14 August 2012

...And it all ends

Well that was a stunner of a couple of weeks. I've seen Team GB pull in the most medals in over 100 years; cheered on the fastest people on land and water in the planet; covered my eyes at death-defying acts and in all, like 80% of you, have been very proud to be British.
On Friday, I headed down to Weymouth to watch both the men's and women's 470 medal race. The weather was utterly gorgeous, if a little light of breeze, and everyone was walking around with a huge smile on their faces. I'm not too sure if it was the 'oh-my-god-we-actually-got-tickets' atmosphere or the sun, but the crowd sure were basking in it. I was really impressed with the efficiency and cheery attitude of the many volunteers who made the event run so smoothly.
As we settled down on the slope of the Nothe -which currently has several Ben Ainslie related names such as Ben's Nevis, Ben's Bum and Big Ben - I couldn't help but feel smug as the screens showed a tour of the Weymouth Sailing Academy Center, where I went for race training in April.(Cue lots of of talk on "oh yes I've been there. Yes the training hall is rather large isn't it?")
Despite the light wind conditions, the two main races were exciting, helped by the coverage on the screens, and by our use of binoculars. In both events Team GB won a silver. As the men's team, sailed by Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell, crossed the line, they celebrated in typical British style by capsizing the boat and lighting a flare. The two golds were secured by the Australians for the men's, and by the New Zealand team in the women's. 

I managed to *just* snap a photo of the two British teams passing each other inbetween the races. The women's boat was sailed by the lovely duo, Saskia Clarke and Hannah Mills.
Aside from a slight mishap where I realised that I was wearing a t-shirt saying "Paris Je t'aime", I managed to keep myself looking pretty patriotic, right down to the nails...
Oh, and I also managed to get sunburnt. But that's because I am a pale person not used to sun, haha!

And then that was it. With a final medal sweep during the weekend, the London 2012 Olympic Games... ended. The closing ceremony was incredible; it had to be without the support of an anticipated nation. It celebrated 50 years of British music, all linked together with a subtle theme of Shakespeare's The Tempest. From digitally reconstructed musical legends to real life performers being transported in, the show sparkled. But as I watched I had to hold back tears as I screamed "Don't hand the flag over! Don't extinguish that torch!!" 
Truly though, I am proud to be British. Putting the seemingly pointless two-week gap aside, I am now looking forward to the Paralympics (why aren't the two events shown together??) and I hope that Channel 4's coverage will be as good as BBC's has been.
But until then... Good evening Mr. Bond. This has been the Queen.

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