The London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games are fast approaching.
What do you mean you're not excited yet? The Olympic Games are being held in the UK NEXT YEAR. I'm so excited I could burst.
The Cultural Olympiad is on now, but not a lot of people know that, and will culminate in a the largest cultural festival in the world before the Games.
Ticket applications commence on 15th March 2011, but you can register your interest in advance.
The full Olympic Schedule and ticket pricing information has been released. I'm going to have to think carefully about which events to apply for, but at the very least I want to be in the stadium for the althletics - preferably the 100m finals. Can you imagine how exciting it would be to watch Usain Bolt win gold, maybe with a World Record? How about supporting our cyclists or swimmers? What about the highly entertaining Greco-Roman Wrestling?
I can hear you questioning my enthusiasm, after all I'm not exactly sporty. Well, I've always watched the Olympics on television, but you have to go back 11 years to understand why I am particularly excited about the Olympics coming to the UK.
In 2000 I was living and working in Sydney, Australia.
Gratuitous shot of the view from my office window:
The Olympics were due to start in September that year. Sydneysiders were decidedly cool about the whole thing. It was going to be a massive inconvenience, the city would fill up with bloody tourists and the buses and trains would be packed.
Then the Olympic flame arrived in the city. Pat Rafter and Olivia Newton-John stood at the steps of the Sydney Opera House with the iconic flame, this was the start of the excitement. As I left work that night to walk to Wynyard Station there were a lot of people on George Street. I soon saw why. Dawn Fraser jogged past with the flame on it's way to Olympic Park. The buzz on the streets was electric.
All of a sudden six televisions were set up on our floor at work, we all worked three day weeks (12 hours a day) so that we could maximise our viewing time. We loved the clean streets and the 24 hour public transport.
We took advantage of the free concerts in the city. I saw Neil Finn at the Domain and Bob Downe in Martin Place:
There were six large screens set up around the city to watch the action live. I soon learnt the words to Advance Australia Fair as Australia won gold after gold in the swimming.
Best of all I went to the Stadium to watch the athletics. Being a bloody tourist I'd bought my front row seat weeks in advance. My friends in the UK texted me each time they saw me on television. Here I am with my Union Jack and my Aussie flag too:
Here is Colin Jackson warming up for the 110m hurdles. After I took this I shouted Go Colin and he gave me the thumbs up in return:
The atmosphere in the stadium was incredible. We sat in the sunshine and took it all in, in between joining in with the Mexican Waves. I met many people in the two weeks of the Games in Sydney. Everyone was there to have a good time. I hope London 2012 will capture some of that excitement and international friendship.
Come on, are you even a little bit excited?
This is NOT a sponsored post (ha! I wish), I just wanted to share a little of my enthusiasm for the wonderful event that is the Olympic Games.