On a miserable damp morning my daughter and I left the house to go meet a friend at Westfield Stratford Centre and for those not in the know that is right next door to the Olympic and Paralympic Village and yes we were going into that same place, hooraay!!
My friend had been lucky enough to secure a Day Pass for the Paralympic Games and we were entitled to walk around the grounds and go into all the venues except for the Olympic Stadium. Boy were we excited!!
We decided that we’d get in there and try and get into the Paralympic Wheelchair Basketball, no problem! Because we decided to meet up early there were plenty of seats and in fact the venue didn’t fill up until close to half time. The noise and excitement was electric. It was Germany vs China and my daughter chose to support China, me and my friend Germany. Now I know when I’ve watched it at home there seems to be no bars hold when it comes to clattering into your opponent and getting the ball and I was not disappointed. A couple of times chairs were overturned and the audience grew quiet until the athlete righted their wheelchair and continued on to applause. It was fab!
The PA announcer had us doing all kinds of things to the hand clapping to ‘We Will Rock You’, the ‘Macarena’ and playing the bongos (the camera would roam around the arena find someone in the crowd when it stopped that person played a pair of imaginary bongos which popped up on screen under their face!). It was quite funny and I looked forward to my turn to no avail..
The teams line up for the playing of the National Anthems
.. and let the game commence
In the end Germany were triumphant and we left the Basketball Arena and ambled out into the Paralympic Village.
Now there was lots to see and plenty of photos to be taken, all of which I won’t bore you with but I will post a couple more pics in a second. What was felt throughout the entire day was a feeling of absolute euphoria, excitement, pride and not just National pride but pride for what these athletes were showing us. These are the true athletes, not taking anything away from the previous Olympians but these Paralympians I would say have to contend with so much adversity but they just get on with it and this is a lesson to us all.
I’m so glad we’ve hosted these games and I’ve had the chance to go and see some of the sites before the doors close and the athletes leave. It’s been a great time and I feel we have done ourselves proud.
Now for just a couple more pics 🙂
The Olympic Stadium
In the top left of the picture the Velodrome home to track cycling, in the middle a stage for some live music and in the top right the Basketball Arena