Tuesday, August 21, 2012

London 2012 Play Ball!

Between the cruise posts and the Olympics posts, I'm missing the more mundane posts about everyday life here.  I'm hoping to get a few of those done before too much longer. 

TE's parents are coming up from Folkestone this weekend to see the new apartment and to celebrate his mom's birthday.  And my mom and her hubby will be here two weeks from tomorrow.  I'm so excited for both visits but really need to get some stuff done to the apartment before it's ready for visitors.  Especially mom visitors!  (You know what I mean.)

And now for my final post about our Olympic experience.  It's kind of a long one with a lot of pictures.   There are also a view videos.   

TE's first event was beach volleyball with a buddy of his.   I specifically told him before he left to get lots of pics for the blog.  This is what he returned with.  One picture.  One.  And it's before the crowds arrived so it looks like an empty venue.  Seriously?

The beach volleyball was actually supposed to be the best ticket in town.  Smack in the center of London, ripped beach bodies and a partying dance crew in vintage bathing suits to get the crowd going.

We had Olympic fever by this time, so I got online for tickets and came up with Women's Football semi-final tickets at Wembley Stadium.  TE couldn't get off of work, so I called a fellow Texpat to join me.  She actually played soccer in high school and was able to teach me about off-sides. 

We started off with a bottle of champagne to celebrate.  The only way to kick off a soccer game. 

Wembley is a fantastic stadium and was in pristine condition.  It holds 80,000 and there were 61,000 there that night. 

 It was a semi-final game between Japan and France.  The game was pretty exciting.  Japan scored two goals early on and the rest of the game was France just struggling to get back in it.  I think Japan attempted 3 goals and got 2.  France must have attempted a dozen times and got just one. 

I've never seen a soccer game live and what an initiation this was.  I'm dying to go to another game.  They take it very serious around here.  

The crowd was loud in their support and the wave went around several times.  We had such a blast.  We were a little concerned about getting out of the stadium and home safely.  But it was amazing how organized everything was.  We walked with the crowds to the local train station, waited for a short time in a line and got onto our train.  No worries.  In fact, London Bridge Station was a ghost town.

And then, TE and I went to see the final of the Women's Handball at the Basketball Stadium in the Olympic Park, Norway vs. Montenegro.  

It was such a fun atmosphere.  There were tons of die-hard Norwegian fans there along with small pockets of equally die-hard Montenegro fans. 

There was a cheerleading squad from the US that performed before the show and during half time. 

She was flying!! 

And then the teams entered and got ready for the face off.  I had no clue what handball was.  But this is handball.  And let me tell you, those girls play hard!

Hit play with volume for a little taste.  There are 7 girls on each team and obviously they are trying to score a goal.  Everything moves really fast and they score often.  There are typically 50 scores in a single game.  They get a little rough, too. 

You can hear the crowd yelling "Norge!"

Montenegro made it a close game, but Norway won by 2 points.  It was exciting down to the last seconds.  

This was for the gold so you can imagine the reaction of the fans!  And the players were so excited!!

Even the Montenegro team were thrilled.  This was their first time at the Olympics as an individual country and this was the first medal won.  How exciting is that?  I had a moment. 

Lots of celebrating!!

Then we listened to dance music and waited for them to get set up for the Medal Ceremony.   They needed a pretty big podium for the whole teams to fit on.  It went together like clockwork. 

And then the ceremony began!

Purple suits?  Interesting.  They brought out the medals and the bouquets.  

Then the athletes entered to the roar of the crowd.  

We can't forget the flags.   (My apologies for the netting in all of the pictures.)

Then each player was announced and awarded a medal and a bouquet.  There was so much celebrating and hugging.  It was so moving to watch.   What an experience for these hard working athletes.   Spain won the bronze. 

And then the Montenegro team jumped up onto the platform all together.  

Lastly, Norway was awarded those huge, gold medals.  

Then the flags were raised and the Norwegian anthem was played.  

Plenty of time for hugs and photos afterwards.  It was such a party atmosphere.  

It was a thrilling experience.  And now I have a new appreciation for the Olympics.  The whole two weeks were just magic.  I realize I keep gushing and repeating myself, so I'll stop now.  Until Brazil!!!



  1. Hello! I'm a Brit who recently moved to the US to be with my husband, so I'm the reverse kind of expat to you! I enjoyed reading your Olympics posts very much - I got to see the USA win the women's soccer final, as well as a couple of other events, so it's been fun reading about your experience too :)

  2. I'm doing a 'were's me' on those photos, I was also at that match


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