breath.  Li Dong, one of the Chinese competitors, would rip off his tracksuit bottoms stripper-style before each jump. Everyone loved him.

I look like that because I had been up since FIVE and I'd slept with wet hair the night before

The ONLY downside was not having a single Tory politician to boo. I am almost sure I saw a slightly stubbley and bespectacled Chris Addison going in as we left the Olympic park! I have no proof but I’m pretty happy to believe it. 

1 comment:

  1. I fancy the pants of Oscar Pistorius. I think it's really important for me to tell you that. So glad it made up for you never going to the millennium dome (which, by the way, sucked. It's much better as the O2!)