Farewell XXXth Olympiad

In the words of some people on Twitter on Sunday night:
“If we don’t give Rio the flag, we can keep the Olympics…”
“Noooooo! Don’t put the flame out!”

Not going to lie, the end of the closing ceremony found me curled up in a ball on my sofa trying not to cry. In fact, I must have appeared so forlorn that my houseguest was prompted to check that I was ok. Yesterday, the whole capital was clearly in mourning. All you could hear all over the place was talk of how sad it was. I even had mixed emotions at the sight of Olympic lanes opening up again (they’d prevent pedestrians crossing the road at a major junction near the flat which had been doing my head in).

I’m keeping the Olympic flame burning within me though. Thanks to being sequestered in wifi-free rural France last week, I missed 8 days of Olympic action which I’m now re-living courtesy of iPlayer. [Useful note: all Olympic coverage will stay available online till January. Blissful.] Also, my return to the church office this morning was brightened by the discovery of an Olympic themed gift:

That would be a Team Tonga wristband and pin badge. I’ve no idea how my friend Fiona acquired them, but I’m delighted – especially as I’d been rather jealous of one Games Maker I know who was given a Tongan badge after driving some Tongan dignitary around. (Fiona was a Games Maker whose job, I think, was sitting with people having dope tests, so logic would suggest she must have babysat one of the three Tongan athletes…)

Plus, a visit to the Olympic stadium for Paralympic athletics is less than three weeks away – I honestly can’t wait to get back into the park and finally get inside the stadium.

I may have only experienced half the Olympics, but it’s something I’ll never forget – from the trip to the Olympic Park, to watching the opening and closing ceremonies with fun people. In fact, a running theme of the Olympics was watching it in the presence of house guests (4 in 6 days) and friends. It began with my sister (and her Olympic themed gifts) and continued with a birthday party during which the TV had to be on for cycling and gymnastics (only during the Olympics would I think it appropriate for a guest to arrive and ask for the TV to be turned on). A Texan guest joined me in disbelief at Team GB’s  gymnastic silver-turned-bronze debacle and every morning with Morven began with rowing – in fact, it’s a miracle we ever got to the Harry Potter studios (more anon) given the draw of the coverage. Morven and I also paid a visit to the Royal Opera House for the Olympic Museum exhibition and the now obligatory Olympic Torch photo:

A final house guest – immediately prior to and post France – tried to convince me that Beach Volleyball was something other than a gratuitous opportunity to watch scantily clad women throwing themselves around some sand. (I’m still not convinced, but then I never actually watched any…) But he did successfully get me hooked on the final moments of a Team GB women’s basketball game – did you know that the final two minutes of a match can actually last twenty? Incredible. Yes, the closing ceremony had moments of utter ridiculousness, but there’s nothing quite like watching it in the company of someone with a similar sense of humour and sharing the best bits of each other’s Twitter streams. Their reaction to Eric Idle’s appearance was worth sitting through the entire 3 hour performance. 
And now it’s over. How long till we can have it back?!? 

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