I’ve quite surprised myself with my engagement levels for the Olympics. Of course, it’s still an over-corporated-over-spent thing but I did enjoy the opening ceremony for the most part, particularly the Queen with James Bond and the surreal sight of an army of Mary Poppinses taking on a giant Lord Voldemort. Rowan Atkinson was amusing too – perhaps most of all the ridiculous over-reaction of the Daily Mail and certain Tory MPs.
Given the choice I’d probably have ignored much of the events, although having said that there’s not a lot of choice given the dearth of options on telly anyway, plus an other half who is quite intent on watching anything and everything on offer of the games. And that’s proven a good thing – I was watching some gymnastics of all things today – and it was great, the British mens team secured a bronze, well, it was nearly a silver but for a Japanese appeal.
Irrespective of that disappointment, this is the first time we’ve seen a British medal in gymnastics for one hundred years. Wow. What a tremendous achievement. Local lass Rebecca Adlington brought home a bronze too in the 400m freestyle, whilst an amazing road cycle race was almost won by Lizzie Armitstead who quite literally settled for some silver lining after a heroic race (I’ll never understand why more of ’em don’t just blast away from the peloton though!). Somehow I’ve conspired to watch all of these events, without really planning to, so maybe I’m good luck!
It’s been fun watching the Judo too – an activity I used to actively participate in some twenty odd years ago (wow, that long!). I remember then thinking that ‘proper’ competitive Judo seemed to lose some of the artform – you rarely see the kind of elegant and flawlessly executed throws or holds you’d get at local grading level (at least, not in my head – maybe I’m flattering myself!). Watching athletes competing in front of a home crowd does make you think what might have been had the lures of life tempt a 13-14 year old me away from training.
I probably wasn’t that good though, so I’m not going to worry too much about it! It has been fun evoking memories though (and discovering that I would’ve almost certainly encountered one of my friends at my old Judo Club back in the day as he was there around the same time!). I just had a rummage on Facebook to see if any old photos had been snuck on by Mum, but it seems not. Might have to have a rummage in the folks’ photo albums next time I see them!