Monday, 13 August 2012

Ten Olympic memories...

Today I was going to write a fascinating blogpost about toothpaste, but it's not every day that we get to experience the morning after the London Olympics!  If you've come here for a little frugal respite from the post-Olympics analysis you are going to be disappointed.

Like many other Olympic doubting Thomases in the UK, I changed my tune, but at least I did so early.  Remember when the Olympic torch passed by, not so far from here in May?

I have enjoyed the whole spectacle, but as much as I've relished the grandeur of the opening and closing ceremonies, and the glory of the Team GB golds, my enduring memories (and memories cost nothing, so there's the frugal link!) may be the smaller and less reported Olympic snippets, that weren't necessarily all about the sport:

1) I'm happy that this is the greenest Games ever, from the building construction to the free public transport for ticket holders, although there's still room for improvement in future Olympics.

2) There were some great stories behind the sporting face of the Olympics, such as the warmth of the British audiences and the 70,000 wonderful volunteers.  I enjoyed a radio interview I heard with the designer of the 4,400 Olympic bouquets.  They were made with British-grown flowers and herbs: roses, lavender, rosemary, mint and wheat.  And they had to look good from the bottom, as there's a lot of bouquet tossing at the Olympics.

Olympic Bouquet

3) In a similar vein, although fashion really isn't my thing, I saw Stella McCartney interviewed on her design of the Team GB kit.  After that, I took note of the different outfits more carefully and we enjoyed playing 'Spot the red bit'.  I smiled at this Guardian fashion journalist's take on the kit.

4) I didn't get to London during the Olympics but I sent some representatives; my siblings and their children went to soak up the atmosphere at the big screen in Hyde Park.  What a shame that the airline-style security wouldn't let my peace-loving family in, due to the weapon potential of Nephew 2's scooter (but how reassuring to know that security was taken seriously)!

5) The BBC Olympic commentary was great, but I loved how we adults also suddenly became armchair experts in sports that we would never contemplate trying for ourselves; think diving and gymnastics!

6) My kids however, were more than armchair experts.  They were inspired to get out there and do those sports for real.  Son made his own weights and took up power lifting for a couple of days. 

7) Daughter had had some tuition in race walking from an Olympic coach at school, and she is pretty good at it.  She tried to pass on her knowledge to Grandad and me; I won't forget our laughable attempts at race walking!

8) Having become race walking afficionados, and having seen the Dalai Lama in June, we were keen to see Tibet's first Olympic competitor (in the Chinese team) walk the women's 20k, but we couldn't find any live coverage.  She achieved a Bronze medal and a smile to match that of Jennifer Ennis.

Qieyang Shenjie
Choeyang Kyi as she's called, in Tibetan.
9) The musicians in the family had fun trying to work out what was going on with the arrangement of our national anthem.  I'm afraid I'm with the stick-in-the-mud Grumpies on this one; I would have preferred those four quavers to have been included...

10) For the last memory, I decided to ask if anyone else here had anything they'd like to share.  Daughter thought for a minute and then said of the whole thing, "It was very brilliant and really, really amazing to see Britain do so well in it." We've worked out that if she's very lucky, she may get to see another Olympic Games in the UK and maybe she'll be able to tell her grandchildren and great grandchildren, "I remember when..."

Do you have a favourite Olympic memory? 


  1. Thanks for your update. I liked seeing how proud the British were of the whole thing.

  2. I appreciate the green efforts as well. Often times when these mega events are planned, only lip-service gets paid to the notion of doing it green.

    And I heartily applaud your son's creativity in making his own weights!

  3. We were proud! Let's hope we can be as proud of the Olympic 'legacy'. And my son keeps us all entertained...his latest thing is to keep the memory of our camping trip alive by sleeping on the floor of his room...