Sunday, 16 September 2012

Paralympics' magic

As quickly as the London 2012 Olympics started, I was moaning that I hadn’t been able to bag myself tickets to anything. And yes, I was one of those wannabe spectators dismayed at the sight of empty seats on my TV. So you can imagine my frustration when not only my mum and brother got tickets but then Tom did as well. Determined not to let this momentous occasion pass me by without seeing something, anything, I pestered Tom to high heavens in an attempt to get him to smuggle me in on his ticket. After the disappointment of missing out on the Olympics, imagine my delight when Mr Dickson said he could take me to the Paralympics for free. Courtesy of Solent University, we got to visit the park for the day and although we weren’t guaranteed entry to any events, I had high hopes. And I was right too – first we were given pretty much courtside seats to the wheelchair basketball, a sport which saw me gain a new-found respect for these female athletes – it’s a brutal sport! After a nail-biting last quarter which saw the USA come from behind to take the win in the last minute, we were then treated to the lads playing a game. 
As evening drew in, we snuck off for a bit of dinner and wandered round the rest of the park to take in the sights and snap some pics. I loved the upbeat atmosphere and the general feeling about the place, not to mention the non-existent queues for the women’s toilets. 
We ended the day with the excitement of being inside the athletics stadium and hearing the crowd roar when a GB guy raced home past the finish line in first place. We had fantastic seats and caught a glimpse of the men’s high jump, women’s long jump and a selection of track events which were both inspiring and astonishing to watch. All the adrenalin was washed down nicely with a cold beer, but at £4.30 a pop, it was the only one to pass by my lips that evening!
The events came to an end and we headed for the exits, along with thousands of other weary travellers eager to get home and into bed. I left the stadium feeling extremely proud to be British!

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