A Celebration at the Aviva London Grand Prix
Friday the 13th this month turned out to not be as unlucky as it is often claimed it should be. Ramsey, my boyfriend, finished his very successful triathlon season with the Interservices competition on the Wednesday and after my results that we had also received this week we certainly had something to celebrate! I had reserved a day off work so we went out for a lovely lunch at a local restaurant which we both love. We ate so much delicious food though that it took quite a few hours for us to feel remotely human again!
After lunch (and a much needed lie down!) we headed into London. We had tickets for the Friday session of the London Athletics Grand Prix. I had never been to anything like it before but with the Olympics so close, only 2 weeks away now, it seemed like the perfect preparation, for the athletes as well as us.
As you can see below, we dressed for the great British summer. We didn’t realise before we arrived, but we were seated in one of the few stands in the stadium at Crystal Palace without a cover. UK weather didn’t disappoint either and we got absolutely soaked! Forgetting to bring an umbrella was an unfortunate mistake. We did have good seats though. There are good things and bad things about any area of a stadium. We had a fantastic view of the athletes coming round the bend to the final straight and we also got to see all of them and their coaches coming in and out. Even more than that, they came and sat in our block to watch the races and Ramsey even got to meet his hero, 400m runner Jeremy Wariner.
Ramsey used to run at Vicky Park when he lived in London, training with Perri Shakes-Drayton. Oweing to where we were sitting, he actually bumped into his old coach Chris Zah which was a very welcome surprise and something I think he had secretly hoped for. Perri had an absolutely fantastic race too, winning the 400m hurdles in a time of 53.77, a massive personal best despite the very difficult weather conditions. She certainly proved that she’s got what it takes to do something amazing at London 2012 this summer. Mo Farah’s 5000m win was also quite a sight to watch. He stayed in the middle of the group before making his move with about 2 laps to go. He won by almost 4 seconds in a time of 13:06:04 and it seemed effortless. With only 2 weeks to go before the Olympics, seeing such sporting prowess has made me ever more excited to see what we will do at the eagerly awaited event.
There’s only 12 days to go until the Olympics now and we could feel the excitement building. The rain didn’t dampen anyones spirits and the athletes excelled despite the lashings of rain. London 2012 has been 7 years in the making. Yes, there has been lots of hiccups along the way as one would expect, not least the G4S scandal that’s going on right now. But I honestly think that this Olympics is going to be fantastic, like nothing I have ever seen before. It won’t just be London that will have the memories of the London games resonating for years to come. I cannot wait to tell my children about all the excitement of what happened. First though, I will tell my classes next year about it all when they ask me about Britain and where I come from. I must say, that however much I love travel and language and learning about the rest of the world, I have never been so proud to be British.