07.08.2012 - 12.08.2012
Wow - where do I start.
Well I am currently suffering my first know case of POD (Post Olympics Depression) so I can only imagine how the athletes are feeling. I thought Sydney was fun...but oh how much better it can get.
So it was a whirlwind 5 nights in London, I couldn't believe the different feeling in the city between last time I was in London in 2005. The city felt so much more vibrant, there were amazing volunteers all over the city asking you if you needed any help - they were even in hyde park offering site seeing suggestions! It was amazing. The people and the city had really come into their own with the Olympics in town!
I arrived on Tuesday afternoon where I was met by Sarah. It was so good to see her after almost a year...but there wasn't time for chit chat..we needed to get back to the apartment we were staying in as soon as possible, the BBC were streaming the Australia vs USA game live! It would be my first chance to watch Rowie at the Olympics as I had so far watched no Waterpolo but seen the olympics in Vietnamese, malaysian, English and Portuguese.
The game was very close and went into extra time...Sarah and i felt sick with nerves. Unfortunately after a really hard fight Australia lost in extra time, we would be watching Rowie play for an Olympic bronze medal.
The next day and a half were a blur of some London sightseeing, Harrods food court, catching up with people and doing our test run to Olympic park to get our tickets.
Thursday was game day...or game night! We decided to take our mind off the start of the day by getting our nails done at the infamous Wah nails.
Sarah and I both had our nails done - here is Sarah at the nail salon!
Afterwards we had a warm up to Olympics lunch at a fantastic vegetarian restaurant, before it was a quick bus home to get ready for OLYMPIC PARK.
So the reason I was in London had finally arrived - tickets in hand we set off on the train to Olympic park, a short 3 stop ride from our apartment.
Security and the gates were really easy to get through and inside the park was a really charged atmosphere. It was different to Sydney however, as I remember many more people in their countries outfits.
The excitement was palpable - and we hadn't been able to eat since lunch from the nerves and excitement. We met Rowie's family and friends outside - got our Rowie specially designed supporter tshirts before we went inside.
After a quick change into the supporter tshirt in we went! Our seats were amazing, 3 rows from the front! Thank you Sarah for living in France!
Australia was playing Hungary in the bronze medal match. Australia got out to a large lead, with Rowie scoring two of the goals...
They were gradually pinned back and in the last second of the game...and I mean last second...Hungary scored a goal to equal the score. It was into overtime....
Sarah and I were unable to talk at this stage, having sat through the last 2 games going into overtime.
While we sat on the edge of our seat Australia scored two goals in extra time to win! Bronze medallists!!!!!!!
I have to say, watching one of your closest friends win an Olympic medal is something you can only dream about. Seeing Rowie win was lifechanging and something I will never forget. Due to Sarah's amazing ticket purchases we were even able to give her a hug after the game over the fence! AMAZING.
We waited around that night for a couple of hours for the team to arrive and to see them with their Olympic medals.
Here is a photo of Sarah and I with Rowie and her bronze medal:
I don't know anyone who has worked harder for something than Ro has for this medal, giving up time at uni, steady work and months at a time of her life in pursuit of this Olympic dream. I couldn't be prouder to have her as a friend and be in person in London watching her win a bronze medal...
Olympic fever by this point had officially struck and we were just overcome with how much went on. We even had the saturday in the park watching more Olympics on the big screen sharing an evian bottle filled with cider (all class) and enjoying the sun London put on for us.
We were lucky enough over the next two days to see Rowie both days at both a nice afternoon session drinking pimms and really feeling like we were in London to a team dinner out to celebrate the girls achievements.
Here is Ro and I the day after her win!
The feeling in London was fantastic - if you have never experienced a city in the grips of true Olympics I would urge you to do it once in your life. Both Sydney and London were amazing to visit in 2000 and 2012 respectively!
After the dinner and drinks on Saturday night, and no sleep from Friday night to Monday morning (1am to see the closing ceremony) I definitely made the most of my Olympic experience!
I can't say enough about how exciting our time was, and all I can say now is RIO 2016!!!!!
"the Olympics remain the most compelling search for excellence that exists in sport, and maybe in life itself." - Dawn Fraser