It's been quite a buildup, what with the bid for the games gathering pace almost a decade ago and then with the announcement on 6/7/05 that London was to host them (a memorable date because four deadly bombs were set off in London the next day). The torch relay passed near home last week and now the games have officially started. I have no tickets, but there are plenty of events that don't require them.
I confess that I'm one of the least sporty people around, but I have always enjoyed the Olympics, probably because of the sheer variety on offer. Every organised sport under the sun all going on in one place.
This weekend the men's and women's cycling road races went from the Mall out to Box Hill in Surrey before returning. I caught the outward and inward legs of both events and here are a few pictures. Although the event passed by in just a few minutes each time, the atmosphere was enthusiastic and partylike, with the police seeming to be cheerleaders or warm-up artists!
I'm beginning to think the venues for many events have been chosen for their beautiful backdrops, showing the UK off to best advantage to foreign TV (Horse Guards Parade, Greenwich Park, Hampton Court, the leafy lanes of Surrey ...)
I hope to see the cycling time trials as well, and the marathons, too.
By the way, I'm really loving the way all the shops in South West London are displaying as many international flags as they can lay their hands on. And how the Met Police were really jovial over the weekend. Who says Londoners are aloof and unwelcoming! (Well, OK, OK, it'll be business as usual in two weeks' time!)
Hope you enjoy whatever Olympic events appeal to you.
|Men's road race heads out of London in a long snake.|
|Men's road race heads back to London (you can see the city in the background). How appropriate to be viewing this from Sawyer's Hill where I first learnt to ride a bike (which was my sister's girly bike).|
|Women's road race heads out of London, all bunched up. They all whizzed by in a couple of seconds.|
|Just over 15km to go here. The women cyclists headed back to London in widely separated groups. This was the penultimate group, battling heavy rain in Richmond Park|