Our Olympic Experience

Earlier this week on Drive Thru HR, William Tincup and Bryan Wempen were asking me about The Olympics. William was saying how great London looked and what my experience of it was. If you have the time and inclination you can listen to the whole interview here (we also talked about social media, differences between the US and UK, service culture and some other stuff too).

Listen to internet radio with Wempen and Tincup on Blog Talk Radio

For the past week and a half the Shaw family has gone London 2012 mad. We’ve had a great time and seen loads of sports. You can read about the men’s and women’s road races (which were a highlight for Keira because she was spotted by her friends on the TV), and see a couple of pics here, and in addition I got along to the cycling time trials later in the week and took these photos.

Bradley Wiggins London 2012 Gold Medal Time Trial Ride

Bradley Wiggins London 2012 Gold Medal Time Trial Ride

Chris Froome London 2012 Bronze Medal Time Trial Ride

Chris Froome London 2012 Bronze Medal Time Trial Ride

Because these sports were run on open roads the access was fantastic, we got right up close to all the action. Later in the week we also got to see the men’s table tennis semi finals and Team GB women’s hockey team defeat Belgium 3-0 at The Riverbank Arena.

Carole and Keira in the Olympic Village

Carole and Keira in the Olympic Village

Team GB Women's Hockey

Team GB Women's Hockey

And if all that wasn’t enough Flora Marriott was kind enough to invite me to the Greco Roman Wrestling this week. This was a crazy afternoon spent watching up to three simultaneous bouts of muscly guys trying to flip and fling each other, very intense. Emotions ran high, at one point a defeated wrestler staged a sit in protest after what he perceived as a harsh refereeing decision which cost him the bout.

sit in protest

sit in protest

As you can see we’ve been fortunate to enjoy a great variety of sports and we’ve yet to experience the swimming and athletics at The Paralympics.

It has not been easy to get tickets to enjoy all this – for me the one fly in the ointment has been the hours spent fiddling and faffing with the ticketing website, and the way tickets have been released in stages has been frustrating for many people.

Notwithstanding all the fantastic sport we’ve seen, the overwhelmingly positive thing which stood out for us on our Olympic adventures has been the unpaid volunteers. Almost without exception they’ve struck us as happy, willing and helpful, they’re a big part of what has made London 2012 such a success. I’ve heard rumblings that the volunteers should be awarded the Sports Personality of the Year team award, based on our experiences that would get my vote.

photo credits by yours truly

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